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David Ewing

Clayton, CA, United States
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 223
  • helpful votes
  • 60
  • ratings
  • Decision Points

  • By: George W. Bush
  • Narrated by: George W. Bush
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 922

In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings listeners inside the Texas governor's mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America's most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for numerous historic and controversial decisions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book!

  • By Dedrea on 11-24-10

Important, but I just didn't feel it.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-11

I don't think it's fair to write a review of this book without disclosing a few tidbits of my own attitude to this polarizing President. I supported Bush reluctantly and with some misgiving, and I was never an enthusiastic or a rabid supporter.

Listening to this book, President Bush focused on his key decisions, not his life. I have to say that while I listened to his arguments and found them to be well reasoned and logical I kept asking myself, "So do you really believe it? Do you feel it?" I just didn't feel like Bush spoke from a point of absolute conviction. I kept thinking while I listened, "He seems like the MBA president." Strong on theory, but short on depth or conviction. It was an interesting experience. I am grateful that he wrote the book and read it straight himself.

If you hate Bush, you might find some peace listening to his thoughtfulness - no one insists that you ought to agree with him - but hearing his side will perhaps leave you with a belief that it wasn't a huge conspiracy. If you love Bush, I think you will enjoy this book too - his arguments are well reasoned and you have the right to be proud of the president. We'll see how history judges him and I think he'll do well.

Have fun.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Pacific

  • Hell Was an Ocean Away
  • By: Hugh Ambrose
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 23 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314

In this companion to the HBO miniseries - executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman - Hugh Ambrose reveals the intertwined odysseys of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier pilot during World War II. Between America's retreat from China in late November 1941 and the moment General MacArthur's airplane touched down on the Japanese mainland in August of 1945, five men connected by happenstance fought the key battles of the war against Japan.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Big let down

  • By Howard on 03-28-10

So Vivid It Left Me Breathless

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-11

In the forward the author makes it clear that this book has a different approach from other approaches to narrating history. This is not a comprehensive book about the war in the Pacific in its entirety. Nor is it a detailed account of a particular battle. It’s not the experience of one person. Instead it is the intertwined story of five men – collectively they experienced many of the war’s vast trials.

I found the narration to be clear and straightforward. It does not need a great deal of inflection – the writing is so vivid it stands on its own. In part one I found myself breathing hard as I listened to what it was like to be a dive bomber pilot rolling into a seventy degree dive raining down on a Japanese carrier at the battle of Midway. I felt revolted at the recount of enduring a Japanese POW camp on The Philippians. When I heard the detailed incredible struggle of John Basalone’s machine gun battle on Guadalcanal I was speechless. It just keeps going on and on – I was amazed.

A few warnings will make sure you enjoy this book. First, I did initially find it confusing when the narrator switches from story to story. I relaxed and told myself the confusion was part of my own vicarious experience. About one third of the way through I was familiar enough with the stories to make that issue go away. Second, the stories all start out with very great detail about some of the things you might not consider essential, but can be fascinating. Examples include: How do carrier pilots find their way back to the carrier? When firing a Browning water-cooled machine gun, fire in bursts, not a stream – the barrel will overheat. If you listen carefully, you really have a good grasp on what happens later.
I’ve read (listened) to a lot of books about history and conflict.

The approach taken in this book is fresh and enjoyable. The stories are important. The stories of these men need to be recounted and from many different angles. We ought never forget.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Easy Company Soldier

  • The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from WW II's 'Band of Brothers'
  • By: Don Malarkey, Bob Welch
  • Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290

Sgt. Don Malarkey takes us not only into the battles fought from Normandy to Germany, but into the heart and mind of a soldier who beat the odds to become an elite paratrooper and lost his best friend during the nightmarish engagement at Bastogne. Drafted in 1942, Malarkey arrived at Toccoa Camp in Georgia and was one of six soldiers who earned their Eagle wings and went to England in 1943 to provide ground cover for the largest amphibious military attack in history: Operation Overlord.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid American Greatness

  • By David Ewing on 09-28-10

Solid American Greatness

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-28-10

I've read through nearly all the materials surrounding Easy Company and this account is fantastic for fellow enthusiasts as well as people new to the story of this remarkable company. Malarkey and Welch make sure they explain everything they encountered as if the user has NOT seen the HBO miniseries or read other books, but there is also a great deal of the personal stories and perspectives of Don Malarkey that make it a valuable point of view for those that had read many of the other memoirs. Lloyd does a great job reading the story with expression and clarity. Malarkey and Welch begin the recount at a dramatic moment - in the frozen woods near Bastone and in riveting detail, describe the harsh conditions of life on the front line. Then they backtrack to the beginning of Malarkey's life and provide a colorful view into prewar America on the rural west coast (Oregon). From there the story progresses linearly through the prewar years, the attack on Pearl Harbor, basic training, crossing the pond, life in the UK, D-Day, Market Garden, Bastone, The Eagles Nest, the end of the war and post war life. What you come away with is a sense of awe about the WWII generation and the men that fought desperately, won and got on with their lives. I really wish I could meet Don Malarkey, but given I probably will not, this was an invaluable substitute and I am so glad I listened to it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • A Journey

  • My Political Life
  • By: Tony Blair
  • Narrated by: Tony Blair
  • Length: 16 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

This is Tony Blair’s firsthand account of his years in office and beyond. Here he describes for the first time his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death to the war on terror. He reveals the decisions necessary to reinvent his party, the relationships with colleagues including Gordon Brown, the negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services in Britain since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History can only ever be accepted judgments

  • By W. J. Young on 09-14-10

Unlike anything I've ever heard - I want more!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-28-10

In the opening chapter of this book, I immediately realized this book was going to be an entirely different experience. Hearing Tony Blair read aloud about just how starkly (and secretly) terrified he was upon winning his initial landslide election was honest and thrilling. When he describes his initial meeting with the queen (‘You are my tenth prime minister. Winston Churchill was my first’) you can’t help but grin as you gain the vicarious feeling of what it must have been like to assume the reins of power.

As the book unfolds, Blair does not lose his way. He continues to articulate both the amusing side of life as a world leader (The time his son got drunk and was arrested on the eve of his big speech on antisocial behavior) as well as articulate in clear detail his controversial and visionary decisions (Why Iraq? Why Afghanistan? How did New Labor come to be?) I’ve never heard of any other case where a world leader took the time to give you such a person tour of their time in power.

By the end of the book, I came away with a few confident conclusions. 1) Tony Blair is a deep and nuanced thinker, open to new ideas and able to clearly formulate a vision for leadership in the 21st century. 2) If you think you have all the answers on what ought to have been done over the last 10 years, it is a bit trickier than you might imagine. 3) Tony Blair is on my top 10 list of people I’d love to have a beer with and knowing that is not likely to happen I was so glad I listened to this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Operation Mincemeat

  • How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,030
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632

As plans got under way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in June 1943, British counter-intelligence agent Ewen Montagu masterminded a scheme to mislead the Germans into thinking the next landing would occur in Greece. This extraordinary operation called for a dead body, dressed as a Royal Marine officer and carrying false information about a pending Allied invasion of Greece, to wash up on a Spanish shore near the town of a known Nazi agent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than the movie

  • By Jack M on 06-23-10

I listened to it twice

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-30-10

After "Agent Zigzag" I became a Ben Macintye fan. He does not disappoint in the next foray into the world of deception and espionage. This tale has a riveting amount of characters, threads and plot elements that all converge in the most fantastic of ways. When I took a second listen, I caught things that I missed the first time. The entire story falls into the camp of "You just can't make this stuff up." It was a rewarding and satisfactory read all around.

Other reviews really hammered John Lee for doing his voices with some bad accents and I think the other reviewers were a bit harsh. He sounded ok to me and as an American, I WISH, I sounded like the American accept Lee gives his American generals.

If you are already familiar with the story of "The man who never was" (I was not) you can still look forward to new insights and revelations as Macintyre is the first to gain access to the private papers of Agent Montague. Who was the man who never was? The answer awaits you in this audio book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Fooled by Randomness

  • The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,625
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,614

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent and Worthwhile Book

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-15-13

Changed my outlook on life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-10

As the title suggests, this book will show you how easily our minds can be tricked into believing there is a cause->effect relationship where in many cases, randomness is the real cause. Using many colorful examples for every day situations as well as from examples in money and investing, you will go on a mental adventure that will bust illusions and stimulate your critical thinking muscles. When you're done you might not ever look at the world the same way again. I don't.

I've spent the first 12 years of my career doing everything this book rails against and I've come to one empirical conclusion - Nassim Taleb is correct.

Have fun.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Inside the Oval Office
    The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        William Doyle
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Edward Lewis
    
    


    
    Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
    12 ratings
    Overall 3.7
  • Inside the Oval Office

  • The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton
  • By: William Doyle
  • Narrated by: Edward Lewis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

In 1940, inventor J. Ripley Kiel was taken by Secret Service men to the Oval Office, where he planted a microphone in FDR's desk lamp and connected it to an experimental sound recording machine. Since that day, almost every president has found some use for recording. The tapes and transcripts left behind are a cockpit voice recorder of the presidency, time capsules from crucial moments in American history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally, the answer to my question is here!

  • By David Ewing on 08-07-09

Finally, the answer to my question is here!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-09

If you've ever wondered, 'Gee, what the heck does a President do all day?' then this book is for you.

I've always been curious about the day-to-day executive life of being President. William Doyle does a magnificent job of presenting the different work/life balances for all the dramatically different men who have held this seat of power. For anyone that wants to know more about management, leadership, complexity in the context of real-life history, this book is for you. If you don't know much about the 20th Century Presidents, you'll get a good digest, and for those that are fluent with the significant events of these presidents you won't get too bogged down waiting for the verbatim conversations.

Edward Lewis does a superb job of clearly narrating the transcripts in a natural way that still conveys the different voices involved in each dialog. The quality is great.

This is a really informative, funny and colorful listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Outliers

  • The Story of Success
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,177
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,155

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" - the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating (if not an outlier)

  • By KHarrang on 11-21-08

First rate soft science

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-09

I've read Gladwell's prior books and this one lives up to the other two. Read by Gladwell himself, he adds a clarity and a richness to the text.

As for the ideas presented in the book, Gladwell makes a strong and compelling case for the power of our environment/culture to shape us. However, I find his observations more of a curiosity as his analysis is anecdotal, personal and always entertaining.

To really complete his destruction of the heroic individual he'd need to explain those that squander lucky opportunity and the inevitability of chance encounters seized by enterprising individuals. Western individualism will survive Gladwell and yet it can be enhanced by his observation.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • METAtropolis

  • By: Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
  • Narrated by: Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,750
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 955
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 970

Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating stories

  • By Karen on 11-08-13

Not as original as I hoped

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-08

When I read about this project and listened to the editors preface I thought I was in for a very imaginative and creative work. While this isn't a terrible book, it's not that creative.

I prefer Science Fiction that is a metaphor for a insight into the human condition. Here I felt was science fiction as a metaphor for the collective authors' current day political view points. It got a bit tiresome and was repetitive. Because this book makes statements on so many current day events, it will probably not be as interesting in say, two or three years.

The brightest point of the book are the readers. All your favorites are here and they do not disappoint. As for the stories themselves, they are of varying quality, but on the whole B- in average.

If your choice of books is between this one and one that you're very excited about, choose the other. If you are just looking for something that might be a solid base hit, this book will meet your expectations.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Economics in One Lesson

  • By: Henry Hazlitt
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,836
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,287

Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New to Economics? Start here!

  • By Ferg Merkl on 10-12-07

Should be required reading for all voters

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-08

I LOVED this book. It was clear and easy to follow. Most of all, it was so compelling and the logic was so sound. Too often we ignore sound economic wisdom in the pursuit of small gain. The results are all to predictable. (Can you say financial crisis?) Do yourself a favor and enjoy this quick listen. You will be so much wiser as a result.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful