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Michael

Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 63
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
  • The Fighters

  • By: C. J. Chivers
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

Almost 2.5 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers has reported from both fronts from the beginning, walking side by side with combatants for more than a dozen years. He describes the experience of war today as it is endured by those most at risk - the camaraderie and profound sense of purpose, alongside courage, frustration, and moral confusion mixed with technical precision. In these remote places where the reason for their presence is sometimes not clear, these young men kill or are killed, facing palpable and often constant threat of ambush or hidden bombs....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a very human perspective...

  • By dustin on 08-22-18

Their war

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-26-18

One of the best accounts of average Americans at war when most of the country was at peace.

  • The Good Soldiers

  • By: David Finkel
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 929
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 644
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645

It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. He called it "the surge". "Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences," he told a skeptical nation. Among those listening were the young, optimistic Army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is amazing, but brutal

  • By C. Irwin on 03-01-10

Outstanding Story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-28-18

A devastating, deeply moving, very graphic account of the men who participated in the 2008 surge in Iraq. It will leave you heartbroken and optimistic about America at the same time.

  • Directorate S

  • The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • By: Steve Coll
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 28 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 565

Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, best-selling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • All the detail you could want

  • By Louis Macareo on 03-06-18

Outstanding history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

This book reveals the long, ultimately unsuccessful American effort to eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan. An essential look at nearly two decades of a war that was begun without anyone's knowing who the real enemy was. A brilliant analysis compellingly written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hue 1968

  • A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
  • By: Mark Bowden
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 18 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,100

By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate. Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced a new phase of the war in which "the end begins to come into view". The North Vietnamese had different ideas. In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensive intended to win the war in a single stroke.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beware of men w/ theories that explain everything.

  • By Darwin8u on 05-09-18

Excellent history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-22-17

A compelling, thoroughly researched account of the bitterness battle of the Vietnam war told from the viewpoint of those who fought on both sides.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Lab Girl

  • By: Hope Jahren
  • Narrated by: Hope Jahren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,262

Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book might have been a revelatory treatise on plant life. Lab Girl is that, but it is also so much more. Because in it, Jahren also shares with us her inspiring life story, in prose that takes your breath away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A paradigm-shifting perspective on plant life

  • By Elizabeth on 05-20-16

Lovely, heartbreaking story.

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

Reviewed: 01-05-17

This is the unforgettable story of a modern American scientist who struggled with her own doubts, bipolar illness, and institutional sexism to win widespread professional acclaim. Jahren, who narrates her own story, also provides a fascinating examination of the life and purpose of trees in haunting yet clear-eyed, scientifically rigorous prose. Beautifully written and performed. I nearly wept in passages.

  • One Man Against the World

  • The Tragedy of Richard Nixon
  • By: Tim Weiner
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

Based largely on documents declassified in only the last few years, One Man Against the World paints a devastating portrait of a tortured yet brilliant man who led the country largely according to a deep-seated insecurity and distrust of not only his cabinet and Congress but the American population at large. In riveting, tick-tock prose, Weiner illuminates how the Vietnam War and the Watergate controversy that brought about Nixon's demise were inextricably linked.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A worthy listen, if a bit sensationalized.

  • By Reza on 06-20-15

The rant of a Nixon hater

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

Reviewed: 09-05-15

I was never an admirer of Richard Nixon, but this book is a pure hatchet job, tendentious, argumentative, and spiteful. Could not finish the first chapter. Nixon still needs a rounded, fully nuanced biography.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Plane That Wasn't There

  • Why We Haven't Found MH370
  • By: Jeff Wise
  • Narrated by: Jeff Wise
  • Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

The definitive investigation into the greatest aviation mystery in history, with a startling hypothesis about who took the plane, where they took it, and how. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. A year later, still no trace of the plane - or the 239 people onboard - has been found. But why? In The Plane That Wasn't There, science journalist and CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise sweeps aside the conspiracy theories and misconceptions and lays out, with clear concision, just what we know about the plane's fate - and what we don't.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Truly Disappointing

  • By Mike Cardozo on 06-08-16

Russia hijacked MH370?

