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Alexander

  • 27
  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 117
  • ratings
  • Heavy

  • By: Kiese Laymon
  • Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,012
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,873
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,866

Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the state of American society and on his experiences with abuse, which conjure conflicted feelings of shame, joy, confusion, and humiliation. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of growing up in a nation wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we’ve been. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Be prepared

  • By Amy Bannor on 10-30-18

Heavy and introspective

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

Reviewed: 02-11-19

As I was learning about the author, appreciating his story I began to think about the different moments that resonated with me. The moments of racism that all black and some people of color in America can relate with. I appreciated the authors reflective thinking and style. If I could compare his style to another author it would be Coates but not there just yet. Coated uses a lot more history as he writes and I live history. I also appreciated the authors honesty and window into his life. It was so courageous to discuss his struggles with weight, racism, lies, women, sex, family, gambling, abuse, violence and so much more. I had no clue who the author was before I read this book. I picked it up after seeing it win book of the year awards. Well deserved and glad I spent the time to listen.

  • The Coddling of the American Mind

  • How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
  • By: Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,731

The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enrich Understanding

  • By Lee Gilner on 09-22-18

A necessary perspective and a must read for parents and educators.

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

This is a book about wisdom and its opposite,” write Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in The Coddling of the American Mind. “It is a book about three psychological principles and about what happens to young people when parents and educators—acting with the best of intentions—implement policies that are inconsistent with those principles. The Coddling of the American Mind grew out of the increased support among college students for censorship of controversial opinions, a trend that Lukianoff began to notice in the fall of 2013.
Lukianoff and Haidt unfold their argument in three parts: Part I, “Three Bad Ideas,” looks at “three Great Untruths”:

1. The Untruth of Fragility: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker
2. The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always Trust Your Feelings
3. The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life Is a Battled Between Good People and Evil People

Taken together, these untruths result in “a culture of safetyism” on campus, whereby students must be protected from opposing opinions that might “harm” their “safety,” no longer defined as physical safety but now as emotional safety too.

The results of this culture of safetyism, ironically enough, are intimidation and violence on the one hand and witch hunts on the other, as the Lukianoff and Haidt argue in Part II, “Bad Ideas in Action.”
Part III, “How Did We Get Here?,” Lukianoff and Haidt identify “six interacting explanatory threads”:

rising political polarization and cross-part animosity; rising levels of teen anxiety and depression; changes in parenting practices; the decline of free play; the growth of campus bureaucracy; and a rising passion for justice in response to major national events, combined with changing ideas about what justice requires.
This book really resonated with me as an educator in a mostly affluent but mixed income school. Coddling is hurting the quality of education and college readiness. Despite agreeing with most of the contents of this book. I am concerned about how the arguments made in regards to micro aggression might be used by people of privilege to dismiss the hurt and stress they cause minorities on a daily basis. Micro aggressive words or actions do not cause physical harm but do impact peoples’ health, stress levels and blood pressure. It’s a burden people of color endeavor through on their journey to pursuit happiness. I thought this section of the book could’ve been handled with more care and well-rounded perspective.

  • Frederick Douglass

  • Prophet of Freedom
  • By: David W. Blight
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 36 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365

As a young man, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence, he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best of Everything Audible

  • By JB on 11-10-18

Disrespectful To History and Douglass

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I struggled with this book and at times wanted to stop reading. David Blight built much of his career off the work of Frederick Douglass and I thought he could’ve shown more respect to Douglass and to the discipline of history in his account. I was troubled by the countless examples of speculating the unknown which is not what historians do. I was troubled by the author or historian’s attempts to psychoanalyze a man he does not know. I was troubled by the way he disrespected Douglass’ marriage by sensationalizing the idea of infidelity that remains unfounded and treating it as if fact. That might be ethical for Fox News but not for a historian that claims to have a reputation such as Blight. Historians make claims on facts and there were no facts to make claims such as the ones made in regards to Douglass marriage. There was speculation about Douglass’ marriage largely rooted in the racism of the time. I’m troubled to see that this historian validated those with as much time and frequency as takes place in the book. I did, however, appreciate Douglass’ words and truthfully this is where the book shines. I wish the author had written more respectfully spending more time on his contributions to American history and less time on his family financial struggles and the love between himself and his wife. Blight also doesn’t do enough to provide context for the reader why it was reasonable for a black man despite his notoriety to struggle financially in a country as racist as America. Douglass and his family deserved that respect.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Impending Crisis

  • America Before the Civil War: 1848-1861
  • By: David M. Potter, Don E. Fehrenbacher
  • Narrated by: Eric Martin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176

David M. Potter's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Impending Crisis is the definitive history of antebellum America. Potter's sweeping epic masterfully charts the chaotic forces that climaxed with the outbreak of the Civil War: westward expansion, the divisive issue of slavery, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's uprising, the ascension of Abraham Lincoln, and the drama of Southern secession.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great History Book

  • By Jose on 10-07-17

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

Excellent book that covers one of the most transformative times in American history. Very well research with a command of previous historians work around the cause of civil war. New insight and a real joy for lovers of American history. I particularly enjoyed the political history.

  • What Hath God Wrought

  • The Transformation of America, 1815 - 1848
  • By: Daniel Walker Howe
  • Narrated by: Patrick Cullen
  • Length: 32 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 745
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 740

In this addition to the esteemed Oxford History of the United States series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the Battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era of revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated America's expansion and prompted the rise of mass political parties.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic content, faulty narration

  • By Ary Shalizi on 04-12-11

Great book but would recommend text

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

I really enjoyed this book. It was very well researched and explained the transformation of the country over a 30 year period of time. Changes occurred from the policies of government but also equally as much from everyday Americans. It really does a nice job of providing time and evidence towards describing how social and religious movements changed the country from women’s rights to abolitionism to religious awakenings. I also appreciated that the author uses evidence and trust the reader to draw conclusions. Not much editorializing and telling readers how to interpret evidence or conclusions about Andrew Jackson’s presidency and the extent to which it was democratic. I valued most the market revolution and the influence of trains and technology on shipping goods and service, improving communication and developing a continental media. The evolution of technology also contributed to national political parties. I bought a hard copy of the book because the audible version is dense. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any historian wishing to develop a greater understanding of these essential years in American history and the origins of our modern industrialized economy and society.

  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 85,714
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 78,014
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 77,569

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

Good book but not great

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

A well-written book that vividly describes Michelle’s Chicago days that contribute to the women she is today. Her story before Obama I found to be the most reflective and seemingly sincere part of the the book. However, I felt like the years spent in the white hours provided no insight of real depth, deep thought and critical reflection. I purchase the book hoping to hear a closer narrative into the back stories of Obama’s administration. However, there really was not the depth of thought or any insight provided to a reader that was familiar with the headlines of the Obama years. I love Michelle Obama and appreciated the families class, grace and intelligence but this book didn’t deliver for me an insight into the White House any more than the depth provided by the news.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stamped from the Beginning

  • The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
  • By: Ibram X. Kendi
  • Narrated by: Christopher Dontrell Piper
  • Length: 19 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 723
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 647

Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America - more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book, tiring narration.

  • By Jan on 06-21-17

One of the most Engaging Writers In History

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

From my title, it’s clear that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I came upon it after a recommendation from a colleague and was thankful I followed advice. Very well researched, engagingly written and very insightful. I didn’t know Benjamin Banneker had a white grandmother despite misogyny being very illegal between a black man and white women in the 18th century. I found the time before the 1960s to be the most well-research and convincing of the arguments made. I enjoyed the framing of assimilationist, segregationist, and anti-racist. Anti-racist, in short, are people that accept people for who they are and do not seek to measure everyone’s worth by how closely they mirror white middle-class mores. I struggled to accept his closing arguments. Assimilationist definitely has some self- reflection to consider about their ideas on how to achieve a genuine anti-racist society. However, the author shouldn’t be so narrow in his analysis about this point because it’s not an all or nothing situation. Assimilationist won’t end racism overnight but assimilationism is the best way to slowly progress towards ending racism. Most whites are not anti-racist as he would describe it. And Because they have the privilege to not practice or know about assimilationist theory, they can decide not to participate if not on their terms and with concepts they can accept. Therefore assimilationist has been and most likely will be the best way to take steps to a less racist society. I’m not sure he was trying to persuade the reader to that point or just expressing how he felt personally about anti-racist advocacy.

  • Unhinged

  • An Insider's Account of the Trump White House
  • By: Omarosa Manigault Newman
  • Narrated by: Omarosa Manigault Newman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,031
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,802

Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned 15 years - through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing We Didn't Already Know

  • By Yvonne Lowery on 09-11-18

An Opportunist Unhinged

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

I never cared for Omarosa before this book and after reading, the sentiment remains the same. However, there are always truths within the lies. I’ve read every “tell all” book about the trump White House shuffling through and attempting to find truth and commonality amongst the lies. She is not the first to mention Trumps mental health and his raging behavior. What I seriously doubt is that she was there to help the “black community “ as if it’s monolithic. What a joke! She presents as this kind women that did not have disingenuous motives. She uses people to get what she wants and she used my time to get my dime. At least the book was decently written.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • American Revolutions

  • A Continental History, 1750-1804
  • By: Alan Taylor
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 18 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189

The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the ideal framework for a democratic, prosperous nation. Alan Taylor, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history of the nation's founding. Rising out of the continental rivalries of European empires and their native allies, Taylor's Revolution builds like a ground fire overspreading Britain's mainland colonies, fueled by local conditions, destructive, hard to quell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book on the American Revolution that I have read

  • By Peter Stephens on 11-16-16

Through and well-written account

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

My favorite book on the revolution and there are many. This book was thorough in that it covered battles, social history, indigenous relations and conflict, women’s roles, the place of African-Americans in the revolution and constitution construction and arguments. Great book

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 116,006
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 107,389
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 106,872

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting in the same way a fiction book can be

  • By Paul on 12-17-18

Incredible story

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I really enjoyed this book and chose it from a recommendation From my friend. Let me first say that I am not a huge fan of Trevor Noah however I was captivated by his story of courage and struggle. I heard they’re making this into a movie as well which would interesting. I also found it interesting to hear more about apartheid and how similarly different it seems from racism in America. Great story and story telling.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful