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Dillon

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  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 44
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  • Republican Like Me

  • How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right
  • By: Ken Stern
  • Narrated by: Ken Stern
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 175
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 156

Ken Stern watched the increasing polarization of our country with growing concern. As a longtime partisan Democrat himself, he felt forced to acknowledge that his own views were too parochial, too absent of any exposure to the "other side". In fact, his urban neighborhood is so liberal, he couldn't find a single Republican - even by asking around. So, for one year, he crossed the aisle to spend time listening, talking, and praying with Republicans of all stripes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth a listen or read.

  • By R. T. Pirtle on 10-28-17

A must read book for all.

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

The journey of the author from bubble to bubble and the insights it brings can not be understated. The fact checking that I would expect from an NPR man really helps put into context a lot of left and right notions while seeking to end the dehumanizing divide we have found ourselves in.

  • Strategy

  • A History
  • By: Lawrence Freedman
  • Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
  • Length: 32 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 575
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 506
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 495

In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive 'Tour de Force' on Strategy

  • By Logical Paradox on 07-20-14

Informative but lacks a clear point.

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

Reviewed: 04-15-17

It sets up concepts of 'strategy' and how it was perceived only to shoot them down. Ultimately the author makes a point about how he sees it but doesn't do it justice in analysis nor application. Had he established it early and kept it as a constant comparative to others, it would have made for a more compelling book and added greater dimension to all the analysis the preceded.

  • Political Order and Political Decay

  • From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 24 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,408
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,221

Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Understanding our place thru Poly Sci

  • By Gary on 12-29-14

Mediocre in content

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Mr. Fukuyama is quite the smart and well versed man. This book and the one prior cover quite a breadth of information. And while there is a runnIng theme in the two, it almost feel ancillar given how spaced out it is. Really I feel the two long tomes could have been giveb due detail but accomplished in a quarter of the time.

I also think the core message is blandly generic: we created various civilizations with XYZ features because of either random PQ events or chance and now they are decaying in ABC ways which are, in specific terms, hard to predict and thus solve.

Both volumes are packed full of interesting bit of history I didn't know, especially the first one. For that, the book is good. But perhaps only for that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Moral Arc

  • How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom
  • By: Michael Shermer
  • Narrated by: Michael Shermer, Melody Zownir
  • Length: 19 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318

We are living in the most moral period of our species’ history. Best-selling author Michael Shermer’s most accomplished and ambitious book to date demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, more moral. Ever since the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment thinkers consciously applied the methods of science to solve social and moral problems.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Us is getting bigger, them is getting smaller

  • By Gary on 02-02-15

Stolen Thunder

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

Reviewed: 02-12-17

What disappointed you about The Moral Arc?

I think Michael Shermer is a decent person with a good outlook on life. Had this book been my first introduction into this topic, I think it would have been a fine primer. But it wasn't. This book is largely based on the work of Prof. Steven Pinker. It isn't an exact copy, mind you, but is focuses more on a single aspect covered by Prof. Pinker in his book "The Better Angels of Human Nature", a tome of a book that takes us from pre-history to modern day violence. Thus one would expect that this particular focus would yield even greater detail into the target issue of science and the enlightenment; alas it does not. Again, it is a fine book on its own and it does approach things in a Shermer-esce novel way, it just falls flat against its competitor and, importantly, predecessor.

What could Michael Shermer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I think going into far greater detail, perhaps in regards to the biological and evolutionary evidence for empathy and how the scientific approach to life alter our course would have been good. Ultimately I felt this was a pale rendition of one part of Prof. Pinker's book.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I think Michael Shermer did a fine job in reading his book. Nothing earth shattering but more certainly more than merely competent.

Any additional comments?

I think this book would be best recommended to those who really like Michael Shermer and have yet to pick up Prof. Pinker's work. A nice way to edge into the topic. I imagine that was one of the goals for the book: a gateway drug as it were.

  • The Language Hoax

  • Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language
  • By: John H. McWhorter
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

This short, opinionated audiobook addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. Linguist John McWhorter argues that while this idea is mesmerizing, it is plainly wrong. It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I really love listening to language--and McWhorter

  • By Rachel on 03-24-16

Wonder Book

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

Reviewed: 05-30-16

this is a wonderful book with lots of citation to help drive home the point that it's trying to make. The author has gone through a lot of painstaking work to portray his subject matter with his much care and due diligence as possible while still refuting the overarching claim flowing from it. his care and appreciation that he shows is a nice break from the standard yelling matches that seem to plague us. also since it is written and read by the same man there is a level of craftsmanship and naturalness to the reading of this book that was quite refreshing. I would recommend this book to almost anyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Shinto: The Way Home

  • Dimensions of Asian Spirituality
  • By: Thomas P. Kasulis
  • Narrated by: Dean Sluyter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 91

Nine out of ten Japanese claim some affiliation with Shinto, but in the West the religion remains the least studied of the major Asian spiritual traditions. It is so interlaced with Japanese cultural values and practices that scholarly studies usually focus on only one of its dimensions: Shinto as a "nature religion", an "imperial state religion", a "primal religion", or a "folk amalgam of practices and beliefs". Thomas Kasulis' fresh approach to Shinto explains with clarity and economy how these different aspects interrelate.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Limited information on actual Shinto practice.

  • By John O'Neill on 05-03-17

Informative and well read

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

Reviewed: 05-16-16

The start of the book is a bit bland amd takes some effort to get though but most of the book is well written and informative. There are times, however, that the author tries to use a $2 word rather than a 2 cent one but then follows up with a description. I think this is an annoying habit. Either use the word and expect that your audiences are at the level of understanding or just switch to using the normal phrasing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sapiens
    A Brief History of Humankind
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Yuval Noah Harari
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Derek Perkins
    
    


    
    Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
    18,047 ratings
    Overall 4.7
  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,047
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,069
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,976

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sums it up nicely

  • By Mark on 05-15-15

Nothing New

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

Reviewed: 04-15-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Yuval has produce an interesting book that does hit on some topics that are novel but now I am several chapters in and I find myself question what I have actually learned. Not in the sense of doubting what I have learned or my previous beliefs being challenged, but in that this book doesn't tread new territory. The most novel thing I found interesting has been some data points about the extension rates and prevalence of various animals as humans came to be their neighbors. Even this information in general is not new but was at least presented in a moderately interesting manner with some research. I think perhaps Yuval was striving to have a more universal book without having a clear voice on where he wanted it to go or what voice he sought to use to get there. Had he, for example, wrote a book regarding the cycles of the climate and the impacts of humans throughout the ages and how all of that relates to the modern discussion on climate change and extinction, he could have done well. There was certainly the beginnings of such a talk in one of his earlier chapters of this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Yuval Noah Harari again?

I do not know the majority of Yuval's work. This book was a bit too disconnected and lack a real voice, though.

What three words best describe Derek Perkins’s voice?

Derek Perkins is a competent voice talent. His manner of pronouncing certain works did catch me off guard from time to time but every voice talent has their own particularities. Had the source material been stronger, I think Derek's voice would have blended in smoothly with rare notice - as a good voice talent's voice should.

Any additional comments?

I think that there are several other books that would be more fulfilling than this. Not because of any particular wrong-doing on Yuval's part but just from a lack of book-scale focus and voice.

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,331
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,365

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Long, but explanitory

  • By William on 03-02-13

A book of much focus

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

Reviewed: 03-20-16

What made the experience of listening to The Selfish Gene the most enjoyable?

Dr. Dawkins is a famous man with views that have been the center of controversy from various sides of the political spectrum for as long as I have been alive. Finally getting a chance to go into what I thought would be the cornerstone of his work on popular biology and evolution was great. While I do not think most of the material in here is earth shatteringly new to me, I do have to admit that I grew up in a post-Dawkins world. But that doesn't diminish the nuanced and articulate ideas expressed in this book. And by knowing the book on a first hand basis, it better prepares one to discuss the social and political aftermath of the book in a coherent manner.

Any additional comments?

This book has two narrators. Both are individually good speakers and I would have enjoyed listening to either one of them at length. However, since both speakers are interchanged it can sometimes be jarring. This is especially apt when Dr. Dawkins starts a sentence or thought and allows it to be finished by Lalla Ward. While I came to anticipate these and found them less invasive as the book continued, it was something that really did annoy me. I would have greatly preferred a single narrator for this book.

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature

  • Why Violence Has Declined
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 36 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,805
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,239
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,206

We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'd kill for another book this good

  • By Eric Nicolas Morgan on 11-11-11

Great book and good narration

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

Reviewed: 02-05-16

Steven Pinker is a knowledgeable profession who knowa how to pace a book so that you are constantly receiving information but which build on itself so that even if single points get muddled, it will be clarified soon after. The variety of detail and positive worldview contained are refreshing.