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  • 201
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  • History's Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach

  • By: The Great Courses, Gregory S. Aldrete
  • Narrated by: Gregory S. Aldrete
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,047
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,842
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,826

Military history often highlights successes and suggests a sense of inevitability about victory, but there is so much that can be gleaned from considering failures. Study these crucibles of history to gain a better understanding of why a civilization took - or didn't take - a particular path.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Martial Chaos

  • By Cynthia on 08-16-16

Great with one Caveat

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

This class features a good selection of battles from ancient to modern times, and the lecturer is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable professor with well-written and evocative lectures. The only caveat, and one for which I deducted a star, is that he's an up-talker, ending many declarative statements in a rising inflection, making them sound like questions: "The Battle of Gettysburg? Was one of the most important battles of the Civil War?". I'm old enough (51) to find it distracting and vaguely annoying, and find it curious that Professor Aldrete is actually a year older than me, which means he picked up this verbal tic later in life, perhaps from his students. I mention it because I know some people find this manner of speaking absolutely intolerable.

  • The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years

  • By: Edward Gross, Mark A. Altman, Seth MacFarlane - foreword
  • Narrated by: Helen Litchfield, Alex Hyde-White, Jason Olazabal, and others
  • Length: 23 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 422
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 421

The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films, with an upcoming one from Paramount arriving in 2016. The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek, told by the people who were there. Hear from the hundreds of television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast as they unveil the oftentimes shocking story of Star Trek's ongoing 50-year mission.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book I've ever heard on making pop culture

  • By Chris Smith on 07-13-16

Thoroughly Enjoyed

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

Reviewed: 06-25-18

This wasn't quite what I expected; the book is a series of quotes, some short, some long, from people involved in the production of Star Trek. They are well assembled, however, and the format does create a good narrative with a sense of immediacy that would probably be lost with a more scholarly work. -1 star on the narration for a bit too much uptalking by one male narrator, and Susan Hanfield's constant vowel-shifting (Star Trek becomes Star Track, Bus becomes Boss, Left becomes Laughed, etc).

  • 1453

  • The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
  • By: Roger Crowley
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 598
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's listenable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story

  • By Tad Davis on 11-29-16

A Real-Life Game of Thrones Story

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

Reviewed: 04-01-18

Well-written and superbly narrated. As good a story as any from George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series, and a battle that was clearly an inspiration for the attack on King's Landing.

  • A Russian Journal

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

Steinbeck and Capa's account of their journey through Cold War Russia is a classic piece of reportage and travel writing.Just after the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely Interesting

  • By Jean on 12-04-14

Funny, Poignant

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

I enjoyed this because I enjoy World War II era history, Eastern European history, and travel writing in general. Steinbeck Is an easy companion in this journey through the war-ravaged Soviet Union of 1948. The book is generally apolitical, and gives a fantastic sense of the era. Seeing German POWS rebuilding Stalingrad was a special favorite section. Narration was top-notch.

  • Discrimination and Disparities

  • By: Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,289
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,157
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,149

Discrimination and Disparities challenges believers in such one-factor explanations of economic outcome differences as discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. It is listenable enough for people with no prior knowledge of economics. Yet the empirical evidence with which it backs up its analysis spans the globe and challenges beliefs across the ideological spectrum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Sowell is a national treasure!

  • By Wayne on 03-29-18

Typical Sowell

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

Reviewed: 03-08-18

I enjoy Thomas Sowell's books, and will probably continue buying them as long as he publishes. However, you should know what you're getting; this one doesn't offer anything you have not previously heard if you've listened to his other books; it's the same concepts, just moved around a little and wrapped in a slightly different theme. Robertson Dean's narration, is, as always, perfect.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappearance of Childhood

  • By: Neil Postman
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

This modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today, and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood. Deftly marshaling a vast array of research, Neil Postman suggests that childhood is a recent invention. But now the division between child and adult is eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into entertainment and pitches news and advertising at the intellectual level of 10-year-olds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful and perceptive

  • By Jane Ord on 11-28-15

A bit of a stretch, and needs updating.

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

Reviewed: 02-26-18

Although I think Postman is (was) on to something, he tends to stretch his conclusions far beyond what the evidence supports, weakening his argument unnecessarily. The book is also in need of an updated edition for the Internet age, as it was written early in the Reagan administration and focuses on television, rather than the Internet. A savvy reader will be able to look beyond this and extrapolate the arguments to the modern age, but we have much more data available nearly 40 years after this book was first published, and it would be much more interesting and topical should it specifically cover the Internet and social media.

  • True Grit

  • By: Charles Portis
  • Narrated by: Donna Tartt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,938
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,901

Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So worth it!

  • By Tommygaus on 12-29-10

Couldn't be happier

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

I'm a big fan of the Coen Brothers movies, so when I saw this on sale I picked it up on a whim. I couldn't be more pleased -- I had no idea the book itself was so funny. I'm a huge fan of picaresque novels, and though this one had a distinct plot with a clear resolution, it fits well into the picaresque canon. I no longer buy physical books, but if I did, this one would sit on the shelf next to "Little Big Man", another favorite. The narration was perfect. Donna Tartt succeeded in making Mattie insufferable to the point where I empathized with LaBoeuf when he gave her a trashing, yet by the end of the book I experienced the same growth as him and Cogburn, feeling a strong connection with Mattie and wanting her to achieve her goals. Well done, Ms. Tartt.

  • Goodbye, Things

  • The New Japanese Minimalism
  • By: Fumio Sasaki, Eriko Sugita - translator
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,000
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,571

Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo - he's just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn't absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Practical , Deep and Self-Reflection

  • By Anonymous User on 05-11-17

Feels like a ringer...

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

Although the book contains some sound advice and is eminently readable, it feels like a "ringer" -- as in, a book deliberately designed to cash in on the popularity of related, recent works. Not only does it deal with the concept of minimalism, but it manages to wedge in small bits from some of the most popular recent books in happiness in general, for example, "Rapt". I got the distinct impression of a book written to market for profit rather than one driven by a sincere idea to share. It could just be that the original material wasn't quite extensive enough and was therefore padded a bit with related filler, but towards the last third of the book I started to feel as if I'd been played.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Home Front: Life in America During World War II
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Audible Original
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Martin Sheen
    
    


    
    Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
    4,067 ratings
    Overall 4.4
  • The Home Front: Life in America During World War II

  • By: Audible Original
  • Narrated by: Martin Sheen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,067
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,684
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,668

[Contains some explicit content] Narrated by award-winning actor Martin Sheen, The Home Front: Life in America During World War II takes listeners into the lives of Americans at home who supported the war effort and sustained the country during wartime. The war brought immediate, life-changing shifts; from the rationing of butter, to an explosion of war-related jobs, to mixed-signals about the role of women in society. Feel what living in the United States was like for everyday people during this disruptive and uncertain period of American history in the newest Audible Original series. Martha Little is the Executive Producer. Dan Gediman is the Series Producer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent! But incessant breaks with credits along the way.

  • By Bradley Justice on 09-11-17

Well done, but a somewhat misleading title

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

I really enjoyed this, and Martin Sheen's narration is, as always, perfect.

I've only rated it 3 stars, however, because the title is somewhat misleading, and the content of this book is going to irritate some listeners. A better title would be "The Civil Rights Struggle During WW2".

Nearly every essay focuses on some aspect of social injustice on the American homefront, whether that be the treatment of Blacks, Hispanics (there's a large section on the Zoot Suit riots), and women. Their roles, their stories and their struggles are indeed all important parts of the WW2 homefront narrative, but time constraints mean the intense focus on these aspects of the homefront leaves little room for description of the overall American experience during the war.

For example, rationing and recycling drives get barely a mention, as do war bonds. We don't hear anything about what it was like to be a child of any race or sex, or how people coped with rationing. A section on the black market would have been fascinating, but all we know from this series is that there was one.

If you're already familiar with this period of our history, you'll probably enjoy the focused coverage on aspects of American home life that are not often discussed. If this is your first foray into this period, you may find yourself perplexed at the frequent focus on everything that was wrong with America from a civil rights perspective. This is more of a branding issue than a problem with the material itself.

  • Secondhand Time

  • The Last of the Soviets
  • By: Svetlana Alexievich, Bela Shayevich - translator
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 22 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing "a new kind of literary genre", describing her work as "a history of emotions - a history of the soul". Alexievich's distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Heart, Soul & Iron Fist Of Russia

  • By Sara on 02-22-17

Awful Narration. Switching to Kindle

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

Reviewed: 06-13-17

This is a book that really should have been narrated by a cast of Russian-English speakers. Instead, it features a cast of experienced American narrators, some of whom you will undoubtedly recognize if you regularly listen to audiobooks.

It doesn't work. The male cast and several of the females are acceptable, even if mis-cast because of their strong American accents. However, the atrocious abuse of American "creaky voice" and vowel shifting ("boss" for "bus", "bast" for "best", "ass" when pronouncing the letter "s", etc) by other female narrators has triggered my misophonia and I'm returning this and reverting to the Kindle version. It's a shame; I really wanted to enjoy this book as the oral history it is, but listening to several of the female narrators, especially Casandra Campbell, makes me want to stab icepicks into my ears.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful