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Donald Hill

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  • 35
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  • The China Mirage

  • The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia
  • By: James Bradley
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

In each of his books, James Bradley has exposed the hidden truths behind America's engagement in Asia. Now comes his most engrossing work yet. Beginning in the 1850s, Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans who made their fortunes in the China opium trade. As they - good Christians all - profitably addicted millions, American missionaries arrived, promising salvation for those who adopted Western ways.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Gross Negligence!

  • By Donald Hill on 05-31-18

Gross Negligence!

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I was intrigued by the first part of this book. The first insight was about Japan’s back door policy with the U.S. This is in regard to Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Prize for negotiating a peace settlement between Japan and Russia, with Japan being the puppet master and the Nobel Academy knowing nothing about Japan’s secret role in getting T. Roosevelt involved in the negotiation process of the Russo-Japanese peace settlement after the breakout of war in 1904.
Another intriguing insight from the book was the story of Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine. The most interesting part of this was the facts the author laid out with stories printed in Time Magazine that were fabricated during the 30’s and 40’s. We can now attest to the fact that “Time” never changes. They continue to pass opinion off as fact.
However, even with those two neatly told stories does not add up to Mr. Bradley’s crumbling thesis of this book. This is why I cannot in good conscience provide a decent rating for this book. The conclusions are absurd! I am not a history professor. But I am an avid reader. I listened to or read over 120 books in the past two-and-a-half years. At least one-fourth of them have to do with the World War II era. So in my lifetime, I can say that I have read at least 100 books connected to this era of history, so I am not ill-informed.
The thesis deals with three things that strike me as gross negligence in writing on a subject of this sort.
1. Bradley claims that the USA would never have had to go to war with Japan if Franklin D. Roosevelt’s underlings would not have stabbed him in the back and stopped selling oil to the Japanese. He seems to posture that all we had to do is feed the Japanese war machine with oil to take over much of Asia and all would have been fine. Seriously, I am not making this up! There was practically no mention of the Japanese “Rape of Nanking”, in 1937. What about the horrific deeds the Japanese did to the populations in Asia during the expansion of territory during the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
2. Chiang Kai-shek bad guy; Mao Zedong good guy… what? I am not making this up! This is the cornerstone of Bradley thesis of the book. He speaks of how Mao was such a great leader and how horrible Chiang was. Look, I realize that Chiang wasn’t a great leader. But he had the backing of the China lobby. The USA is the only reason why he got any backing at all. Bradley claims that FDR totally supported both Chiang and Madam Chiang. It is a fact that Roosevelt became so enraged with some of the things that Madam Chiang said to the press that he wanted her out of the White House ASAP and sent back to China. Oh, that little fact was NEVER mentioned. Bradley picks his “facts” carefully, leaving out the ones that don’t fit the narrative.
I don’t even have time to get into the wrongdoings of Mao. The only people that see Mao as a great savior of the Chinese people is ardent communists. Then Bradley brings one of the most controversial person’s that worked in the State Department at the time, John Stewart Service. Well, the plot thickens. Of course, Mr. Bradley seemed to leave out some details of John Service’s treasonous behavior. This has been totally fact-checked with books written about the Venona decrypts (The NSA project to decrypt the messages of the Soviets during the cold war). It is a known fact that Service wasn’t just a communist sympathizer, he was a known Soviet agent. Well, none of that was ever mentioned in the book. See, the way Bradley tells the story, Service, son of a diplomat that grew up in China, was so impressed by Mao. It didn’t matter that Service didn’t follow orders by the State Department, Stewart was just trying to correct a fatal flaw in US policy, etc. It sickens me to even go on about this.
3. Here is the icing on the cake! FDR performed the disgraceful act of creating an illegal Chinese Air Force, backed by the USA, known as the Flying Tigers. OK, I have read a lot on this subject. With one swoop of the pen, we get how terrible it was for the Flying Tigers to have existed, with them helping to halt the otherwise unchecked advance of Japanese troops in China.
Mr. Bradley asks a question: If his father knew about the China lobby, which created the China Mirage, what would he have thought about this situation. After all, his father (may God rest his soul) was one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. This account was vividly brought to life in Bradley’s book “Flags of Our Fathers”. I feel I can speculate on how his father would have responded to the thesis of this book. I am sorry to say that Mr. Bradley has lost his way as a historian, after publishing “Flags of Our Fathers”.
This book was EXTREMELY disappointing! My apologies to all service members (which includes me) that have fought and defended this great country. Keep browsing, you can do better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stalin and the Scientists

