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Benzion N. Chinn

South Pasadena, CA
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 161
  • ratings
  • The Evangelicals

  • The Struggle to Shape America
  • By: Frances FitzGerald
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 25 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America - from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election. Evangelicals have, in many ways, defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitzGerald's narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing detail!

  • By tyler on 04-03-18

Tradtionalism Vs. Fundamentalism

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

This book stands as a model of how to handle one of the most important issues in modern religion, traditionalism vs. fundamentalism. In a traditionalist model where there is no clear and present danger from any Enlightenment or secularism. In a traditional society, people might be fairly conservative in practice while caring little for ideology. Religion is the society in which they live. It is important but, like oxygen, easy to take for granted and ignore. To be a fundamentalist, you first have to be conscious that you are under attack. This makes people much less tolerant because all of a sudden even minor deviations become signs that a person has aligned with the "enemy."

A good example of this is the infamous Scopes trial regarding the teaching of evolution. Fitzgerald argues that the push to ban evolution from classrooms had little to do with people from Tennessee, where there were few actual "unbelievers" to threaten anyone. Rather, the attack on evolution came from northern fundamentalists, who were fighting a losing battle with the liberal wings within their own denominations, not just regarding evolution but over the authority of scripture itself.

  • Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

  • By: The Great Courses, Alan Charles Kors, Darren Staloff, and others
  • Narrated by: Alan Charles Kors, Darren Staloff, Dennis Dalton, and others
  • Length: 43 hrs and 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450

For 3,000 years, mankind has grappled with fundamental questions about life. What is real? Who or what is God? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over others? What is justice? Beauty? This 84-lecture, 12-professor tour of Western philosophical tradition covers more than 60 of history's greatest minds and brings you a comprehensive survey of the history of Western philosophy from its origins in classical Greece to the present.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic overview

  • By Robin on 08-25-13

A Selection From Other Courses

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This course suffers from being a selection of lectures from other courses. As such, it has no coherent theme and is very difficult to follow. Lecturers will bring up ideas and say they will get back to them in later lectures but we never get those lectures.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • By: C.S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael York
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,381
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,021

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, but the volume was all over the place

  • By Charles Johnson on 12-17-16

Great Pre-School Car Listening

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-12-18

Michael York's performance ranks somewhere near Jim Dale's Harry Potter. Just as Dale captures the manic playful absurdity that is so crucial to Potter, York picks up on C. S. Lewis' wink and nod (we won't tell the grown ups you are having a good time) pretentiousness. This is not just a well-done narration, it adds something to the book to the point that even and especially if you know and love this story, you owe it to yourself to listen to York's interpretation for its own sake.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bourgeois Virtues

  • Ethics for an Age of Commerce
  • By: Deirdre N. McCloskey
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 23 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

High Noon, Kant, Bill Murray, the modern novel, van Gogh, and of course economics and the economy all come into play in an audiobook that can only be described as a monumental project and a life's work. The Bourgeois Virtues is nothing less than a dazzling reinterpretation of Western intellectual history, and a dead-serious reply to the critics of capitalism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Important Follow Up for Anyone Reading Ayn Rand

  • By Benzion N. Chinn on 04-24-18

An Important Follow Up for Anyone Reading Ayn Rand

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

What other book might you compare The Bourgeois Virtues to and why?

What McCloskey offers is a virtue ethics defense of capitalism. This is very similar to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy in books such as Atlas Shrugged. The advantage of McCloskey is that she is able to capture the heroic nature of free enterprise without some of Rand's baggage. For example, when reading Atlas Shrugged it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the story is an apology for greed and being a sociopath. In truth, if you are paying attention, none of Rand's heroes are actually motivated by money or personal material benefit. Part of the problem is Rand's self-inflicted wound of praising "selfishness" even though, for her, that word means something very different from how it is usually used. Rand was an explicit virtue ethicist and saw capitalism as having an inherent moral value, regardless of its ability to improve anyone's life. Engaging in the process of market exchanges teach a person to not want something they have not earned. Furthermore, a person learns to value creativity in oneself as well as in other people.

For those intrigued by this model of capitalist virtue ethics, McCloskey offers a wider historical context for such a position. In contrast to Rand's atheist materialism, McCloskey connects capitalism to the "Christian" virtues of faith, hope, and charity as opposed to mere prudence. Just in case anyone is turned off by the Christian material in the book, there are also numerous references to Jewish sources.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Philosophy and Religion in the West

  • By: Phillip Cary, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Phillip Cary
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

Professor Cary explores thousands of years of deep reflection and brilliant debate over the nature of God, the human self, and the world in these 32 lectures. It's a debate that serves as a vivid introduction to the rich and complex history shared by the West's central religious and philosophical traditions. Whether you're a believer, a seeker, or both, you'll find much to spark your deepest ponderings in these talks on the long and rich interplay between faith and reason.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How Religion and Philosophy Impact Each Other

  • By Bror Erickson on 12-04-14

Some Corrections Regarding the Jewish Tradition

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-18-17

Any additional comments?

Professor Cary mentions the Oven of Aknai story in his discussion of rabbinic Judaism in which Rabbi Eliezer gets God himself to declare that he is right. It is Rabbi Joshua ben Karha, not Rabbi Judah, who argues that the Torah is not in heaven and that, therefore, the rabbis are able to overrule even God himself. On a more serious note, Professor Cary argues that the rationalistic tradition died out after Maimonides in the 13th century. I understand that for the sake of time it makes sense not to get bogged down into late medieval Jewish philosophy and thinkers like Hasdai Crescas and Isaac Abarbanel, but to claim that such a tradition did not exist is false. Yes, the medieval Jewish philosophical tradition lost out to Kabbalah, but that is a complicated story that played out over several centuries. Kabbalah's victory had far more to do with historical circumstances like the expulsion of 1492 and the fact that its debt to non-Jewish sources was less obvious than to anything intrinsic to Judaism.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Elvenquest

  • The Journey So Far: Series 1,2,3 and 4
  • By: Anil Gupta, Richard Pinto
  • Narrated by: Stephen Mangan, Alistair McGowan, Darren Boyd, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89

Stephen Mangan and Alistair McGowan star in the fantastical BBC Radio 4 comedy by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto. When fantasy novelist Sam is whisked off to Lower Earth by a band of noble warriors, his dog Amis goes with them. Transformed into human form, Amis turns out to be The Chosen One, whom the warriors need to help find the Sword of Asnagar. Only with the sword can they save Lower Earth from the evil rule of Lord Darkness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious

  • By DobieChuck on 12-17-15

Fun but Very Repetitive

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-16

What did you like best about Elvenquest? What did you like least?

I love the premise of a spoof fantasy series along the lines of what Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy does to science fiction. This is solid British comedy with its mixture of intelligent wit and utter insanity. That being said, the series gets very repetitive quite quickly. Most of the characters seem to have one joke to them, which they do over and over again. Yes, Dean is gay, Vidar is an idiot and Penthiselea is clueless about sex. Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, however over the top their stories could get, were very good at grounding themselves with complex believable characters, who were interesting in their own right.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Kreech, Lord Darkness' minion (voiced by Kevin Eldon). He is Pinky to Lord Darkness' Brain or Baldrick to Lord Darkness' Black Adder.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Red-Headed Stepchild

  • By: Jaye Wells
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 430
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 347
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 347

Sabina Kane doesn't really fit in. And being an assassin doesn't help matters. But she's never brought her work home. Until now. Sabina's latest mission is uncomfortably complex and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As she scrambles to figure out which side she's on, she uncovers a tangled political web, some nasty facts about her family, and some unexpected new talents. Any of these things could be worryingly life changing, but together they could be lethal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All I can say is WOW!

  • By RC on 10-27-12

I Do Not Buy Into the Character as an Assassian

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-14

Would you try another book from Jaye Wells and/or Cynthia Holloway?

The author failed me and wasted my time. This book was not funny and I did not care about what happened to the characters.

Has Red-Headed Stepchild turned you off from other books in this genre?

I am a big fan of Urban fantasy and of Twilight so I am precisely the target audience for this book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nothing against the narrator. She was fine.

Any additional comments?

I did like the demon/cat character. The only reason why I continued with the book was that I was hoping he would take over the story.