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Bailey

EL LAGO, TX, United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 157
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  • 27
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  • Blood at the Root

  • A Racial Cleansing in America
  • By: Patrick Phillips
  • Narrated by: Patrick Phillips
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 176

National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth's tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and '80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth all white well into the 1990s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • when is white history month?

  • By Bailey on 03-06-18

when is white history month?

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

I just finished the book, "Blood at the Root - A Racial Cleansing in America" by Patrick Phillips. It's the history of events in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912.

In September of that year, a young and beautiful white woman was found brutally beaten and raped. A young black man was arrested, then lynched in the town square, based on the evidence that he lived nearby and had been seen in the area where the woman was found. Not satisfied with the lynching, 2 more teenagers were arrested and convicted and executed at a public hanging enjoyed by more than 5000 of Forsyth County's citizens who came for the day with their children and picnic baskets.

Not satisfied with the lynching and executions, the white citizens of Forsyth County set about a series of "night rides", shootings, burnings and bombings, intent on driving Forsyth County's 1100 black residents out of the county.

Not content with driving the blacks out, whites then quietly absorbed the land and property of the 1100 mostly farmers who had been forced to leave.

For the next several decades, this pattern of violence was repeated again and again whenever any unaware black person happened to wander into the county. In 1987, when a civil rights march was planned to remember the 75th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Forsyth County, white citizens once again erupted in a riot of violence and hatred.

Today, Forsyth County has a small black population, and larger Latino and Asian communities, and has become an affluent, peaceful suburb of Atlanta. In the town square there's still a statue of local Confederate hero and adamant white supremacist, Hiram Parks Bell. There's no memorial to the hundreds of poor blacks who were beaten, raped, burned, lynched, and driven out in the decades after Hiram Bell's war, no real memorial to the real history of the county.

And of course, this wasn't an isolated event. Similar racial cleansing took place all over the country. The pattern is always the same - a crime, a scapegoat, mob violence, expulsion, then finally, possession of land and property.

Last month I saw a meme in a Facebook post from a friend of a friend with the tagline "100% white, 100% proud". The text of the meme was the question, "when is white history month?"

White history month is every month. And I've got your history right here.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Redefining Reality

  • The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science
  • By: Steven Gimbel, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Steven Gimbel
  • Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,597
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,562

No subject is bigger than reality itself, and nothing is more challenging to understand, since what counts as reality is undergoing continual revision and has been for centuries. The quest to pin down what's real and what's illusory is both philosophical and scientific, a metaphysical search for ultimate reality that goes back to the ancient Greeks. For the last 400 years, this search has been increasingly guided by scientists, who create theories and test them in order to define and redefine reality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • mind = blown

  • By Bailey on 09-13-15

mind = blown

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

Reviewed: 09-13-15

What is reality? That's the subject of this series of 36 lectures. We think we know what reality is, but most people don't take the time to think about how popular paradigms color their world view. For instance, we all know that the universe is full of billions of galaxies. But 100 years ago, we all knew that the universe was basically just what you could see in the night sky. Before that we all knew that the universe was the sun, moon, 7 planets and a bunch of lights embedded in a crystalline sphere that encircled the earth.

Aristotle taught that an apple dropped to the ground because it was trying to find it's natural place - an apple does what an apple does. Newton taught that the apple drops because of the relationship between the apple and the earth, this relationship being defined by gravity. Now we teach that "things" are merely sensory illusions brought about by the interaction of various quantum fields.

When I was finishing graduate school and getting ready for the dreaded oral exam, I took two weeks and reread every one of my undergraduate textbooks, cover to cover. I remember thinking how much more sense it all made when you saw it all at once instead of having it parceled out over one or two semesters. That's what this course is like.

These lectures cover all of science, including the social sciences, and are without a doubt the best presentation of science I've ever read. There's not much here that I hadn't already been exposed to, but the lectures are so clear that it all makes much more sense. The lectures are full of simple, every day, and often humorous, illustrations of every aspect of science.

Also included is a little philosophy and the arts, as these subjects relate to reality. This is the first time I can truly say I understand what Descartes meant when he wrote "I think, therefore I am".

I wish that this course was required for every school student. The information is vast, but the presentation is simple enough that anyone can understand it. The course includes not only the hard sciences, but sociology and psychology. The chapter on behavioral science - and how it's used by politicians, pundits and advertisers to influence people is actually a little terrifying.

The course is 18 hours in Audible format - 30 minutes per lecture. If you have a 30 minute commute you can complete it in just 18 days, and you'll have an awesome understanding not only of the great sweep of human knowledge but how that knowledge shapes our perception of what we call "reality".

143 of 145 people found this review helpful

  • The Darwinian Revolution

  • By: Frederick Gregory, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Frederick Gregory
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103

Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species - the text that introduced the world to natural selection - is among a handful of books that have changed the world. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Now, in 24 absorbing lectures by an award-winning teacher, you'll learn the remarkable story of Darwin's ideas, how scientists and religious leaders reacted to them, and the sea change in human thought that resulted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best lecture ever

  • By Bailey on 07-11-15

Best lecture ever

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

Reviewed: 07-11-15

Book Review:

I just finished "The Darwinian Revolution", part of The Great Courses series, narrated by Professor Frederick Gregory. I really enjoyed this very in depth discussion. It wasn't just about Darwin's theory but its historical and scientific context and consequences. Prof. Gregory is one of the most enjoyable lecturers I've ever heard in an audio book.

Darwin's theory wasn't evolution - by the time Darwin published his famous book the idea of evolution had already become evident to many who had become aware of the new science of geology (which discovered the tremendous age of the earth) and the record left by fossils (which were just beginning to be understood as the remains of ancient creatures, not just fancy gewgaws left behind by God for man's bemusement). Just previous to this book I read another very good one on geology called "The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology" by Simon Winchester, another favorite of mine. I recommend it for a good overview of the beginnings of the science of geology.

No, Darwin's theory was the theory of natural selection, the first well reasoned explanation of a natural mechanism for the evolution of life.

The theory of natural selection was accepted reasonably well considering the science of the times. It had some problems. Where were the transitional fossils? How did small advantageous changes get established in a large population, rather than simply being subsumed back into it? But by far the theory's biggest problem, in the age of Victorian scientific progress, was that evolution by natural selection was purposeless - it had no goal. What good is progress if there is no worthy goal to progress towards?

Evolution by natural selection lost popularity after Darwin's death and reached its lowest point around the turn of the 20th century. Then scientific discovery gradually began to catch up with it. The fossil record became more and more complete and transitional forms were discovered. Microbiology began to understand the role of chromosomes in reproduction, and with the discovery of DNA, (and more importantly, the way DNA was able to replicate itself) a method for both the generation and preservation of random mutations became known.

And so natural selection once again became the favored mechanism for evolution.

Professor Gregory spends a few chapters addressing fundamentalism, creationism, and intelligent design, and like some other authors (I'm looking at you, Richard Dawkins) manages to put them in their proper historical and scientific context without being either condescending to their supporters, or insulting to the intelligence of the reader. He also discusses the two most well known mis-applications of natural selection, "social Darwinism" and eugenics.

All in all a very interesting read (listen). Professor Gregory's style is very engaging and manages to navigate through complicated scientific and cultural waters without getting lost in details, or becoming a boring drone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Gone to Texas

  • A History of the Lone Star State
  • By: Randolph B. Campbell
  • Narrated by: Jacob Sommer
  • Length: 28 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

Gone to Texas engagingly tells the story of the Lone Star State, from the arrival of humans in the Panhandle more than 10,000 years ago to the opening of the 21st Century. Focusing on the state's successive waves of immigrants, the audiobook offers an inclusive view of the vast array of Texans who, often in conflict with each other and always in a struggle with the land, created a history and an idea of Texas.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good history from year zero through about 1962

  • By Jim In Texas! on 03-24-14

exhaustive, and a little exhausting

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

Reviewed: 11-01-14

This is a long book, at almost 30 hours, and if you're like me and listen to your Audible books during your commute (and you live close to work) it takes a while to get through it. But I'm glad I did. Campbell tells the story of Texas from the arrival of the first settlers 10,000 years ago until the 21st century. What I like a lot about the book is that it tells the story of Texas from the point of view of each of its peoples, not just the American legends and history we were all taught in school (if you went to school in Texas).
For the Anglos, Texas was a great opportunity to acquire cheap and fertile land and become independent of whatever ills they left behind in the old United States, and after the Civil War, a place for southern refugees to escape the destruction of the south and start over. For Germans and Jews fleeing oppression and chaos in Europe, it offered an open landscape with few limitations. And later, opportunities for people from around the world.
For the Mexicans, it's is the story of losing a country to immigrants who, for the most part, had no interest in the language, flag, religion or customs of their newly adopted home. Mexicans were crowded out by sheer numbers, institutionalized discrimination and occasional violence. More recently Mexicans and other Hispanics have returned and will soon predominate in Texas once again.
For African Americans, the story of Texas begins with the forced relocation from home and family, as slave owners brought their slaves to Texas to grow cotton and other crops. Later came Jim Crow, the KKK, segregation and the battle for civil rights. The history of African Americans in Texas is not a pretty one.
For the native Americans the story of Texas is about dislocation, betrayal and annihilation, the end of a battle that had begun decades before Texas was even a destination.
The author shows us the rise of the myth of the cowboy, from its beginnings on Mexican haciendas to the glory days of the cattle drives. We learn the origins and history of the Texas Rangers (not the baseball team, although that's discussed as well) - the good as well as the bad. We learn the details of Mexican political history that led to the rise and fall of Santa Anna and the revolution. Of course the battles of the Texas Revolution are covered, as well as enough biography (good and bad) of each of the players to get a real feel for the personalities on all sides of the question of Texas independence.
It's especially interesting, as a 5th generation Texan, to hear the stories behind the men whose names cover the Texas map. Not just Austin and Houston, but Lubbock and Worth and Throckmorton and Rice and Navarro and on and on - all the place names I associate with my travels around the state.
I also enjoyed hearing the details of the political debates from the past 200 years. You'll recognize them as exactly the same as what you hear today in election ads.
My only real objection to the audio book is the reader. A book on Texas should be read by a Texan, someone who knows how to pronounce words like Mexia and Wichita, he even gets Clements wrong.
But if you can get past that, you'll find this a very interesting, complete and thought provoking history of all the millions of people who have gone to Texas.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Soldat

  • Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949
  • By: Siegfried Knappe, Ted Brusaw
  • Narrated by: John Wray
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553

A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An incredible true story

  • By Erik on 09-02-13

a soldier's diary

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

Reviewed: 08-31-14

Certainly one of the best books on WWII that I've read. It's much more a soldier's diary than "a shocking look inside Hitler's war machine", although there is inevitably some of that. It follows Knappe from the end of high school through the army's battles - Poland, France, Italy, USSR, the final days in Hitler's bunker and Berlin, and his capture and imprisonment by the Soviets for the 4 years following the war. Along the way we glimpse the European countryside and German gentile culture, family life, love and marriage, as well as disillusionment and disbelief at the tragedy and horrors inflicted both by, and on, Germany.

  • Buddhism for Beginners [Jack Kornfield]

  • By: Jack Kornfield
  • Narrated by: Jack Kornfield
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

Created specifically to address the questions and needs of first-time students, here is Buddhism's vast spiritual legacy, presented by one of America's leading meditation teachers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Might be difficult for true beginners...

  • By Anna on 07-13-09

a sage for our time

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

Reviewed: 03-25-13

Jack Kornfield is a blessing. I found him after listening to quite a bit of Alan Watts. I was immediately put off by his voice - rather like Mr. Rogers - but very quickly I came to love his quiet and gentle approach. This is the only book that I've ever started over as soon as I completed it. I imagine I'll listen to it a third time as well.

  • The Disappearing Spoon

  • And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,282

Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By James on 10-12-10

periodically clever

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

Reviewed: 03-25-13

I really enjoyed this book. It's one of those great books that riffs on a simple theme, in this case the periodic table, and pulls in stories from all over - science, history, trivia. The author loves his language a little too much for my taste in places, and is a little too clever at times, but I'd rather have a rich dessert than something plain. Sean Runnette does an admirable job most of the time, making me wince only a few times, like when he mispronounces "kludge", and occasionally his sentence fragments have the wrong emphasis, and so miss the point of the sentence, but again, I've got no major complaint. The one error in the book that I heard is when the author states that our "galaxy" has 9 planets, when he no doubt meant to say "solar system". The text is full of "Author's Note" asides which are enjoyable little detours and details.
If you like science books in the vein of Simon Winchester, for instance, you'll enjoy this book.