  • A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905-1953
  • By: Simon Ings
  • Narrated by: Tim Bruce
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Scientists throughout history, from Galileo to today's experts on climate change, have often had to contend with politics in their pursuit of knowledge. But in the Soviet Union, where the ruling elites embraced, patronized, and even fetishized science like never before, scientists lived their lives on a knife edge. The Soviet Union had the best-funded scientific establishment in history. Scientists were elevated as popular heroes and lavished with awards and privileges.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Never Judge and Book by its cover!

  • By Donald Hill on 11-21-17

Never Judge and Book by its cover!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

You have heard it said many time before, "never judge a book by its cover". When selecting this book, that is exactly what I did. I have been very interested in subjects such as the Cold War.

I have always been interested in learning as much as I can about the the development of nuclear research and the building of atomic weapons. I have also been very interested in the the developments both the US and the Soviet Union space programs. Well, this is NOT that book. There is an honorable mention with regard to Stalin's scientists with regard to the two topics mentioned above, but not much at all.

Simon Ings managed to write a book that covered Soviet genetics, more than anything. He describes how Trofim Lysenko completely denied fact, such as the existence of genes. Lysenko was a complete crackpot when it comes to genetics. This turned out to be a dangerous situation because millions starved in the Soviet Union due to crop failures based on Lysenko's belief that he somehow created better crops that could withstand some of the worst weather.

Ings explains when Stalin and Khrushchev loved what Lysenko's work was all about. The fact that there is nothing genetic about plants, they just need a good environment. That really supports the communist platform. Ings covers Pavlov and his experiments in great detail about social behavior.

Pure and simple. Even though the book has a lot of details, if you have little interest in genetics and biology, don't buy the book because it may put you to sleep. The book is mostly about the many missteps maid by these scientists during the Stalin era.

But somehow, the author sort of pays these scientists a backhanded complement by stating in the end of the book: "There was, I believe, something piteously unavoidable, something admirably human, about the way the Soviet Union faced a world of scarcity and poverty, and tried to light up its land with the fitful glow of science. For all the terrors, follies and crimes of that time, I believe this has also been a story of courage, imagination and even genius". Huh!

Thumbs down!!

D. Hill
Valparaiso, IN.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Cold War

  • A World History
  • By: Odd Arne Westad
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 22 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

In The Cold War, Odd Arne Westad offers a new perspective on a century when a superpower rivalry and an ideological war transformed every corner of our globe. We traditionally think of the Cold War as a post-World War II diplomatic and military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Westad argues that the conflict must be understood as a global ideological confrontation with roots in the industrial revolution and with continuing implications for the world today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A lenghy treatise on the Cold War

  • By Donald Hill on 11-21-17

A lenghy treatise on the Cold War

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

Odd Arne Westad, is a "Norwegian historian, specializing in the Cold War" (according to an on-line source), was born the same year I was (1960). I was intrigued with reading/listening to this lengthy dissertation on the subject of the Cold War. Admittedly, I have not found a great number of global histories in this subject.

This book contains 635 pages (hardcover edition) of reading, plus many references, almost 23 hours of listening. There was so much to digest that I would probably pick up so much more by reading an listening to it again.

However, I am no novice about this subject. Here is a short list of the shortcomings and disagreements that I have with the authors telling of this very important period of our history:

1. There is hardly a mention of the Venona decrypts, which is VERY important in revealing a lot of mysteries surrounding Soviet espionage during the Cold War.

2. There is no mention of plausible deniability policies that were instituted by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. The fact that both former presidents kept crucial illegally locked away from prying eyes of congressional leaders.

3. Westad takes the standard line on that "horrible Joseph McCarthy" in the senate, out to destroy honest hardworking Americans employed by the State Department. Well there is much truth that has been PROVEN by the Venona decrypts, which were released to the general public in 1995, so these revelations aren't a small unimportant story to the big picture of the Cold War. Perhaps Westad should have taken the time to read "Blacklisted by History" by M. Stanton Evans, or "Stalin's Secret Agents" by M. Stanton Evans, and Herbert Romerstein. The material in these books alone will give Americans a Cold War chill like they NEVER felt before!

4. The author almost seems to deny the fact that the Venona decrypts (revealed in 1995) proved that there were MANY communists and fellow travelers firmly embedded in the U.S. government, especially the State Department during the 1940's, 1950's and beyond. Hopefully, thinking Americans learned what happens when you have one party in control of the Executive branch of government for 24 years! The moles have a long time to establish themselves and eliminate the people who can potentially expose them.

5. The coverage in this book on China went way beyond what I have ever been exposed to. There was much to be learned. However, there was no mention of the debacle regarding the treachery in the State Department of John Stewart Service and his eventual defection to communist China after he was discovered as a traitor. I don't recall any mention of Lauchlin Currie either. These two traitors probably have more to do with China being led by a communist government after World War II than anyone else, as far as the US governments interest were concerned. This is all well documented in The Venona Secrets written by Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel.

6. I also believe that point was lacking with regard to the extensive damage caused by the many communist spies in the US and in the U.K. governments that succeeded in spoiling democracy for many countries after WWII and responsible for the slaughter of at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people caught in the web of deceit.

7. There was also nothing mentioned in the text about how livid Eisenhower was with the fact that the US State Department and military planners had no contingency plans on how the U.S. should react when Stalin either died or was removed from power. Here was a golden opportunity, if properly planned to begin a Cold War thaw. This just shows how infested the State Department still was with communist sympathizers always trying to topple our government.

8. My last point of non-coverage involves the fact that I am not a believer in the innocence of Harry Hopkins, special advisor to Roosevelt and later Harry Truman. I do think there was enough evidence (although not absolutely proven) that he sold out eastern Europe. The greatest level of incompetence shown by F.D.R. during his entire administration, was his inability to properly brief Harry Truman, his new incoming vice president in his 4th term. Truman had very little truth of Roosevelt's wishes except for the backstabbers in the State Department and Harry Hopkins. He trusted Hopkins to be a special envoy to the Soviet Union to negotiate a settlement with Stalin with regard to Poland and Czechoslovakia. What Stalin got was a man who was willing to go against the intentions of Truman, paving the way for the eventual enslavement of millions of people in the countries trapped behind the iron curtain.

Westad does a great job with giving a background on the various Soviet leaders. As mentioned above, his depth on China's communist leadership is immense. The autocracies are covered in rich and sickening detail at times, but proves the wretchedness of communism.

Westad provides a great background on Korea, taking the reader through the history and division of that country into North and South. He covers the Korean war with rich detail.

The book also focuses on the client states of the Soviet Union and the US. There were some really terrible things that happened to people in these client states, by both superpowers. The US has NOTHING to be proud of here, with the manipulation by the CIA to put evil people in power in these client states to stem the tide of communism, especially in Africa, Central, and South America.

Another area where Westad covers with outstanding detail the things that happened during the Cold War in Western Europe. He shows how various US presidents acted and reacted to the state of affairs with regard to NATO countries, as well as non-NATO countries like France, when they pulled out of NATO.

I realize this is a long review, to an much longer book packed with many details about the Cold War. This is the longest book/audio book, I have ever read & listened to with regard the the Cold War. I would definitely recommend it to those who are serous students of the Cold War era. Few books get into this level of detail. But, as I mentioned in the eight points above, this book is lacking in some very important subject matter, that leaves the big story incomplete. So read/listen and enjoy, but remember, there is so much more out there that will help you build a clearer picture of this historical time.

D. Hill
Valparaiso, IN

31 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation

  • Oxford University Press: Pivotal Moments in US History
  • By: Thomas Kessner
  • Narrated by: Bob McGraw
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

In late May 1927 an inexperienced and unassuming 25-year-old Air Mail pilot from rural Minnesota stunned the world by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight. A spectacular feat of individual daring and collective technological accomplishment, Charles Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris ushered in America's age of commercial aviation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Comprehensive Biography of Lindbergh

  • By Donald Hill on 11-21-17

A Comprehensive Biography of Lindbergh

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

Thomas Kessner has written a masterful account of Charles Lindbergh with his involvement in the rise of American aviation.. As much as I am an aviation enthusiast, I realized how little I knew about one of Americas most influential aviators.

The subtitle of the book is "Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation", is truly the theme of the book. Kessner does a great job of telling that story. He covers Lindbergh in his early days. He writes about the complex relationship with his mother and father and how their divorce affected Charles in his youth. The author devotes a significant amount of time on the relationship between Lindbergh and his mother, which is very revealing in how it shaped his personality.

Kessner's coverage of the story regarding the transatlantic competition and Lindbergh's eventual triumph is told really well. This part of the story does not drag on, he really makes it all come to life!

Kessner devotes a large part of the text to Linbergh's effect on the rise of American aviation. This is truly the underlying theme. He spends many pages of the book discussing his courtship with Ann Morrow, their marriage, and her involvement with him and his career as a pilot, and Ann's eventual certification as a pilot too.

What I found a bit odd was that Kessner writes the final chapter of the book on the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. (their first child). It is followed by the Epilogue that merely mentions the rocky relationship with the Roosevelt administration, when that was such a large part of his persona with the general public, which prior to that, adored him as a great hero. This part of his life and acceptance of Nazi fascism, turned many fans of Lindbergh into many that were loathe of him due to his political stance leading up to World War II. Just a mere mention of his time spent in the Pacific theater during the war is recorded in this book.

However, Kessner names his Epilogue: "The End of Heroes", for a good reason. He exposes the many flaws of this great figure, telling history at face value. There are plenty of shocks and surprises revealed about Lindbergh in his later years, which I will leave to the reader/listener.

In short, it was a very good read. I was totally captivated by the story. I found that there is so much to learn on any subject. I read 58 books this year, so far. This is definitely in the top 10!

  • When Tigers Ruled the Sky

  • The Flying Tigers: American Outlaw Pilots over China in World War II
  • By: Bill Yenne
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

In 1940 Pearl Harbor had not yet happened, and America was not yet at war with Japan. But China had been trying to stave off Japanese aggression for three years - and was desperate for aircraft and trained combat pilots. General Chiang Kai-shek sent military aviation advisor Claire Chennault to Washington, where President Roosevelt was sympathetic but knew he could not intervene overtly. Instead he quietly helped Chennault put together a group of American volunteer pilots.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Well Written Historical Perspective

  • By Donald Hill on 11-21-17

A Well Written Historical Perspective

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

Bill Yenne did a great job of balance and articulation in telling the story of The Flying Tigers. It really tied a lot of things together for me from reading previous accounts, watching documentaries, and recently viewing the old movie: God Is My Co-Pilot (based on the autobiography by Robert Lee Scott).

The book takes you through the phases of the fabled Flying Tigers in China during WWII. He gives much praise to Claire Chennault, and his ability to put together a fighting force to help the Chinese against the Japanese aggression during WWII. He really portrays Chennault in a very good light, and deservedly so. History shines a well deserved spotlight on this great man.

Perhaps the only thing I might suggest to the author is to have invested a bit more time researching the treachery performed by members of the U.S. State Department that wanted to insure that Chiang Kai Shek's leadership for a free China during and after the war was undermined at any cost. Traitors like John Stewart Service and Lauchlin Currie are key players that allowed China to fall into the hands of Mao and the communists after WWII ended. Another player in this circle, mentioned by Yenne in the book is Thomas Corcoran (along with Lauchlin Currie, but does not mention John Service). Currie (and Service) played big roles in undermining Chiang's motives with the U.S. military leadership and the White House, and their cause was aided by Corcoran. And they got away with their treachery! Thus the sad tail of what happened to China after the war.

He pretty much has General Stilwell pegged, as a theater commander that was a real determent to the U.S. concerns in China during WWII. However, he was being played by communist sympathizers that did not want to see Chiang Kai Shek succeed under any circumstances and fed lots of false information to Stilwell (mentioned above). But he doesn't deserve much credit for his leadership showing such spiteful prejudice against the Chiang and his cause for China.

Overall, this is a great story! It is well balanced, telling the story of great and brave men who held off the Japanese allowing China to remain in the fight during the war. He is a rock solid writer. The conclusion of the story is also brilliantly crafted telling the reader about the fate of these great men and their mark on history. Bill Yenne has written many books and is on my A list!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Quake

  • How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
  • By: Henry Fountain
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 133

In the best-selling tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, The Great Quake is a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in North American recorded history - the 1964 Alaska earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and swept away the island village of Chenega - and the geologist who hunted for clues to explain how and why it took place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating to hear the full story

  • By Debby A Davis on 08-18-17

There is Nothing about the Book I Didn't Like!

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

Reviewed: 08-31-17

Where does The Great Quake rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Of the 45 audio books I have finished this year, I would rank The Great Quake in the top 10.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Quake?

I would highly recommend Henry Fountain as an author. This book is about the Alaskan earthquake of 1964. I had only experienced this tragic event in documentaries and articles. Henry Fountain does something amazing in the story line, which I am a fan of, in a big way. He blends the story of George Plafker, who was a geologist with the US Geological Survey (a major character in the book) with the story about the victims of the quake, focusing on the early years of a school teacher, Kris Madsen Van Winkle, another major character in the book.

The story involves an emotional tale of the heartache with the loss of life among the residents in the village of Chenega, where Kris Madsen was a teacher in a one room school house at the time of the earthquake. The story is also about the residents of Valdez, and how hard there community was struck by the destruction and loss of life from the earthquake.

However, the story involves a great triumph involving the genius of George Plafker, geologist par excellence! What an amazing piece of journalism. Fountain made many trips to see Plafker and get his story (stated in the Acknowledgments). He provided an excellent background on Plafker's life and accomplishments. He also visited Kris Van Winkle and provided another human interest story on the background of her life as well.

Which scene was your favorite?

I am not a professional scientist, rather a technologist. But I have a great passion for science. My favorite part in this book was describing the detective work by George Plafker during the aftermath of the quake. I have a fairly good understanding of plate tectonics, which causes continental drift. However, I had no idea what a pivotal role George Plafker played in the eventual acceptance of the theory, first put forth by Alfred Wegener in the early 20th century.

If you have little, or no interest in the science of geology, this book may not be the book for you. But is you like to read a well blended story about human interest in communities affected by the earthquake that hit Alaska in the early 1960s, along with an in-depth explanation of what caused the quake and created such profound after-effects, you would certainly enjoy this book.

Any additional comments?

A big thank you to Henry Fountain for telling the story of George Plafker, along with his major contribution to geology and our understanding about the causes of earthquakes. If I had never read this book, I am not sure I would have ever learned about such a great man and his direct contribution to science.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Moore's Law

  • The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary
  • By: Arnold Thackray, David Brock, Rachel Jones
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 24 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Our world today - from the phone in your pocket to the car that you drive, the allure of social media to the strategy of the Pentagon - has been shaped irrevocably by the technology of silicon transistors. Year after year, for half a century, these tiny switches have enabled ever-more startling capabilities. Their incredible proliferation has altered the course of human history as dramatically as any political or social revolution. At the heart of it all has been one quiet Californian: Gordon Moore.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting back story

  • By Daniel on 08-02-15

Solid coverage on the life of Gordon Moore

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

This audio book is quite lengthy. it is unfortunate that the authors include a lot of repetition. The book does justice to describing the life of Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel.

However, the beginning of the book goes into excruciating detail regarding the ancestors of Gordon and his wife Betty. Instead of beginning the story with their childhood, or even their parents, the story goes back generations to early family settlers in California. The story also provides equally the same in-depth description about Gordon's philanthropy.

This is all great, but in my opinion (if that really matters) this book could have been condensed with regard to those two topics and could have reduced the recording to under 20 hours from the 24.5 hours it is. so if you love details, this is the book for you.

The book reminds me of two steps forward and one step back, in terms of its progress of telling the story on a timeline.

The details of how Gordon Moore, along with other Silicon Valley giants, weaved together the business empire of Intel. A great success story of American business at its finest.

Don Hagen does a good job of narrating this book. His voice is deep, clear concise and very soothing.

I have given this book a good rating, knowing how much research and care went into telling this very important story of a person who is really an icon in the electronics industry and a person who's hard work and dedication has enabled all of us to enjoy the use of our electronic gadgets, like this smartphone I am using to write this review.

Gordon Moore is rich in intellect and rich at heart for feeling the need to donate his extreme wealth to worthwhile causes. Gordon is a truly great person! And along with Betty, his wonderful wife, have enjoyed six decades of marriage together while raising two fine sons. They provide great role models within a solid family structure.

  • The Vision of the Anointed

  • Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
  • By: Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 337

In this devastating critique of the mindset behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years, Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes, but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in education, crime, family disintegration, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I've ever listened to...

  • By Dan on 07-29-14

Thomas Sowell is so Articulate!

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

Reviewed: 06-03-17

Even though this book was written over 20 years ago, "The Vision of The Anointed" seems like it is out of today's headlines.

Sowell explains why the judicial system is such a mess, the crusades by the "anointed" and why the press is so biased and has their back. There has never been a better time to read this book. We continue to see our freedom of speach eroded, because the anointed understand the issues so much better than "we the people"!

It is time to wake up and abolish this nonsense once and for all! If you think that what is happening in our political arena today is new, well, think again. The anointed circus just brings in new clowns. But it is nothing to jest about. These are dangerous players with a dangerous agenda. They have been undermining our system of government for decades.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 1924

  • The Year That Made Hitler
  • By: Peter Ross Range
  • Narrated by: Paul Hodgson
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

Before Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, there was 1924. This was the year of Hitler's final transformation into the self-proclaimed savior and infallible leader who would interpret and distort Germany's historical traditions to support his vision for the Third Reich. Everything that would come - the rallies and riots, the single-minded deployment of a catastrophically evil idea - all of it crystallized in one defining year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great insight into history

  • By acraig on 08-06-16

The title clearly states the focus of this book

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

Reviewed: 11-14-16

Would you listen to 1924 again? Why?

No matter how much I learn about a subject from an audio book, there is a great amount of detail that can be absorbed better by a second listen. However, there are so many books on my read list, I hardly can justify the time.

What other book might you compare 1924 to and why?

I have read biographies on Hitler and the Third Reich, but haven't read anything that compares to this deep dive of the momentous year of 1924 in Hitler's life.

Which character – as performed by Paul Hodgson – was your favorite?

I have no favorite character of the reader, however, it was narrated well.

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

How Hitler really came to power in Germany.

Any additional comments?

The chapter notes and bibliography are pretty extensive. I feel this book was well researched. I have read no material on Hitler's early life that described the Beer Hall Putsch, his subsequent arrest and imprisonment like this one. I had no idea how well he was treated, including all the special favors for him and his fellow conspirators. This book shed so much new light on a subject I only thought I knew.

If you find pre-World War II history interesting, this is an important book for a clear understanding how Hitler made it on the political scene in Germany during the 1920s. Great book!

  • Submarine Commander

  • A Story of World War II and Korea
  • By: Paul R. Schratz
  • Narrated by: John N. Gully
  • Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 98

A fascinating personal memoir of underwater combat in World War II, told by a man who played a major role in those dangerous operations. Frank and beautifully written, this book will be of lasting value as a submarine history by an expert and as an enduring military and political analysis.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Biography Through Sub Command

  • By Anne S. on 01-19-16

An OK Historical Record About One Man's Carrier

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

Reviewed: 05-23-16

The book is an autobiography about Paul Schratz's carrier in the Navy, and how he eventually became a commander of submarines. He did great things in the service of his country. The book was first published in 1988.
The reader was smooth. He didn't read fast, just a nice even pace, and spoke clearly. However, there were some words, namely geographic places mispronounced.
I have always been very interested in submarine warfare, especially that of World War II. Commander Schratz had some pretty tough assignments. He told it like it was, I am quite sure.
America can be grateful that we had men of great character serving in positions of authority. I served in the armed forces about the time this book was being written, but did not know of it until recently. I am thankful that I didn't have to endure what Paul Schratz was so committed to in serving his country.
The Naval Institute records his passing in 1993. He had four daughters. His decedents must be very proud of his fine record of service and sacrifice.