LISTENER

Market Maven

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 33
  • helpful votes
  • 50
  • ratings
  • The Johnstown Flood

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,896
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,209

At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel

  • By Susan K Donley on 06-17-05

Amazing story, very well told.

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

I have relatives that both survived and did not survive the Johnstown flood. My great-great grandfather is mentioned often in the book. Of course I heard stories of the flood when visiting Johnstown as a young boy. But this book details the events so well. I am a big fan of David McCullough, and he is at his best in this book. He has a great way of weaving a story with facts and atmosphere. He brought what my relatives endured to life. A great read for anyone.

  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,026
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,956

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One, and the White House residence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely Depressing...

  • By Sena on 09-11-18

Great reporting on inner workings of White House

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

Woodward's reporting is top notch. He gets you inside the Trump White House, and focuses on events not just tweets. So much has happened in the first year and half which he details, North Korea, Mueller, etc. There is clearly an anti-Trump bias here, but one can overlook it because Woodward sticks to the facts. One negative is that there is very little about Trump himself, what motivates him, his goals, etc. It is mostly other people's opinions of Trump. People like Bannon, Priebus, Dowd. But still worth a read.

  • The Wright Brothers

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: David McCullough
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,347

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story behind the story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story but narration is a little boring

  • By Vince on 08-20-15

Excellent story of the first men to fly.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

I love David McCullough's work, but thought the Wright Brothers might be boring. I was wrong. This is really an incredible story of innovation. It is amazing that no one did it before them. I was surprised to learn that much depended on their ability to fly the plane as the plane itself. Also, this was a very dangerous undertaking. They were an interesting family, very close. Neither brother married. And to think this occurred just over 100 years ago. And now look at the world. Perhaps the most game-changing invention ever.

  • Leonardo da Vinci

  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Alfred Molina
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,386
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,752
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,704

Leonardo da Vinci created the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and engineering. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish the sample was not from the preface!

  • By Kristopher S. on 11-13-17

Extraordinary life, ordinary retelling.

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

This is a decent effort in covering the life of one of the interesting human's ever to inhabit our planet. I am not a huge fan of Walter Isaacson based on his Steve Jobs book, which I thought was shallow. This does better, however, but the author still writes more like a Power Point presentation, hitting key generalizations over and over again. For example, we hear that Da Vinci did not like borders in paintings, that he combined nature and the human being in all his work many times. It is a bit overdone. And how many times do we have to hear that he was curious as to the woodpecker's tongue? However, to be fair, this is a good chronicle of Leonardo's life. And Isaacson does a really outstanding job of describing his artwork, in detail, making it come alive. It is worth a read if you are curious about Leonardo.

  • The House of Morgan

  • An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 34 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,305

A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P.Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chernow's first book as good as his later ones

  • By S. Yates on 06-01-17

Excellent history of American and British finance

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

This book covers several generations of the House of Morgan, right up to the recent past. Ron Chernow does an excellent job of telling the story starting with J.P. Morgan's father, right to the Wall St. crash of 1987. It is a tutorial on the development of high finance in the world we know. I did not realize how important this bank was to world governments throughout the 20th century. And the different characters, even if you have not heard of them, have interesting lives and personalities. Chernow always does a great job. This was his first major book I believe.

  • Principles

  • Life and Work
  • By: Ray Dalio
  • Narrated by: Ray Dalio, Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,885
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,833

Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past 40 years to create unique results in both life and business - and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful but repetitive

  • By Belle Ho on 11-16-17

Two-thirds full.

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

Reviewed: 10-14-17

I am a fan of Ray Dalio, the legendary hedge-fund manager. This book has three sections: a bio of Ray, followed by his "life principles," followed then by his "work principles." I found his life story to be very interesting indeed. And his "life principles" were excellent, especially the notion of "radical transparency" and "radical openness" and honestly confronting ones problems. So far great. But I got really bogged down in the third section, his "work principles." This seemed more like a corporate human resources manual than anything one could use in life. Even if you were a CEO or department head of a several hundred person organization, his principles often seemed like cliches. So much depends on what people are charged to do, but he has very little of that. I wish he had spent more time on his investment philosophy. This is where is his genius lies. He is not Tony Robbins. But I did learn from this book to confront my own problems more honestly and directly.