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

Reviewed: 07-22-15

Any additional comments?

Wise offers an interesting but ultimately unconvincing argument to explain the disappearance of MH-370 in March 2014. He speculates that the flight was hijacked by Russian special forces in response to international sanctions that had been imposed on Russia as a means to pressure the Putin administration into ending its war against Ukraine. He cites as proof of a hijacking the complete lack of aircraft wreckage in the ocean despite months of sea searches mounted by various governments. Of course a hijacking may well turn out to be the most likely answer to the mystery of Flight 370 one day, but Wise's Russian hypothesis, although superficially appealing to conspiracy types, is implausible at best, supported by little more than a James Bond-like scenario involving highly trained special forces operators’ taking over the plane only a day after the U.S. government announced its support for international sanctions. That hardly seems enough time to mount the complex operation Wise describes. Certainly, the author offers no solid proof that would stand up to careful legal analysis. The book’s major strength provides a fascinating, albeit frequently deeply technical, analysis of the plane's extremely complex operating systems; it makes for tough going for readers who are not experts in avionics and aircraft engineering, but the details are enthralling.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

  • By: Allen C. Guelzo
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 22 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

From the acclaimed Civil War historian, a brilliant new history–the most intimate and richly readable account we have had–of the climactic three-day battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863), which draws the reader into the heat, smoke, and grime of Gettysburg alongside the ordinary soldier, and depicts the combination of personalities and circumstances that produced the greatest battle of the Civil War, and one of the greatest in human history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fresh Look at a Famous Battle

  • By W. F. Rucker on 07-03-13

Last Chance for a 'Lost Cause'

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

Reviewed: 09-02-13

What did you love best about Gettysburg?

The book presented a detailed, highly literate history of the battle, with the personalities and their strengths and shortcomings in sharp relief. Although it is a "military history," anyone with even a small interest in American history will be rewarded.

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

His readings are always strong, clear and provide character to the main personalities in a way few narrators can.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Last Chance for a 'Lost Cause'

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • These Few Precious Days

  • The Final Year of Jack with Jackie
  • By: Christopher Andersen
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

They were the original power couple - outlandishly rich, impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kennedys in their final year together, NewYork Times best-selling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie we’ve never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and, at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other - filled with secrets, scandals, and bombshells that could never be fully revealed…until now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The SECRETS of Camelot~ Kennedy bios~ 5 STAR

  • By Molly on 08-09-13

Behind the Kennedys

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

Reviewed: 09-02-13

Would you consider the audio edition of These Few Precious Days to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print edition.

What was one of the most memorable moments of These Few Precious Days?

The book has a number of highlights as Andersen digs deeply into the personal and political team that was Jack and Jackie Kennedy. It is full of telling insights and fascinating anecdotes. As a history of a marriage and a family, it offers the reader little in way of the nation's larger events of the time--Vietnam, the civil rights movement, Cuba, and other contemporary issues. It delves into the president's sexual exploits in frank detail and reveals new information on Jackie's feelings about her husband and his many infidelities, seemingly carefully researched and sourced (I could not refer to a bibliography of notes, naturally).

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Dean is always excellent. I look forward to his readings. "Masters of the Air" was especially fine.

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

Yes, I listened on a business trip at every break in my work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Neptune's Inferno

  • The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 835
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 835

With The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, James D. Hornfischer created essential and enduring narratives about America’s World War II Navy, works of unique immediacy distinguished by rich portraits of ordinary men in extremis and exclusive new information. Now he does the same for the deadliest, most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war: Guadalcanal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Desperate battles, well told

  • By Robert B on 05-04-12

Horror at Sea

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

Reviewed: 04-14-12

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

This is a terrific book. It details the horrors of the sea battles in and around Guadalcanal as the U.S Navy sought to recover the initiative in the Pacific. Hornfischer does not gloss over the tragedy of the bloody fighting or the many tactical blunders of the inexperienced American admirals as they learned their trade at the cost of thousands of American lives. Highly recommended.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I bought this book after listening to "Masters of the Air," the story of the American air war over Europe. Dean is an outstanding narrator, polished, fluent, and totally familiar with his story. One of the best on Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful