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Chip Auger

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  • reviews
  • 61
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  • 129
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  • Rise of the Robots

  • Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
  • By: Martin Ford
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,649
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,439
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,444

In a world of self-driving cars and big data, smart algorithms and Siri, we know that artificial intelligence is getting smarter every day. Though all these nifty devices and programs might make our lives easier, they're also well on their way to making "good" jobs obsolete. A computer winning Jeopardy might seem like a trivial, if impressive, feat, but the same technology is making paralegals redundant as it undertakes electronic discovery, and is soon to do the same for radiologists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great content and this mechanization IS coming!

  • By Mike on 06-30-15

The Ultimate Disruptive Technology

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

Reviewed: 11-23-18

Various voices are beginning to sound the alarm concerning the advent of the most disruptive technology yet to come. The technologies that comprise AI-enhanced automation pose a severe risk to the ages-old paradigm of distributing purchasing power on a basis of the value of labor provided. Martin Ford’s “Rise of the Robots,” is certainly one of the more cogent and compelling of these alarms. He explains many of the ways automation is poised to intrude into or possibly obviate traditional areas of labor and even professions. It is time to heed these voices and begin a national or even global discussion on how we will manage the economic, sociological, and societal impacts arriving with the deployment of these technologies.
General artificial intelligence may or may not be realized in the near term. However, narrow-field AI has made impressive advances in recent years. The event horizon that will bring these profound changes may be decidedly more immanent then previously forecast, making the need for discussion and planning necessary public policy changes more immediate. Mr. Ford gives compelling examples of AI computers or AI-assisted robots that are already demonstrating the ability to takes on task, occupations, and professional domains once thought safe by virtue of their complexity or lengthy training requirements.
The author further expands on some of the expected disruptions inherent in the projected idling of the labor force. Foremost among these are the consequences of wide-spread unemployment on our consumer-driven economy. Ford describes some of possible adaptive adjustments that have been discussed. Not all of his suggestions are practicable or even desirable. Clearly the warning bell is now sounded.

  • In Dubious Battle

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

This 1936 novel—set in the California apple country—portrays a strike by migrant workers that metamorphoses from principled defiance into blind fanaticism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best story - ever ! Awesome narrator !!!!!!!!!

  • By Inventing Mostly on 03-07-15

Essential Reading for Steinbeck Lovers

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

Written and published in the heart of the depression before his literary star exploded, this novel establishes his understanding and empathy with the common people suffering in this extreme economic period. The great abundance of available labor fostered extremely inequitable employment situations for most people. Many were forced to accept starvation wages.
We, who were there to witness these times in person, are able to see the detail and the daily suffering in “In Dubious Battle.” Steinbeck sets the story in the apple orchards of northern California. His telling of the story rings with such an authenticity that lets the reader know that this story could be in any industry in any part of the country during the great economic tragedy of the times. He exposes the excess of both sides of the labor dispute, the growers taking unfair advantage of the labor situation to fatten their wallets, and the union organizers (in this case communists) who blithely expose the workers to extreme risk.
This is another of JS’s dialogue-driven novels. He uses the vernacular of the depression era manual labor class to give his characters creditable reality. His narratives using the characters own word are terse and intense. Expect a short but intense novel-reading experience.

  • With the Old Breed

  • At Peleliu and Okinawa
  • By: E. B. Sledge
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor, Joe Mazzello, Tom Hanks (introduction)
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,956
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,615
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,605

The celebrated 2010 HBO miniseries The Pacific, winner of eight Emmy Awards, was based on two classic books about the War in the Pacific, Helmet for My Pillow and With The Old Breed. Audible Studios, in partnership with Playtone, the production company co-owned by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and creator of the award-winning HBO series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific, as well as the HBO movie Game Change, has created new recordings of these memoirs, narrated by the stars of the miniseries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is the second audio book of Sledge's work

  • By Richard on 10-21-13

Far Less Than Expected

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

Possibly I was romanced by the tv miniseries, or the talk of the “old salt’s” reminisces about the “Old Corps” when I was a marine in the 1960’s. Perhaps I’ve been conditioned to have my history spoon-fed by today’s very talented writers of history for the general reader. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t get into this at all. I love history. I saw combat as a marine in Vietnam. But war memoirs such as this one and the likes of “Unbroken” and “Flags of Our Father” are somehow not authentic to me.

  • Eisenhower in War and Peace

  • By: Jean Edward Smith
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 28 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,197

Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, although biased, biography

  • By Mike From Mesa on 10-15-12

Highly-Readable Biography of a Revered Leader

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

This is the only Eisenhower biography that I’ve ever read, and it may be the only one I need to read. Jean Edward Smith provides the general reader with a rather succinct yet comprehensive view Eisenhower’s life. Dr. Smith is frank and unflinching in his telling of the story of Ike’s life, giving credit where it is due and pointing out deficiencies where appropriate. He rightly criticizes DDE’s military errors both in the North African campaign and as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. Dr. Smith’s description of Eisenhower’s performance as president is laudatory while maintaining the forthrightness, he used to describe his generalship.
Smith portrays Eisenhower as a man who succeeded by applying his intellectual acumen, industriousness, and personal charisma and abundance of good fortune. Unlike McArthur, Ike was not a standout at West Point. By the time World War II began in 1941, he had twenty years in-grade as a major. His rise to four-star general in the next two years was an unheard-of accomplishment. His successful leadership of the allied forces in Europe, though somewhat flawed, would be enough reserve his place of honor in American history. However, his thoughtful and measured leadership as President of the United States elevates his place as one of the top five presidents. Ike brought a negotiated end to the Korean War and shepherded the country through the Berlin Crisis, the Suez Crisis and eight years without a single US combat death.
This account of Dwight David Eisenhower is an amazing read. Dr Smith’s account will have you grieving again for his loss.

  • The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Colson Whitehead
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,834
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,834

The Newest Oprah Book Club 2016 Selection. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned - Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous book, hard to follow in audio

  • By JQR on 12-01-16

Wait! What?

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Mr. Colson does a excellent job of portraying the abhorrent cruelty of slavery as it was practiced in the United States. However, it’s difficult to find a reason why he veered so far away from credible history. In Colson’s underground railroad, steam locomotives actually travel through early nineteenth century stone tunnels under the South. There is also a high-rise in South Carolina. In this version of American history, the antebellum South Carolina government is rescuing slaves from the plantation by purchasing them and teaching them to read. While, at the same time forcing tubal ligations on the emancipated women, a procedure not performed until after the Civil War. Is this supposed to be allegorical, and I missed it? And all of this in the first five chapters. I quit reading at this point.

  • Elevation

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,490
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis. In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low-grade - but escalating - battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Mailed it in

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-29-18

King Confronts His Mortality

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

If you are expecting some of Stephen King's macabre thrills from this Halloween release, you are going to be disappointed. The two short stories in this book, "Elevation" and "Laurie" are not at all what we’ve come to expect from this author. Stephen King has always had trouble with endings. Without a doubt he is one of the elite story-tellers our time. He can often enthrall us on the first page and keep us riveted through very long and twisted plots. However, he has most often resorted to fantastical sequences that surpass most readers abilities to suspend disbelief in ending his tales. Now it appears, he may be engaging is similar fantasies as he approaches his own life’s denouement.
Reading “Elevation” is a lot like watching your favorite professional athlete’s attempt to prolong his competitive career long after its zenith, and past even the point where the cleats should have been hung up. As you watch, you remember the performances of the past but are keenly aware that they are gone forever. In this book SK has put together the prose style we have come to love, an over abundance of sentimentalism, a smattering of paternalism, and another fantastical magic ending.
The second and shorter story contained in this book, “Laurie,” will probably be a great hit with the dog lovers among us. But, as one who grew up in Florida all I have to say is, it’s never a good idea to walk your dog along the banks of waterways that may be home to alligators.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • How Fascism Works

  • The Politics of Us and Them
  • By: Jason Stanley
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 112

As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Warning Too Clear to Ignore