32 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Titan

  • The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 35 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,327
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,320

Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller’s exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book indelibly alters our image of this most enigmatic capitalist. Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world’s richest man by creating America’s most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He makes Bill Gates look like a Pauper!

  • By Rick on 11-04-13

Exceptional biography. So well written.

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

Reviewed: 09-23-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Titan to be better than the print version?

I would. The reader was perfect.

What did you like best about this story?

John. D. had one incredible life. From pretty screwed up beginnings he becomes the world's richest person, and left an incredible legacy of societal contributions - U. Chicago, helping Blacks, education, Rockefeller Institute for medical research.

What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I believe he did.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, way too long for that. But I enjoyed it immensely, about an hour a day.

Any additional comments?

I was not expecting such a fascination story. And the writing was superb. Ron Chernow is a national treasure.

  • The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas

  • By: Lawrence Cahoone, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Lawrence Cahoone
  • Length: 18 hrs and 24 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408

Without even realizing it, we all use the fruits of political philosophy. From liberty to democracy to community, the terms and concepts originated by political philosophers are ingrained in our global consciousness. Yet many of us have an incomplete picture of how these ideas developed and, quite possibly, a skewed perception of their intentions and implications. This highly relevant course sheds light on the labyrinth of Western political and social theory, as well as its influence on modern history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent Survey of Western Political Thought

  • By Dana Garrett on 06-02-15

Covers it all.

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

Reviewed: 07-10-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it as a good introduction to many current political ideas and themes.

What about Professor Lawrence Cahoone’s performance did you like?

He is a strong reader and a clear communicator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. You need to absorb a bit at a time.

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of Cahoone, having also done his "Modern Intellectual Tradition" Great Courses. However, I found he relied on buzzwords and references to names a little too much here, particularly in the last half/third of the lectures, and some of it was hard to follow. But it did introduce me to many contempory political thinkers that I was unaware of. And Cahoone is a great communicator, so I enjoyed it very much.

  • The Big Questions of Philosophy

  • By: David K. Johnson, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: David K. Johnson
  • Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 766
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 753

We have all pondered seemingly unanswerably but significant questions about our existence - the biggest of all being, "Why are we here?" Philosophy has developed over millennia to help us grapple with these essential intangibles. There is no better way to study the big questions in philosophy than to compare how the world's greatest minds have analyzed these questions, defined the terms, and then reasoned out potential solutions. Once you've compared the arguments, the final step is always deciding for yourself whether you find an explanation convincing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No easy answers, just easy questions

  • By Gary on 03-17-16

Some good philosophy, but too much pop culture

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

Reviewed: 05-23-17

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor David K. Johnson?

I have listened to several philosophy books from The Great Courses, and will continue to do so. I am not sure if I would buy another from Professor Johnson. While is he a good communicator, he relies too much of pop culture, like Star Trek, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, and current movies, which I believe weaken his arguments. The early parts on what is reason, and is there a God where good, but the later sections on is there a mind, are people real, politics, was somewhat sophomoric.

He seems to take a full on materialistic, naturalistic view of the universe, i.e. no minds, no "persons," but then backs off this at the end when he tries to explain that there is meaning in the world. He should have spent more time on this.

If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

This was my least favorite of the philosophy courses from The Great Courses. Although I still enjoyed it, due to Professor Johnson's engaging style.

What does Professor David K. Johnson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is very enthusiatic and passionate, and is a clear communicator. That is the best thing of this course.

Did The Big Questions of Philosophy inspire you to do anything?

No it did not. This course is geared for the undergraduate, first course in philosophy, and takes a materialistic stance. If you are more at the grad school, or Phd. level, or have some sympathies with the hard problem of consciousness, you will probably find this course not really fulfilling.

Any additional comments?

I believe Prof. Johnson has some of his facts wrong. For one, there is some evidence that the ancient Jews believed in reincarnation, and many Kabbalist's still do. Many of the topics he covers are more nuanced, like this one, and at times I feel he brushes over topics too quickly. I understand space and time is limited, but I feel greater concentration of fewer areas would have helped.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful