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FM Veteran

FM Veteran UK
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Beats Rand"

    Overall

    ‘The Fatal Conceit’ is not what you’d call a light read, but worth the effort if you can keep up your concentration. Hayek will always command historical interest, having been such a philosophical influence on Thatcher. As an economist of distinctly capitalist bent, he here puts the theoretical boot into socialism. You’ll either find it a compelling case or a tirade; but it rehearses the respective arguments tidily, whatever your perspective. My only reservation is that the book sounded rather like an essay, and would guess that the original print version contains references to back up the many assumptions.

    Narrator Everett Sherman does a nice job, with a calm, mature voice that fits the content well, and a leisurely pace that gives you time to take in the sometimes complex arguments. Be aware that there are a few re-recorded passages that have been spliced in rather obviously.

    In many respects, Hayek is on the same ground here as Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’, albeit with an academic rather than a fictional orientation. Given a choice, my opinion would be that, in terms of brevity, precision and humanity, it has to be Hayek.

    More

    The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By F. A. Hayek
    • Narrated By Everett Sherman
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the "errors of socialism." Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the "fatal conceit" the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes."

    FM Veteran says: "Beats Rand"
  • "Well argued dissent"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having liked all Ridley’s science books, I was worried to hear about this one. I suspected that he, a Tory peer, was lurching into political writing in defence of climate-change denial. So I put off reading it for three years; but I wish now that I hadn’t. Though presenting an optimistic view at odds with most scientists, it produces a shipload of facts, data and evidence in support – enough to have me questioning my own assumptions. If you’re convinced that the world’s going to hell in a handcart and you won’t hear otherwise, stay well away. But if you can entertain conflicting ideas simultaneously, this one’s for you.

    As for Ridley’s thesis: hearing the historical evidence, I found it hard to dispute his case that the world's never had it so good. His argument that pessimism is over-cooked is also convincing - in principle. For me, the big flies in the ointment are his PC beliefs that all people are the same, and that you can’t get enough of them. And some of his suppositions already look doubtful. Since the book was written, the UN has admitted that its estimated 9bn population peak was wildly optimistic. It’s also clear that the regions where populations are exploding are the very least equipped to engage in the trade- and innovation-led salvation Ridley proposes. Despite all that, it makes a change to hear a dissenter rattling Al Gore’s cage.

    I disliked the choice of reader, L J Ganser. Ridley, an Eton- and Oxford-educated aristocrat, talks in an appropriately understated manner. To hear him narrated like a New York car-salesman feels all wrong, especially as the text gives many clues to its English provenance. Some homework wouldn’t have hurt: not knowing that Samuel Pepys rhymes with ‘keeps’ is one of many crass blunders; but, for a real laugh, you’ll need to hear the economist Jeavons’s moniker mangled yourself.

    In short: get it. You’ll be either entertained or exercised, and certainly informed. And you’ll never take the doomsayers’ word at face value again.

    More

    Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than six billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous.

    judith says: "Could have been even better"
  • "A no-brainer for thinkers"

    Overall
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    Story

    This is a book that everyone working in spheres concerned with influencing human behaviour, from marketing to politics, should be obliged to read. For many, it will be the first time they’ve had exposure to evidence-based insight into how the mind really makes decisions. But you needn’t be a self-defined expert: anyone who’d like to understand why so many decisions are awful will love this.

    If you already know a bit about behavioural economics, there may not be much here that’s a revelation. Kahneman has been publishing since the 1970s, and much of his earlier thinking was brought to life by Stuart Sutherland’s ‘Irrationality – the Enemy Within’ in 1992. More recently and publicly, Kahneman acolytes Sunstein & Thaler cleaned up with ‘Nudge’. I got the impression that maybe this book is the author’s last-gasp effort to cash in his own chips. But that doesn’t take away from this rarity, a popular-science book that’s not self-help drivel but has peer-reviewed experiment running right through it, forming a terrific compendium of insights into how and why our brains routinely screw up.

    One word of caution: novices to the area shouldn’t take the System 1/2 model as gospel. One mental failing Kahneman highlights is ‘What You See Is All There Is’ – in other words, we neglect all accounts but the one we’re being presented with. This book risks providing precisely such a trap. Psychologists have been adept over the decades at devising highly plausible and repeatable models that establish their fame and fortune but turn out to have little scientific grounding. It’s notable that, though neuroscientific experiments have indeed demonstrated how sensory data may be processed in parallel by slower or faster networks, Kahneman mentions surprisingly little such evidence. A complete model might need for example to embrace individual differences in the density of neural connections in the prefrontal cortex: in other words, some of us just think logically a lot more often than others do.

    More

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Kahneman
    • Narrated By Patrick Egan
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (134)

    Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology challenging the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of the world's most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound impact on many fields - including business, medicine, and politics - but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research in one book.

    clive says: "Fascinating, but be prepared to concentrate"
  1. The Fatal Conceit: The Er...
  2. Rational Optimist: How Pr...
  3. Thinking, Fast and Slow
  4. .

A thrilling, true story

An extraordinary space odyssey

What's Trending in Non-fiction:

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    • By Bill Bryson
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    A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

    Roy says: "A short Review of Nearly Everything"
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    The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling modern classic: A Bravo Two Zero for the Second Gulf War. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps.

    Ross says: "Gripping account of a special forces op"
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    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Attenborough
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    Story
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    His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series.

    Mark says: "Unforgettable David"
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UNABRIDGED) by Caitlin Moran Narrated by Caitlin Moran

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    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
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    1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain.... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina?

    Helen says: "The best audio book so far!"
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  • Thinking, Fast and Slow (






UNABRIDGED) by Daniel Kahneman Narrated by Patrick Egan

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 6 mins)
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    Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology challenging the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of the world's most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound impact on many fields - including business, medicine, and politics - but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research in one book.

    clive says: "Fascinating, but be prepared to concentrate"
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    • By Richard Dawkins
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    Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2007.
    Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Book of the Year, 2007.
    Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, 2007.
    Winner of the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

    As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, Richard Dawkins has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    A says: "Masterpiece"
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UNABRIDGED) by Chris Hadfield Narrated by Chris Hadfield

    An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Chris Hadfield
    • Narrated By Chris Hadfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (198)
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    (196)

    An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality. Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in space.

    Ben says: "Inspiring, insightful and interesting"
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UNABRIDGED) by Bertrand Russell Narrated by Jonathan Keeble

    A History of Western Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Bertrand Russell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (36)

    Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy serves as the perfect introduction to its subject; it remains unchallenged as the greatest account of the history of Western thought. Charting philosophy's course from the pre-Socratics up to the early twentieth century, Russell relates each philosopher and school to their respective historical and cultural contexts, providing erudite commentary throughout his invaluable survey.

    Yaser says: "A must for all philosophers!"
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  • Twelve Years a Slave (






UNABRIDGED) by Solomon Northup Narrated by Tommie Earl Jenkins

    Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Tommie Earl Jenkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Twelve Years a Slave is the true story of Solomon Northup: born a free black man in New York State, and sold into slavery after being tricked in 1841. Unable to convince anyone he is not a slave, Solomon spent 12 years in bondage, before finally being set free. Northup's memoir, recounting details of the slave markets and the harsh life on plantations, was used in the struggle to abolish slavery in the United States.

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    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ruby Wax
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    Ruby Wax - comedian, writer and mental health campaigner - shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity. With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, she explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress. If we are to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.

    Matthew says: "The best audiobook to date"
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    • By Robert Greene
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    Adam says: "Not a revelation"
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    • By Malcolm Gladwell
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    Dawn says: "Riveting - enjoyed it much more than the paperback"
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    The Jewels of Happiness: Practical Inspiration and Wisdom for Your Life's Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sri Chinmoy
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    Sri Chinmoy's insightful words, elegant prose and deep wisdom form a tapestry of inspiration for people from all walks of life. This new edition is enriched by the music of Sri Chinmoy arranged and performed by artists from many nationalities. Sri Chinmoy was leader of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations for 37 years at the invitation of Secretary-General U Thant and founded a wide range of innovative, creative and grassroots initiatives

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UNABRIDGED) by Henry Stanton Narrated by Phil Chenevert

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    • By Henry Stanton
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    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Carolyn Cote
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    Two Trees Revealed exposes in stunning clarity what drives us. Each and every day, we choose to do things based on which has the final say in our lives: life or death. Just as Adam and Eve had a choice between the Tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so we too make that choice. Will we be a slave to our knowledge of good and evil, or will we serve Christ?

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    Bear Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Mick Webb
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    In the Pyrenees, contact between man and bear is rare. There are just over 20 brown bears roaming the vast mountain range. But for centuries, bears have loomed large in folklore and tradition, represented in cave paintings and both revered and feared in today's annual festivals. Bear Mountain is a journey into man's relationship with bears and the undeniable hold these animals have on our imaginations. However, bears are not viewed with universal affection. Efforts to replenish the brown bear population have been met with violent protests.

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UNABRIDGED) by Benjamin Creme Narrated by Jessica Webster

    The World Teacher for All Humanity

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Benjamin Creme
    • Narrated By Jessica Webster
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    As Maitreya, the World Teacher, stands poised ready to emerge into full public work, Benjamin Creme's latest book, The World Teacher for All Humanity, is an overview of the background to this momentous event. The audiobook details the planned return of our planetary Hierarchy and the descent of Maitreya from His Himalayan retreat in July 1977 and of His work in the world, albeit behind the scenes since then.

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UNABRIDGED) by Naomi Schaefer Riley Narrated by Catherine Force

    Got Religion?: How Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues Can Bring Young People Back

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Naomi Schaefer Riley
    • Narrated By Catherine Force
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    >InGot Religion?, veteran journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley sets out to identify and meet with religious leaders across America who are successfully engaging and growing the number of young members in their congregation. In interviews with clergy, academics, and (most importantly) the young men and women themselves, she uncovers a series of practical cross-denominational solutions that leaders of all faiths can employ in their own communities.

  • BBC Newshour, August 26, 2014  by Owen Bennett-Jones, Lyse Doucet, Robin Lustig, Razia Iqbal, James Coomarasamy, Julian Marshall Narrated by BBC Newshour

    BBC Newshour, August 26, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (51 mins)
    • By Owen Bennett-Jones, Lyse Doucet, Robin Lustig, and others
    • Narrated By BBC Newshour
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    Global news and analysis from the BBC World Service. Join our leading team of presenters for the best interviews, features and analysis of world events.

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UNABRIDGED) by Robert Welk Narrated by Dave Wright

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    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Robert Welk
    • Narrated By Dave Wright
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    The nation's top "Obamacare" insurance agent, Robert Welk, has authored Maximizing Obamacare to help you finally understand exactly what you need to do to avoid the vast majority of problems people experienced during open enrollment. The need for this audiobook is underscored by a recent revelation from the federal government that almost one-fourth of those enrolled have incorrectly reported their income.