  • By Chip Auger on 10-30-18

A Warning Too Clear to Ignore

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

Setting aside Dr. Stanley’s far-left-of-me political history and the fact that he studied at MIT in the same department where Noam Chomsky teaches, this short work is a clear, concise, and a relatively non-polemic look at what fascism is and its current rise in the world: Poland, Brazil Norway, North Korea, Italy the US, etc. Many of us who came of age in the shadow WWII long believed that our parents and grandparents had defeated fascism once and for all in the 1940’s. Apparently, we were quite mistaken.
In just ten chapters Dr. Stanley explains how fascism takes hold. We stood in wonder and confusion when we looked at what the fascist did in the twentieth century. We asked how the good people of these countries could have committed these atrocities. He lays out the template used by the fascists to gain and then solidify power: focus on community decline, focus on loss of status – both personal and national, the rise of victimhood culture, relief sought from violent extremist organizations stressing some form of a more pure citizenship, nationalistic militancy, co-opting tradition power structures, creation of emergent scenarios requiring the suspension liberal democratic liberties and constitutional guarantees, and cleansing of scapegoat classes and non-aligned political groups, and of course gas-lighting with continual Big Lie.
The Polish journalist, Anne Applebaum, just published an interesting long-form piece in the October 2018 edition of “The Atlantic” corroborating many of Dr.’s Stanley’s claims concerning the current re-emergence of fascism in Europe. Reading Stanley’s book and Applebaum’s piece should give any lover of liberal democratic liberty pause.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,784
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,609
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,603

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

The Dublin Murder Squad Through the Back Door

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

Reviewed: 10-20-18

Tana French is rather unique in her approach to a series of murder investigation novels, a genre I generally avoid. In her initial novels the reader’s point of view is that of the investigator. However, unlike your usual whodunit series, each novel introduced us to new detective, or at least one who had been a marginal character in a previous story. But this author delivered something different in the Dublin Murder Squad’s books. In the fifth book, “The Secret Place” the point of view alternates between one of the Murder D’s and a student. In this book, the entire Dublin Murder Squad is relegated to a supporting role, and the reader views the investigation from the point of view of one of its targets.
SPOILERS below
The protagonist in this story is Toby, a privileged and spoiled twenty-something living an uninspired life. While recovering from a brutal beating he received at the hands of burglars, he decides to move in with his terminally ill uncle. The Ivy House, where his uncle lives is where he spent the holidays of his youth with his two cousins of the same age. The body of one of their schoolmates, missing for ten years, is discovered in the witch elm in the garden. Suspicion falls on the three cousins. As the investigation proceeds, the intrigue of this novel intensifies, taking the reader on a psychological whodunit journey with plenty of plot twists.
Recommended: Yes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Leadership

  • By: Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Beau Bridges, David Morse, Jay O. Sanders, and others
  • Length: 18 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 616
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 557
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 550

Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the man make the times or do the times make the man? In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon four of the presidents she has studied most closely - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights) - to show how they first recognized leadership qualities within themselves, and were recognized by others as leaders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What makes a president great?

  • By tru britty on 09-25-18

Yearning for a Rebirth of this Leadership

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

Dr Goodwin’s has written a truly stirring portrait of what real leadership is and how it manifests.
If you only have time for one chapter, don’t miss Chapter 9. However, the rest of the book is not to be missed. “Leadership” is organized into a three main section, each containing a chapter on each of Goodwin's four presidential leaders, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ, for a total of 12 chapters. The first section recounts their early live, the second, their rise to public life, and the third, a demonstration of their leadership in troubled times. There is also a forward and epilogue.
The author has published extensively on all four of these presidents. So, there is little new in terms of biographical facts of which Dr. Goodwin’s readers are not already aware. Similarly, the coverage of their presidential leadership is not meant to be comprehensive. For instance, little is made of President Johnson’s profound lack of leadership in his handling of the Vietnam War.
Those of us who pick up this book and read it are left with a deep understanding of leadership on a world-stage scale looks like, and a fervent desire to sea such leadership addressing our current troubles.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • 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 16,682
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,853

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.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Repetitive

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-29-18

The Reemergence of Fascism

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

Much of Bob Woodward’s latest book draws compelling comparisons between the rise of fascism in the 1930’s and its frightening reemergence now. For those of us reared in the shadow of World War II, fascism was thought to be well-killed and permanently relegated to the scrapheap of history. Now with fascism’s apparent resurgence in the governments of Russia, Poland, Hungary, and the US, we see that it is potentially more dangerous than it was in the last century.

Mr. Woodward reputation is such that he need not resort to unwarranted alarmist pronouncements, and he does not. He plainly states the facts as they have revealed themselves in his extensive research. His plain and easy-to-understand reporting draws no conclusions. He leaves those and the discussions of what is to be done to his readers.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful