LISTENER

Kim Hamacher

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 379
  • ratings
  • The Marshall Plan

  • Dawn of the Cold War
  • By: Benn Steil
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

The award-winning author of The Battle of Bretton Woods reveals the gripping history behind the Marshall Plan—told with verve, insight, and resonance for today.

In the wake of World War II, with Britain’s empire collapsing and Stalin's on the rise, US officials under new secretary of state George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. Their massive, costly, and ambitious undertaking would confront Europeans and Americans alike with a vision at odds with their history and self-conceptions. In the process, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events.

Focusing on the critical years 1947 to 1949, Benn Steil’s thrilling account brings to life the seminal episodes marking the collapse of postwar US-Soviet relations—the Prague coup, the Berlin blockade, and the division of Germany. In each case, we see and understand like never before Stalin’s determination to crush the Marshall Plan and undermine American power in Europe.

Given current echoes of the Cold War, as Putin’s Russia rattles the world order, the tenuous balance of power and uncertain order of the late 1940s is as relevant as ever. The Marshall Plan provides critical context into understanding today’s international landscape. Bringing to bear fascinating new material from American, Russian, German, and other European archives, Steil’s account will forever change how we see the Marshall Plan and the birth of the Cold War. A polished and masterly work of historical narrative, this is an instant classic of Cold War literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Deeply Researched Narrative

  • By Jean on 10-18-18

Interesting but slow at times

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

The Marshall Plan has intrigued me since I began studying the Cold War. This book covers a lot more than just the Marshall Plan, which has good and bed results. Adding the peripheral actions and decisions makes the length a bit daunting, which slowed me down as they were not my key interest. But on the other hand they add to one's overall understanding of the situation. Perhaps Dawn of the Cold War should have been the title and The Marshall Plan the subtitle? Foreign policy, especially with regard to economic implications: sanctions, tariffs, money devaluation, ad nauseam, is a difficult concept for me and there's a fair amount of it in here, again, good and bad. The overall intent of the book seemed to be more about NATO and the EU, and how both have been used/misused strategically against Russia. I learned a lot and could easily reread for better understanding, so the money's not wasted. It's just not always a gripping read.

  • The English and Their History

  • By: Robert Tombs
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 43 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386

Robert Tombs' momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A lengthy but intriguing look at the English

  • By Timothy on 09-15-16

Mostly balanced and very thoughtful

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

Reviewed: 08-27-17

Well-presented examination of UK/Great Britain/England through its history. I enjoyed it. The author seemed not to shy away from controversy but also didn't wallow in 'self-reproach.' The summation in the final chapter hit it out of the park.

  • The Ledge

  • An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier
  • By: Jim Davidson, Kevin Vaughan
  • Narrated by: Jim Davidson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

On June 21, 1992, two best friends summited Mount Rainier. Within hours, their exquisite accomplishment would be overshadowed by tragedy. On their descent, Jim Davidson fell through an ice bridge on Rainier's northeast flank, plunging eighty feet into a narrow crevasse inside the Emmons Glacier and dragging Mike Price in after him. Mike fell to his death; Jim, badly injured and armed with minimal gear, faced an almost impossible climb back out of the crevasse, up a nearly vertical ice wall.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wholesome and honest account of tragedy

  • By Flip on 05-21-18

Remarkable

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

Reviewed: 01-22-16

Interesting story, well told. It starts slowly with the necessary background info but i listened to the entire book in a single day because it became that compelling.

  • Earthquake Storms

  • The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault
  • By: John Dvorak
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

The lives of millions will be changed after it breaks, and yet so few people understand it, or even realize it runs through their backyard. Dvorak reveals the San Andreas Fault's fascinating history - and its volatile future. It is a prominent geological feature that is almost impossible to see unless you know where to look. Hundreds of thousands of people drive across it every day. The San Andreas Fault is everywhere - and primed for a colossal quake. For decades scientists have warned that such a sudden shifting of the Earth's crust is inevitable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • informative

  • By Jean on 03-05-14

Informative AND entertaining

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

Reviewed: 08-06-15

Narration is spot on. Information is easy to follow (and if you like visuals just keep google earth open as you listen) and a fascinating update to the rudimentary plate tectonics i was taught in school decades ago. An excellent book. I hope to hear more from this author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Washed Away

  • How the Great Flood of 1913, America’s Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever
  • By: Geoff Williams
  • Narrated by: Jim Vann
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

The incredible story of a flood of near-Biblical proportions - its destruction, its heroes and victims, and how it shaped America’s natural-disaster policies for the next century. The storm began March 23, 1913, with a series of tornadoes that killed 150 people and injured 400. Then the freezing rains started and the flooding began. It was the nation’s most widespread flood ever - more than 700 people died, hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed, and millions were left homeless.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I love these historical narratives

  • By Kim Hamacher on 07-28-15
  • Washed Away
  • How the Great Flood of 1913, America’s Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever
  • By: Geoff Williams
  • Narrated by: Jim Vann

I love these historical narratives

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

Reviewed: 07-28-15

This one was a little hard to follow on audio as the author jumps around a good deal and there are lots of characters but I did enjoy the story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • American Passage

  • The History of Ellis Island
  • By: Vincent Cannato
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Hogan
  • Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Professor Vincent J. Cannato delivers a definitive history of America's landmark port of entry. From eyewitness accounts, Cannato weaves together a poignant testament to the hopes and fears of "huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Careful and nuanced

  • By Roger on 02-22-10

Overall interesting but a bit rambling at times

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

Reviewed: 07-16-15

Narration is excellent. Story is overall good but author seemed to ramble rather far a field before circling back around to the central story. This is only troublesome due to the book's overall length making it daunting to complete. The epilogue is a bit preachy for me.

  • Dead Mountain

  • The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
  • By: Donnie Eichar
  • Narrated by: Donnie Eichar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,655
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,447
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,449

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mystery & Intrigue In The Ural Mountains

  • By Sara on 06-30-15

Worth a listen

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

Reviewed: 02-23-15

Fine job of narrating by the author. Interesting story that covered all the angles I could think of. Kudos for giving the hikers' a full (if short) life story.