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Jaccred

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  • When Corruption Was King

  • How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down
  • By: Robert Cooley
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

This is the story of a Mob lawyer turned mole with a million-dollar contract on his head, a man who has clanged back and forth between sin and sainthood like a church bell clapper - a turbulent youth, a stint on Chicago's police force, law school, and then the inner sanctum of Chicago's leading mobsters and corrupt political officials. With wild abandon he chased crooked acquittals for the likes of Pat Marcy, an Al Capone protégé, who had become the Mob's key political operative.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I great read about Chicago and the mob

  • By Stephen A. Isaacs on 03-03-15

Bob Cooley, Ed Burke and more.

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

'You Can't Fight City Hall' - what Chicago parents teach their children. The Chicago Outfit was city government, criminal law attorneys, police, geographically organized crew members, courts, extortionists, public school officials, professional hitmen and the unions; it was monolithic. Robert Cooley was part of it, until he wasn't.

Johnny Heller's performance was outstanding. He captured the mood. The book tells the first time a hitman was convicted of murder in Chicago, thanks in large part to Cooley.

Just like now, in those days Chicagoans packed guns - even for mundane activities. Cooley carried guns his entire adult working life. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. No wonder they have so many shootings in Chicago.

Indirectly, Cooley makes clear the benefit of being an FBI agent in Chicago. There's plenty of work for FBI agents who locate to that city.



  • The Fighter's Mind

  • Inside the Mental Game
  • By: Sam Sheridan
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Techosky
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 399

To uncover the secrets of mental strength and success, Sam Sheridan interviewed dozens of the world's most fascinating and dangerous men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Magnificient Perspective

  • By Chase Chambers on 11-07-15

Contemplative and companiable individuals!

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

Reviewed: 01-13-19

If you're feeling down about something, this book will lift your spirits. Although the narrator mispronounces some names and a few common words, his performance captures the book's essence. Listeners get transported to a dimension where their brain hemispheres are united. You'll feel no pain on Sam Sheridan's journey and vision quest.

Nuances of hand-to-hand combat including entertainment angle are artfully discussed - countless moments of clarity, easily worth a credit.

He talks it out with famous fighters. Nothing comes easy - it's about the way one exists and respecting others.

  • Gridiron Genius

  • By: Michael Lombardi, Bill Belichick - foreword
  • Narrated by: Michael Lombardi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

Former NFL general manager and three-time Super Bowl-winner Michael Lombardi reveals what makes football organizations tick at the championship level. From personnel to practice to game-day decisions that win titles, Lombardi shares what he learned working with coaching legends Bill Walsh of the 49ers, Al Davis of the Raiders, and Bill Belichick of the Patriots, among others, during his three decades in football. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • please please hire a reader for this amazing book

  • By Christopher J. Burden on 10-10-18

Football of the mind

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

Michael Lombardi explains the mind game - it's breathtaking. He was on the New England Patriots coaching staff, was an executive with many NFL teams; here's his tell-all.

Despite television appearances, Lombardi's performance was passable, not excellent. Standards today for book narration are high, but the content carries this book, in my opinion.

It's about the machinations of head coaches, their professional courtesies, and how to sacrifice a pawn. Everybody wants a genius head coach; Gridiron Genius describes some consummate strategists.


  • Always in Fashion

  • From Clerk to CEO - Lessons for Success in Business and in Life
  • By: Mark Weber
  • Narrated by: Mark Weber
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Mark Weber is the ultimate fashion insider. Starting his career as a clerk in a clothing store, he worked his way up to the big time in New York City, becoming CEO of Phillips-VanHeusen (PVH)/Calvin Klein and then CEO of LVMH Inc. (USA) (Louis Vuitton/ Moet Hennessy) and chairman and CEO of Donna Karan International. In Always in Fashion, Weber walks us through his fascinating career, providing an inspirational and instructional story of his rise to the top, his career disappointments, and his incredible journey back to the top of the fashion industry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Being serious about one's career.

  • By Jaccred on 01-07-19

Being serious about one's career.

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

We don't all know how to promote ourselves in life. Mark Weber knows what he's doing, and he's as serious as it gets. This means focusing on the hard things and doing what is difficult, and making others aware of it all the time.

Weber is the guy you'd want as CEO, because he's going to enforce discipline throughout the entire organization. You don't have to like him. He's a martinet and a peacock. I think he'd be likable if he had more humility.

Weber seems to have never wasted time in his career. It's not in his DNA to get too comfortable with a situation. There's a lot to learn from this man, and I liked his narration. Tough guys often narrate their own books, and he's a tough guy.

  • I Will Find You

  • Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime
  • By: Joe Kenda
  • Narrated by: Joe Kenda
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,713
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,701

Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerizing you won't be able to turn it off.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Kenda! Veryv

  • By Somewhat crazy dog lady on 09-27-17

Kenda's voice - he could be a successful narrator.

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

Joe Kenda and his staff, including all the detectives and administrative people, had an average of 16 homicide investigations per year over his career. Imagine having to read 16 homicide files each year and then retiring on a pension rather than being able to stay in the job until you're no longer able to work. These are expensive investigations, but Kenda has a knack for spotting liars, solving many expeditiously.

A lot of people are able to work until they're too old or sick to continue. But Kenda had to take his pension after about 23 years of work, because he lost his temper in one incident at the police station and felt the need to resign. Again, he and his staff had an average of 16 homicide files to work at each year, and they were probably all doomed to pension out. In some ways this changes people, but more importantly this defines people.

His sardonic wit comes from the question about why some people commit murder instead of doing like Kenda did with his life, raising a family and being in a secure situation in society. One can learn a lot listening to this book. What makes the book good isn't the stories in my opinion. Many books have better stories. It's his voice. He has one of the best voices around, and narration is a very difficult thing to do for most people, but Kenda has the gift.

Kenda's voice is relaxed in the sense that Morgan Freeman's is. It sounds like the voice of wisdom. It's easy to listen to, and don't we all wish we had this gift? Joe Kenda says he doesn't like to read a script, but I think he could have a raging successful career as a book narrator.

  • Reluctant Warrior

  • A Marine's True Story of Duty and Heroism in Vietnam
  • By: Michael C. Hodgins
  • Narrated by: John McLain
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

By the spring of 1970, American troops were ordered to pull out of Vietnam. The Marines of First Reconnaissance Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Wild Bill" Drumright, were assigned to cover the withdrawal of First Marine Division. The Marines of First RECON Bn operated in teams of six or seven men. Heavily armed, the teams fought a multitude of bitter engagements with a numerically superior and increasingly aggressive enemy. Michael C. Hodgins served in Company C, First RECON Bn (Rein), as a platoon leader. In powerful, graphic prose, he chronicles his experience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gem hidden in plain sight

  • By Jaccred on 01-02-19

Gem hidden in plain sight

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

This book holds an important key for understanding Marine Force Recon in the Vietnam War. It was copyrighted in 1996, sold online in 1997, and released in audio in 2018. I spent a lot of time relistening to certain chapters, amazed at how much there was to glean from the material.

Lieutenant Hodgins played a critical role in covering the pullback of American forces, and he saved a lot of American lives through his leadership. This is an authoritative account of military actions and organization in highly contested areas including behind enemy lines. What provides the hook that keeps the listener on edge is that Lt. Hodgins was a real serious commander by the time he took charge of a fort on Hill 425. He was the highest authority in most respects at the fort. His diverse combat experience shaped him to become a tactical wizard in that particular battle space. It helped that he operated with the full support of Lieutenant Colonel "Wild Bill" Drumright.

Hodgins was a mustang, as he had served for years as an enlisted Marine. He wasn't fond of chickens--t and harassment of the grunts, because he lived through it and wanted something better. He led the normal patrols that ran into booby traps and ambushes. He got mortared. He later was part of 6 or 7 man recon teams that were inserted into enemy territory and extracted up to six days later. He liked being on the more active side versus being in what he described as the reactive side, and I think he was completely forthcoming on the differences.

I thought the book was plenty suspenseful and harrowing when Hodgins went on recon patrols behind enemy lines. But later when he took charge of the fort on Hill 425, there was real drama with many others who were in numerous roles. He performed intelligence operations and achieved superior understanding of what the enemy was doing within his area of operation. Through force of that intangible asset called leadership, he got the cooperation of others and directed their energies to thwarting the enemy's plans. He managed this despite the fact that everybody on Hill 425 knew the U.S. was pulling out of Vietnam.

  • We Few

  • US Special Forces in Vietnam
  • By: Nick Brokhausen
  • Narrated by: George Spelvin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 95

A Green Beret's gripping memoir of American Special Forces in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.    

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Is there such a thing as funny war genre ??

