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  • Galileo's Gout

  • Science in an Age of Endarkenment
  • By: Gerald Weissmann
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

As at home with Galileo and his daughter in Florence as he is with Diderot in Enlightenment France, William and Alice James in fin-de-siècle Boston, or the latest research on the genome, Gerald Weissmann distills the lessons of history to guide us through our troubled age. His message is clear: "Experimental science is our defense-perhaps our best defense-against humbug and the Endarkenment."

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ramblings

  • By Helen on 21-07-09


2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-07-09

This book is supposed to be a warning about the coming Endarkenment, the process by which religion is returning society to the pre-Enlightenment era and there are passages, which are persuasive. As a project though, it feels like an awkward mix between the polemic he wanted to write and the science anecdotes his editor insisted on.

The book leaps, with apparent unconcern, between the Endarkenment argument, side-tracks about his mentors the history of rheumatology and other unconnected musings.

Individually any one passage of this book is interesting; together it makes the large and eventually insupportable assumption that the reader/ listener is prepared to sit back and let him ramble, without narrative or end in sight.

Sadly, despite the underlying theme of science-writing as a tool for combating the invidious slip away from Reason, this book ultimately is an argument for a separation between research scientists and the publishing community.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Basic Economics

  • A Citizen's Guide to the Economy
  • By: Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by: Brian Emerson
  • Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Basic Economics has been written with the thought that learning economics should be not only a relaxed experience but also an enjoyable one.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Misleading Title

  • By Helen on 17-08-07

Misleading Title

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-08-07

This book is neither an introduction to basic economics or, particularly, a citizen's guide. Summarizing in one sentence what he considers economics to be: 'the study of the use of scarce resources', (not his own phrase incidentally) Sowell spends no more time in discussing economics per se but engages in political polemic, contrasting USSR (the only viable - although failed - alternative to laissez-faire capitalism apparently) with an idealised version of US prosperity.
I was hoping to listen to a book discussing the science of economics or a discussion of the ideas and algorithms that make up the discipline and perhaps an overview of common economic terms, that might illuminate the financial news, discussions of the stock market or the Chancellor's Budget Speech. Instead I was clobbered with partisan politics.

There are certainly uses for this text but if you're considering listening to it as an introductory text-book of some sort, there are better suited items on this service. I might recommend Mark Skousen's 'The Big Three in Economics', which discusses Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes in some considerable biographical detail but also engages with their economic theories.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful