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Shackleton

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  • An American Sickness

  • How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back
  • By: Elisabeth Rosenthal
  • Narrated by: Nancy Linari
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571

It is well documented that our health-care system has grave problems, but how, in only a matter of decades, did things get this bad? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms; she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. Rosenthal spells out in clear and practical terms exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship, explaining step by step the workings of a profession sorely lacking transparency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Researched, Outlined, and Presented

  • By Craig Schorling on 06-17-17

An incomplete picture of the US healthcare system

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

Reviewed: 11-01-17

If you believe that the healthcare system used to be driven only by good intentions and care for patients and if you believe that currently the system is driven only by greed, then you will probably find this book extremely satisfying.

On the other hand, if you see that the current US healthcare system is complex and that desire for profit is only one element of that system, then you're probably going to spend a good deal of listening time thinking about all the information the author is excluding (seemingly because it doesn't support or add to her primary hypothesis). Hence, you may want to look for another book - or at least realize that you're only going to get a partial picture from this book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Freakonomics

  • Revised Edition
  • By: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
  • Narrated by: Stephen J. Dubner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,696

Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but be careful

  • By Shackleton on 07-03-08

Good, but be careful

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-08

As a PhD statistician, I love a good data-driven story. Increasing, people in politics, business, and academia are looking for decisions that are based on what the data say. Leavitt's research is engaging and accessible and I, for the most part, enjoyed this book.

HOWEVER, without exception, Leavitt presents his findings as gospel and continually fails to acknowledge the limitations of his methods and his data. He mentions his use of linear regression to obtain his results, but fails to mention the limitations of this method (e.g., results are probabilistic, results are based on model assumptions which may be entirely incorrect). His results obtained from this method sometimes also appear to tell too convenient of a story and seem to be cherry-picked. Moreover, all his results are based on single data sets and may not be as universal as he would like. Finally, he often takes one result (e.g., reading to your kids does not affect their standardized test scores) and makes huge, sweeping generalizations that lead you to believe that reading to your kids doesn't have any affect on any outcome of interest and that you're a bad (or naive) parent for even trying.

These are dangerous practices, though I can see why he does what he does - making all sort of caveats would water-down his findings and make his book less sensational. Nevertheless, he runs the risk of misleading his readers. Judging from the comments posted here so far from people who assume these conclusions are certain, I would say he's succeeded in this endeavor.

805 of 819 people found this review helpful

  • Manhunt

  • The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
  • By: James L. Swanson
  • Narrated by: Richard Thomas
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history, the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild 12-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting

  • By Scott on 12-06-13

Intolerable

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-08

If you're into over-the-top sensationalism in your history books, then this one might be for you. I was hoping for something a little more reasoned and thoughtful, but I'm guessing that in the text, every sentence ends with an exclamation mark - because that's how the story is read. Either the narration or the writing - or both - is just so hyperbolic, it's hard to bear. Anyway, if you like A&E style documentaries instead of PBS style documentaries, then you might enjoy this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Atlas Shrugged

  • By: Ayn Rand
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hurt
  • Length: 52 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,645

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Epic in Scope, Simplistic Characters

  • By Rich on 02-04-08

Rather tiresome

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-27-07

Several years ago I read Rand's Fountainhead and while I didn't completely agree with the underlying philosophy, I found that it was something to think about. Embarking on a cross-country trip, I decided to listen to Atlas Shrugged and was quite disappointed. The theme of the book is quite clear after the first chapter. The entire plot can be guessed after the second - at one point I accidently skipped ahead and missed about 2 hrs worth of content and I didn't even notice. Moreover, the characters are all one dimensional (good guys = angular faces, ice blue eyes, hard working capitalists; bad guys = soft squishy skin, lazy socialists). In short, even though I agree with some of Rand's tenents, I found myself skipping ahead and wishing the book would end.

24 of 42 people found this review helpful