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J. R.

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 61
  • ratings
  • Black Thursday

  • The Story of the Schweinfurt Raid
  • By: Martin Caidin
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

On Thursday, October 14, 1943, 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses set out for a strategic bombing raid on the factories in Schweinfurt. Sixty of those planes never returned and 650 men were lost during the course of that mission. It was the greatest failure that the United States Air Force had ever suffered and became known as "Black Thursday". Martin Caidin's Black Thursday: The Story of the Schweinfurt Raid is a brilliant account of that day that should never be forgotten. This audiobook uncovers in thrilling detail the build-up to that fateful raid.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Look at Bomb Groups of the 8th

  • By Nicholas Robinson on 09-19-18

The best account of a bomber crew in battle ever written

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

This is the best account I've ever read of a WWII bomber crew in the midst of battle. Highly recommended

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes

  • A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies
  • By: Jason Fagone
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 975
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 970

In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the US government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the Adam and Eve of the NSA, Elizebeth's story, incredibly, has never been told.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An important biography, perfectly told

  • By sarah brown on 10-25-17

Best book so far In 2018

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

This is the best book I've read so far of 13 books in 2018. Whether you enjoy read about WWII stuff, cryptology, spies, true heroines, or even a bit of a love story, this book is for you. I am proud as an American to see Elizabeth Friedman finally get her due. Her and her husband saw this nation through two world wars, and god knows how many other plots against the U.S. I HIGHLY recommend this book!!

  • Empire

  • How Britain Made the Modern World
  • By: Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 448
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444

Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red, and Britannia ruled not just the waves but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall? Niall Ferguson's acclaimed Empire brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a great listen - What a History Lesson

  • By Dorothy on 11-04-17

Enjoyable book

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

Reviewed: 03-21-18

Excellent narrator, good story, the only part I did not care for was the endless "white guilt" complex of the author, and groveling apologies in nearly every chapter...

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • On Killing

  • The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
  • By: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
  • Narrated by: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,710
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,703

The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More to it than I knew.

  • By Larsen on 09-12-11

The seminal work on this subject, but*

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

Reviewed: 02-19-18

This book is known as the "seminal" work on this subject in the last 75 years, and I would mostly agree with that. Where the book lost me, was at the anti first and second amendment screed at the end. Likely due to the time it was initially written in the mid-late 90's where pointless gun control was all the rage, and everything was video games' fault.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Liberator

  • One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
  • By: Alex Kershaw
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 595
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 545
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547

From July 10, 1943, the date of the Allied landing in Sicily, to May 8, 1945, when victory in Europe was declared - the entire time it took to liberate Europe - no regiment saw more action, and no single platoon, company, or battalion endured worse, than the ones commanded by Felix Sparks, who had entered the war as a greenhorn second lieutenant of the 157th "Eager for Duty" Infantry Regiment of the 45th "Thunderbird" Division. Sparks and his fellow Thunderbirds fought longest and hardest to defeat Hitler.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now I Know What a Hero Really Is

  • By Steven on 11-27-12

Excellent story-less the gun control screed

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

Mr sparks could have never been properly repaid for his service and sacrifices for this nation and its people (and many other nations and their people as well) and what an amazing story. I very much enjoyed it until the gun control screed at the end. While I understand it was part of Sparks' life after losing his grandson to a criminal who shot him, the author was talking out of his rear talking about "sub machine guns" being used at columbine. That event is horrific enough on its own, without inventing new salacious and untrue stories.

  • Simon Wiesenthal

  • The Life and Legends
  • By: Tom Segev
  • Narrated by: Marc Cashman
  • Length: 19 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Simon Wiesenthal was the legendary “Nazi hunter” and Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to the punishment of Nazi criminals. A hero in the eyes of many, he was also attacked for his unrelenting pursuit of the past, when others preferred to forget. For this definitive biography, Tom Segev has obtained access to Wiesenthal’s hundreds of thousands of private papers and to sixteen archives, including records of the U.S., Israeli, Polish, and East German secret services.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Important biography

  • By Achlasaba on 11-10-10

Freedom is like health, you take it for granted until you lose it

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

Reviewed: 02-03-18

Another man who should be taught about in schools, not only for his nazi-hunting, but for how he overcame his horrible struggles as a concentration camp inmate, and never tried to use it as an excuse for not achieving something or a reason to preach victimology. I also greatly admire him for his stance there is no such thing as "collective guilt", only individual responsibility. If I had to make one complaint, I felt the author was too nitpicky over differences in Wiesenthal's story over 96 years of telling it. "NEVER AGAIN! "

  • The Envoy

  • The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II
  • By: Alex Kershaw
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Hailed as “a master storyteller” ( Booklist), Alex Kershaw routinely climbs best-seller lists with his narrative histories. In the waning months of World War II, SS Colonel Adolf Eichmann sent over half a million Hungarians to their deaths at Auschwitz. But one Jewish ghetto remained, and only one man - a Swedish diplomat named Raoul Wallenberg - could stop Eichmann.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • an amazing story

  • By Henry Rosenberg MD on 07-08-11

Raoul Wallenberg and what he did should be taught in schools

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

Reviewed: 01-24-18

Surprisingly, as a WWII history buff, I had never heard of Raoul Wallenberg until I read this excellent book. His exploits to save the last of the Jews in Europe, along with how the soviets "disappeared" and later murdered him, should be more well known, and taught in schools everywhere. This book is an excellent telling of his story, and some of the people he saved.

  • 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 1,196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104

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

Great story of brave men, slightly anti-American

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

Reviewed: 01-22-18

While the story itself is excellent and needs to be told for both sides, I found the frequent highlighting of things the Marines did that were terrible in nature, to give the book a slight leftist and anti-American slant to things. The author will go into great detail about bad things the marines did, while somewhat brushing off how the NVA/VC/etc would go house to house rounding up civilians, and march them off to be bound, gagged, and shot in the back of the head by the hundreds. Nor how the American journalists were captured and marched north to their own hellish version of the "Hanoi Hilton" , and not released for 5-7 years. War is hell. Both sides often do terrible things to win. I found the book to give the 1960's professor-ish anti-war anti-American side of the story. God bless our men who fought and died there, and those who survived, and I believe, had a much harder time after they came home to a turbulent ,disloyal , and unwelcoming country.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Agent Zigzag

  • A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
  • By: Ben MacIntyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intrigue and True

  • By Scott on 01-19-08

Extremely enjoyable thru the very end

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

Highly recommended! I have found few books so enthralling all the way through. You will love this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Gulag Archipelago, Volume l

  • The Prison Industry and Perpetual Motion
  • By: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 26 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,224
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,217

In this masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn has orchestrated thousands of incidents and individual histories into one narrative of unflagging power and momentum. Written in a tone that encompasses Olympian wrath, bitter calm, savage irony, and sheer comedy, it combines history, autobiography, documentary, and political analysis as it examines in its totality the Soviet apparatus of repression from its inception following the October Revolution of 1917.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for the feint of heart

  • By joseph on 11-19-12

Vital to hear, especially for young people

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

This book can be a slog at times due to the nature of the subject and it's sheer length, but I feel it's vital for young Americans to know and understand the true horrors of collectivism, communism, socialism, and so called "democratic socialism". It all ends the same, and has only spread genocide and misery everywhere it's been tried. But I know, the last guy "just didn't implem