  • By dax on 11-04-18

Great SOG memoir, possibly the only one in audio.

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

One thing SOG biographers don't do is put content in audio format. The Secret Wars in Southeast Asia are officially still secret. Nick Brokhausen put it in audio. I think he's the only one to do this.

When you get into SOG memoirs, you feel things differently. It's about taking the fight to the enemy in ways not acknowledged by our government. The only thing like SOG memoirs is Marine Recon memoirs, particularly Silent Heroes, by Rick Greenberg. SEAL memoirs are great too and there are many good ones. I believe there's a pent up demand for SOG memoirs and Marine Recon memoirs.

Brokhausen transmits some interesting emotions, and his book made me think of Goodbye Darkness, by William Manchester. You can get Goodbye Darkness for free using Audible Channels. Manchester's Marines unit was filled with smart rejects. Brokhausen and his SOG buddies existed outside the regular Army and were always at odds with military police. They were half Army commandos and half career criminals in terms of their approach.

It's not a perfect book the way Silent Heroes is, in my opinion. Where Brokhausen messes up is in his reconstruction of conversations. To be blunt, he's consistently long-winded. Listeners should hang in there and understand it's a flaw of an otherwise excellent book. Brokhausen communicates what he experienced and what SOG was, and he's so good at it that I overlooked the shortcoming mentioned above. You see, I don't even talk about the book's shortcoming.

One understands after listening to this seminal memoir why it's never easy for a country to have special operators. This class of soldier is highly creative and can't fit in with standard approaches. Further, they give military police quit a lot of headaches and everybody's scared of them. They're vicious almost beyond description. They can only be controlled by their own kind. Nobody wants them with open arms except if there's a war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • American Prison

  • A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment
  • By: Shane Bauer
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey, Shane Bauer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dark, entertaining, and informative.

  • By Mike on 11-20-18

It's a scary book.

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

Shane Bauer was brutally honest - that's why I recommend the book. He describes prison conditions and how it shaped his character in 4 short months. Prison immersion changes people, believe it.

Government allows private prisons because they're cheaper, plain and simple. By the end of the book, one understands this forward and backward.

The book gives a window into how things actually work in private prisons, the cold logic that prevails while most of the rest falls off. It's difficult for the mind to reconcile such differences, but one learns to accept them.

The scary thing is how the historical sections of the book don't support any reason to hope things are going to get better.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Boys in the Trees

  • A Memoir
  • By: Carly Simon
  • Narrated by: Carly Simon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,048
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 964
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965

Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster; her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters, performing folk songs with her sister, Lucy, in Greenwich Village; to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the number-one song "You're So Vain".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gorgeous and Sad

  • By Adele on 11-30-15

Learned a lot, was entertained, that's all.

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

At times, especially early in the book, I liked her a lot. Other times, I disliked her. Early in the book when she was so likable, I listened to her music and paid more attention to the lyrics.

Her narration was outstanding, even during the times I disliked her. And I think it was brilliant to add bits of her music throughout, really added a lot. I bet other singer songwriters will take note and imitate.

I learned a lot, and I'm grateful for that. She has a way of cutting through nonsense and exposing the truth about all sorts of things. One can learn a lot from Carly Simon without actually liking her. I kind of like her, yet something important is missing.

It's just a shame her marriage to James Taylor ended.

  • Valley Forge

  • By: Bob Drury, Tom Clavin
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Valley Forge is the riveting true story of an underdog US toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents - and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation - the New York Times best-selling authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin provide a breathtaking account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moving story about saving the Revolution

  • By Jaccred on 11-15-18

Moving story about saving the Revolution

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

Valley Forge is known for its deprivations in the winter of 1777 to 1778. What about the characters drawn to it, people with odd talents and motivations? You'd almost think the VIP cast members provided entertainment value for the troops, if not for starvation, disease and suffering. And then Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben shows up with a surreal entry. Guarantee it - you'll be hooked, no matter you've been warned.

Von Steuben, a disgraced, former Prussian military officer, known to be homosexual, got a resume makeover by top revolutionary officials in the know. He was uniquely capable of making George Washington smile and laugh, and besides, his military talents were critical and nobody else in the Continental Army had them.

This book shows how the tide was turned - when it happened and why. King George III was forced into a change of mission and strategy. Interestingly, the local population around Valley Forge were the first ones to display a change in sentiment. This book breaks new ground, and the narrator turned in an outstanding performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful