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M

M Wakefield, United Kingdom Member Since 2012

I'm a singing songwriting postie living in Yorkshire. Sometimes I like to be challenged by a book, and sometimes I just want to lose myself.

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  • "Money, money, money. It's so funny ..."

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    I'm still none the wiser as to how the financial world's complex creations actually work, or how the Masters of The Universe get away with what seems to me to be nothing but gambling, but this book did challenge my general view that the econosphere is basically evil and bad for society in general. The rise of civilisation - seen through the prism of the financial markets - is certainly dependent on the movement of huge amounts of cash, and there's no doubting that our general prosperity and way of life is, to a large degree, due to the evolution of the markets, but what is certain is that the folks at the top of the money pile need a whole lot of regulation and accountability so as to reign in their all-too-human tendencies to get carried away with their schemes. A very interesting and thought-provoking book, well narrated.

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    The Ascent of Money

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Hugh Ross
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labour. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential back-story behind all history.

    Tim says: "Excellent Car Journey Material"
  • "To pay, or not to pay tax ...?"

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    To pay taxes, or not to pay taxes, that is the question ... To which the corporate, international financial and global criminal fraternity have answered with a resounding No. This is a wonderfully dark tale of money eating itself and spewing out more, on which it then feeds and grows, warping the laws and norms of civil society to their own needs to the point that all we can do is willingly, though blindly, throw ourselves into it to feed its relentless greed. A fascinating, inspiring and depressing book - brilliantly narrated, though poorly produced - that has left me angry and thoroughly intrigued. Read it. Then read it again.

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    Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nicholas Shaxson
    • Narrated By Tim Bentinck
    Overall
    (37)
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    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Most people regard tax havens as being relevant only to celebrities, crooks and spivs, and mistakenly believe that the main offshore problems are money laundering and terrorist financing. These are only small parts of the whole picture. The offshore system has been (discreetly) responsible for the greatest ever shift of wealth from poor to rich. It also undermines our democracies by offering the wealthiest members of society escape routes from normal democratic controls.

    M says: "To pay, or not to pay tax ...?"
  • "On The Media ..."

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    As always, after finishing one of Alain de Botton's books, you look up with a fresh perspective on something that had seemed sorted and steady in your mind; the world seems to be a slightly brighter and more interesting place. Here he takes on that multi-headed behemoth, the Media, and slowly dissects it and its relationship with us so that we can better understand its motivations and faults. A very good read, though the production (the music, and the constant interruptive numbers) was slightly distracting.

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    The News: A User's Manual

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Alain de Botton
    • Narrated By Nicholas Bell
    Overall
    (10)
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    (10)
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    (10)

    We are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, writes Alain de Botton (author of the best-selling The Architecture of Happiness), but this has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. In his dazzling new book, de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories - including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview and a political scandal - and submits them to unusually intense analysis with a view to helping us navigate our news-soaked age.

    Conrad says: "Great book. Essential listening/ reading"
  1. The Ascent of Money
  2. Treasure Islands: Tax Hav...
  3. The News: A User's Manual
  4. .

A thrilling, true story

An extraordinary space odyssey

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