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  • Hitch-22

  • A Memoir
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,749
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,397
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,384

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

  • By Laura on 08-23-10

A fascinating look into a brilliant man

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

Any additional comments?

Hitch's indelible wit and intellect come to life in this book. From moving tales of his mother's suicide to amusing anecdotes about friends, Hitch provides an intimate look into one of the world's most interesting lives and minds.

  • Dead Mountain

  • The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
  • By: Donnie Eichar
  • Narrated by: Donnie Eichar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,465
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,272

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mystery & Intrigue In The Ural Mountains

  • By Sara on 06-30-15

Interesting mystery story

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

Any additional comments?

While I'm not sure how plausible the author's final conclusion is, the story itself is well worth reading.

Sapiens audiobook cover art
  • 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 17,619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,681
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,589

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

A unique and refreshing perspective

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

Any additional comments?

An interesting analysis of humanity's time on Earth, from Australopitchecine to today. Probably the most intriguing aspect was Harari's treatment of human history in an unconventional way, more like an outside observer writing about another species. For example, in speaking of the Agricultural Revolution, Harari point out that it wasn't the great leap forward most of us think of, but rather a change in human societies that had both positive and negative outcomes. We could produce more food, but that food was generally less nutritious; agricultural communities were more dense and thus more prone to disease. He goes off the rails just a bit when it he starts comparing secular ideologies to religion, but overall it's a solid book.

  • The Guns of August

  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,344
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,325

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, historian Barbara Tuchman brings to life the people and events that led up to World War I. This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of Kings and Kaisers and Czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed...and how horrible it became.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Mike From Mesa on 10-28-08

An excellent, moving summary

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

Any additional comments?

The Guns of August does an excellent job of digging into not only the events of the First World War, but the train of events that led up to them. Commanders' decisions and perceptions, odd turns of fate, miscommunications, and chance encounters all spiral together into familiar battles.The author manages to create tension and anticipation of events whose outcomes are already known.

  • The Story of World War II

  • By: Donald L. Miller, Henry Steele Commager
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,981
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,810
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,799

Drawing on previously unpublished eyewitness accounts, prizewinning historian Donald L. Miller has written what critics are calling one of the most powerful accounts of warfare ever published. Here are the horror and heroism of World War II in the words of the men who fought it, the journalists who covered it, and the civilians who were caught in its fury. Miller gives us an up-close, deeply personal view of a war that was more savagely fought - and whose outcome was in greater doubt - than one might imagine. This is the war that Americans on the home front would have read about had they had access to previously censored testimony.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Inspiring Thought Provoking

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 06-01-14

Gripping first hand accounts of World War II

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

Reviewed: 03-12-16

Reviewing the war from start to finish, the author weaves in narratives from people who actually experienced the war: Soldiers, POWs, civilians, and generals. While it's heavily biased toward the Americans, there is testimony from other allies and a few Axis soldiers. Special emphasis is given to the Italian campaign, the air war in Europe, and the island hopping of the Pacific.

The most memorable parts of the book were the stories of Japanese fanaticism. On Okinawa, a group school children huddled around a grenade and blew themselves up to avoid being taken by advancing Americans. On Iwo Jima, only 216 prisoners were taken from a garrison of over 20,000. In the final days of the war, the Japanese government issued orders that every POW be murdered should an invasion of Kyushu succeed, and prepared civilians to hurl themselves at tanks with explosive charges. 27% of American POWs in Japan died, compared to 3% in Germany.

A fascinating but sometimes gory and unsettling read.

  • Charlie Wilson's War

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
  • By: George Crile
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 20 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,571
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,592

Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Afghan War:Last Nail in the Soviet Coffin

  • By William Lorenzen on 08-10-04

An excellent telling of an underappreciated event

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

Reviewed: 09-21-15

Every American should understand this part of middle east history. On top of being an important part of history, this is a well-written and interesting book.

  • Panzer Commander

  • The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
  • By: Hans von Luck, Stephen E. Ambrose (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,676
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,674

A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like Forrest Gump ( a fiction )

  • By Randall on 11-08-16

Kind of mundane

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

Reviewed: 04-02-15

What disappointed you about Panzer Commander?

Some memoirs from the 'other side', like Japanese Destroyer Captain, give valuable insights into the operations, culture, equipment, and experiences of our former enemies, which is what makes them interesting. This book fails to do much of that. Most of it reads like the diary of a playboy who happens to do some fighting. The author spends a lot of time describing his time off, his experiences in Paris, his favorite car, his trusty adjutant, etc. Relatively little time is spent on his experiences with the Wermacht, and what little is recounted is mostly dry recitations of the course of battle. There are a few insightful moments - the bitter first winter in Russia, the feeling of abandonment in the Afrika Corps, the frustration at Normandy - but those insights are drowned in mundane details.

One also gets the impression that this book is sort of an exoneration. The author goes out of his way to tell us about what a nice guy he is, how he made friends in Paris, how fairly he dealt with the British in Africa, etc. He may well have been a decent guy, but it starts to seem a bit deliberate.

What didn’t you like about Bronson Pinchot’s performance?

The performer has a French accent. This seems glaringly out of place in a German memoir.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Japanese Destroyer Captain

  • Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles Seen Through Japanese Eyes
  • By: Captain Tameichi Hara
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 353

This highly regarded war memoir was a best seller in both Japan and the United States during the 1960s and has long been treasured by historians for its insights into the Japanese side of the surface war in the Pacific. The author was a survivor of more than one hundred sorties against the Allies and was known throughout Japan as the Unsinkable Captain.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Combat, Fear, Survival!

  • By Saman on 11-07-14

Rare an enlightening perspective

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

Reviewed: 03-20-15

Would you listen to Japanese Destroyer Captain again? Why?

Yes - The perspective given by Captain Hara is one that is almost universally omitted from (English language) histories of the Pacific War. Hara gives insight into the culture, outlook, attitudes, and desires of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Japanese Empire. The supreme confidence at the beginning of the war, and the utter desperation at the end, are brilliantly captured by Hara, who experienced it all.

  • Armor and Blood

  • The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II
  • By: Dennis E. Showalter
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 349

While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis E. Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II's Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army's brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rich got ot right

  • By Frank J. Habic on 08-28-13

Great book, but print a map!

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

Reviewed: 03-20-15

What did you love best about Armor and Blood?

The thorough description of all dimensions of the battle - preparation, people, equipment, tactics, intelligence, air superiority - nothing was left out.

Any additional comments?

Print out a map to follow the action. The book gets very confusing without some idea of the relative position of various landmarks.

  • The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today

  • By: Thomas E. Ricks
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 15 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 537
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 455

A widening gulf between performance and accountability has caused history to be kinder to the American generals of World War II than to those of later wars. In The Generals we meet leaders from World War II to the present who rose to the occasion - and those who failed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Provocative

  • By Jean on 04-30-15

Fascinating, disturbing lookat military leadership

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

Reviewed: 03-20-15

Any additional comments?

Most analyses of war focus on equipment, troop counts, tactics, and other tangibles that make up a battle. This book looks at a crucial missing dimension - the organizational and leadership cultures of the Army.