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jack lichtenstein

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  • 77
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  • Leonardo da Vinci

  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Alfred Molina
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,483

Leonardo da Vinci created the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and engineering. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish the sample was not from the preface!

  • By Kristopher S. on 11-13-17

One wierd dude

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

This book is a panegyric to Leonardo. Every other word is genius., a descriptive easily thrown about but not supported by the facts. The description in fact is that of a narcistic dandy and pederast. Leonardo was an innovative painter who did not complete over half the works he started. He thought deeply about many things, anatomy, engineering, weapons, astronomy, geology, theater, but completed none of the treatises he started and therefore had zero impact on any of these subjects. Almost everything he did was presented by others sometime after his death. Retrospectively, people have given him credit for things he wrote about, but did not publish. He spent a great deal of time doing autopsies on unfixed bodies in the middle of the night. He said no one else would have had the fortitude to be able to do these dissections and document them with drawing. This is just plain weird. He had little regard for money,but spent ,most of his time looking for a patron to subsidize his fantasies. Finally, he had no social conscience. He should certainly not be looked at in the same light as Euclid, Newton, Shakespeare, Rembrandt or Einstein who actually completed their monumental work. Da Vinci's great genius were his Codex which documented every idea he ever had and remain his legacy. In my opinion, which is the minority his great completed work, The Mona Lisa, does not compare with other renaissance painters such as Raphael, Michelangelo or Caravaggio.
A comparable historical figure would be Nicola Tesla, who had great ideas but rarely brought them to fruition. Mr. Isaacson likes to write about flawed dreamers, like Steve Jobs and Da Vinci, who are more celebrity than genius.

  • The Spider Network

  • The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History
  • By: David Enrich
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world's largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor - the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide - was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Does anyone "proofread" the audio book?

  • By Gracie on 07-04-18

Detailed history of Tom Hayes and the LIBOR crisis

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

Reviewed: 01-22-18

Very detailed and precise history of how the LIBOR crisis evolved and the cast of characters
who created the crisis and prosecuted the miscreants who created the crisis The lesson to be learned from this is that banking is a gambling an nefarious business and the justice system has no way of dealing with the people who step out of line An unbelievable amount of research and detail went into this books creation Kudos to David Enrich The lesson to be learned from this is that banking is a gambling and nefarious business and that the justice system has no way of dealing with the people who step out of line An unbelievable amount of research and detail went into this books creation Kudos to David Enrich

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • What Happened

  • By: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Narrated by: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,067
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,021

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What Happened?

  • By Celina Resendez on 10-21-17

Hillary lets it all hang out

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

Reviewed: 10-21-17

As one reviewer wrote. Hillary wrote this book because she had to. She wrote it to expunge her demons.
This is a long and personal book. Like Hillary, at times it is enthralling, at others maddening and maudlin. But overall it is a must read,
Hillary presents the 2016 election as it was, A smart, sensitive, honest woman who had devoted her life to the service of her country against a boorish, narcissistic ignorant self absorbed boor who did not pay his taxes, maligned and abused woman and never spent a second of his life in service to his country.
And what happened, He won!
Unfortunately, Hillary takes this personally. And tries to explain How it happened, She talks about everything but the elephant in the room.
Just as the Germans got the perfect representative for the German spirit in Hitler, The Americans got the perfect embodiment of their soul in Trump. The point she misses or chooses not to acknowledge is the mean spiritedness and unbelievable ignorance of the American people and their institutions (press). She ignores the fact that the majority of Americans sit around and watch Jerry Springer, Fox news, Judge Judy and Dr.Oz as the centerpiece of their lives.
In other words the one thing that Donald Trump got right, and she didn't is the deplorable nature of this country ( where people massacre each other with guns and rifles on a regular basis.) The thing Hillary got right is that there is no way in this Universe Donald Trump could fix anything. But he will pronounce it wonderful.
All the stuff about Comey and the Russians happened but were unimportant compared with the distortions of the press and stupidity of the American people'
Also, a major player in the outcome of the election was ignored. Mr. Obama's passivity was a major turn off. He could easily have quaffed Comey, but he chose not to do so. he could have exposed the Russian interference in the election, but sat on his hands. His passivity played a greater role than either Comey or the Russians. Oh well, It is all in the past. But I do think Hillary did a major service to the country by writing this book. The best thing that could have happened to Hillary is that she lose and spend time with her family, The worst thing that has ever happened to this country is for Donald Trump to be elected president.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Hard Choices

  • By: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Chalfant, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Length: 26 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,264
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,105

Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Senior Stateswoman in need of Editor

  • By Cynthia on 07-20-14

A tone deaf politician

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

Reviewed: 10-07-17

Prior to listening to this book I had been a fan of Hillary and voted for her. I could not understand why she was so despised by people I respected. After listening to this book I understand why she is disliked and would never vote for her again, even if she ran again the despised Donald Trump. Why the change?
Her attitude is that she is president of the world,that she wears a cape and can save any situation. There is no event that can be spared her casuistry. A ridiculous incident in which she rescues a blind Chinese dissident who is manipulating both sides for personal gain, is treated as though Hillary saved the world, rather than for the black humor and ridiculous theater she has created.
Which brings up another problem, her complete lack of humor. She takes herself so seriously. And then there is her unabashed arrogance. Her position is always the only right decision. She does not recognize grays or nuances, And finally the fantasy world she lives in. That the United Sates is the bastion of Human rights and civil rights, when in fact we are a failure in both areas and treat our dissidents much more harshly than most other countries. And finally, the fact she and her husband were responsible for the incarceration of over 50% of black males between 15 and 25 while he was president. She should not be lecturing any one on human rights and civil rights. She is what we used to call a limousine liberal. Using others peoples suffering to make herself look goo. Contrast this piece of trash with the excellent biographies of Leon Panetta and Robert Gates, both written with a sense of humility and humor, and alack of arrogance.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Chord

  • A Novel
  • By: Geraldine Brooks
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 593
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 538
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 539

With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times best-selling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature's richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fictional Narrative of a great biblical character

  • By Mildred Enriquez on 12-28-16

The life of David

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

This is a fabulous book recounting the life of David, through the eyes of Nathan his prophet.
At the time of David, the Israelites were several generations removed from Moses. their first King Saul, reluctantly empowered by another seer Samuel, did not have the temperament or desire to be King. Samuel, apparently directed by The Name, was directed to find a new king and was sent to David, a shepherd boy. As a shepherd David made his own harps and wrote his own songs. Along game Goliath and made David a rock star. he was take to Saul's cord and became the lover of his son Jonathan and the husband of his daughter Mihael. Saul became jealous of David and made him an outcast, hunted with a price on his head. While exiled David became a Guerilla leader and did despicable acts. He also took numerous wives. Finally Saul and his retinue were killed by the Philistines and David ascended the throne as King of Israelites and Judah and for the first time united the Jewish people. He also took the city if Jebos and made Ihr David or Jerusalem.
David took many wives and had several children, including Amnon , Absalom and Solomon.
He also stole Uria's wife Bathsheba and sent Uria, a trusted Hittite warrior deliberately to his death, so that he could possess a pregnant Bathsheba. Nathan pronounced Jehovah's curse on David. In a truly appalling scene Amnon rapes his sister Tamar and David does nothing about it. It is left to her brother Absalom to kill Amnon several years later. Whe Absalom declares himself King and a bloody battle ensues in which he is killed. Finally Solomon ascends to the throne as foretold by Nathan. All of this is written in the bible, but made into a superb novel by Geraldine Brooks.
I was again struck at how primitive the tribes and nation were. they believed in an intimate god, who was involved in their everyday activities and punished them for acts which went against his commandments and rewarded them for acts which found favor in his eyes. Also as in the Bible the Jewish people were the chosen. Everyone else were gentiles or goyem, and did not count. And finally, the amount of brutality, bestiality and murder is overwhelming. It reminds me of the book by Steven Pinker the Better Angels of our Nature, which argues that men are becoming smarter and less violent. This book makes an excellent case for this argument. And finally, the superstitious nature and belief in visions is foreign to our current concepts.
As portrayed here, David is portrayed as a blood thirsty, violent renaissance man. This is a fabulous work of love and passion by Geraldine Brooks.

  • The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,003
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,350
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,369

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying look at a techno-destruction of privacy

  • By FinanceBuzz on 01-20-14

The future is now

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

Dystopian view about the dissolution of all personal liberties in the world of internet social media.The circle is a social media company that combine the features of facebook, google and amazon. A combination of 1984 and animal farm. The problem is we already live in this world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Darwin's Radio

  • By: Greg Bear
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 17 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,023
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 627
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 632

In a cave high in the Alps, a renegade anthropologist discovers a frozen Neanderthal couple with a Homo sapiens baby. Meanwhile, in southern Russia, the U.N. investigation of a mysterious mass grave is cut short. One of the investigators, molecular biologist Kaye Lang, returns home to the U.S. to learn that her theory on human retroviruses has been verified with the discovery of SHEVA, a virus that has slept in our DNA for millions of years and is now waking up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't have to be a biologist to enjoy!

  • By Sue on 03-07-12

A science fiction explanation of evolution

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

This book is a masterpiece. It not only tells a fascinating tale of human response to scientific dramatic change, but gives an enticing explanation of how rapid evolution may occur through the activation of HERV (human endogenous retrovirus). it also shows how our political system reacts to scientific knowledge with ignorance and folly. A must read.

  • Empire Falls

  • By: Richard Russo
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 20 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 651
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 652

Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse. One by one, its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly-up, and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan (presided over by the last scion’s widow) now mostly amount to decrepit real estate. The working classes, meanwhile, continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn’t already boarded up. Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugely Enjoyable

  • By margaret on 01-23-12

Humanity in an abandoned American industrial city

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

This book is about irony and the how our dreams and aspirations never turn out as we expect. Also, how we don't always understand the significance of events in our lives for many years.
All of the people in this book are decent sympathetic people who have foibles and make mistakes in judgement.Jeanine Roby, by leaving her husband finds herself in a far worse
place.John Voss, a 16 year who has been abandoned and abused by his parents and society, becomes a mass murderer-but we understand and forgive him.
Miles Roby has spent much of his life trying to fuigure out what happened to his mother when he was a child, and goes from a man of indecision to a man of action in the end
The genius of this book is Miles Roby, a Falstaff of upper New York. Never with remorse, always ready to promote his cause. he is funny and a role model for senior citizens.
Francine Whiting Empire Falls richest and most influential citizen, puts Lady Macbeth to shame in her manipulations.
CB Whiting, her husband, spends a lifetime trying to atone for his maiming of his daughter Cindy. Cindy, a cripple from being run over as a cild is hopelessly and foolishly in love with Miles Whiting who is hopelessly and erroneously in love with Charlene Garner the waitress in his restaurant.
David, Miles brother is maimed from an auto accident, but now becomes the voice of reason.
Everyone in this book has an inner world of unfulfilled desires to accompany their struggle through the mortal toil of every day life.

  • The Pocket Wife

  • A Novel
  • By: Susan Crawford
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,027
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 934
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 930

Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. To Dana's horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best "who done it" this year!!!

  • By Diana on 03-24-15

a poetic murder mystery

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

Reviewed: 06-06-17

This is an odd book. It is a murder mystery where the plot is secondary to the characters and language. The murder mystery itself is mundane but serves as a scaffolding for the author to build her complex and sympathetic characters. The story opens with a manic depressive woman, Dana Cotrell discovering that her neighbor, Cecelia, with whom she has just been drinking has been murdered. This causes her to become unhinged and doubt her sanity. Her husband Peter, a tax lawyer, has been sleeping with Cecelia and other women. He drives her further from realty with his caustic remarks. The detective Jack Moss'
wife Ann has just left him and his son Kyle, who despises him and is about to have baby with his girlfriend , is involved with his teacher Cecelia. . During the course of the book Dana attempts suicide by jumping off the George Washington bridge and is hospitalized in a psyche ward. The ending is a bit contrived, but by then your more involved with the characters than concerned about a plot that does not hold together.

  • The Blind Watchmaker

  • Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,026
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,758
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,731

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen

  • By Eric on 01-15-12

Evolutionary fanaticism

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

Reviewed: 05-23-17

This was the fourth book I have read recently about evolution. Unfortunately, this was the worst of the lot.
The second chapter on Bat's radar is the jewel of the book and makes it worth reading. The rest of the book is arrogant proselytizing by Professor Dawkins. There is a chapter on a simulated computer program called evolution that the Prof wrote and the program and the chapter are garbage. It is unfortunate that Professor Dawkins has tunnel vision and does not allow himself to see other options than evolution and natural selection resulting in our current biology. He disregards the notions of chromosomes and the evidence that speciation results in or from chromosomal changes. He throws out saltation and macroevolution as impossible when it is quite likely that each of these processes has a role in evolution. His most egregious sin is that he is a know it all who fails to see how little we actually know about evolution and the process of biologic development. It could be that everything he says will turn out to be incorrect.
Much better is Stephen Meyer's Darwin Doubt. 9/10 of the book is spent factually debunking evolutionary theory as we know it based on scientific data (Professor Dawkins never bothers with such trivia unless it conveniently fits his preconceived notions). Unfortunately the book invokes Deus ex machina or intelligent design as the underpinnings of natural selection, for no good reason.
The best of the books were Greg Bear's Darwin's radio and Darwin's children which gives a rational explanation through Saltation. 5% of the human genome consists of endogenous retrovirus. Positting them as programmed agents of genetic change makes a lot of sense and very good listening.
For complete disclosure I am a trained medical geneticist with great reservations about neo darwinism.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful