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Mark Belisarius

Dunfermline, Scotland
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 0
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • The Retreat of Western Liberalism

  • By: Edward Luce
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall, treated by the West as an absolute triumph over the East.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Essential Reading For Understanding The Current State Of The West

  • By Conor on 23-12-17

Excellent Book

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

Reviewed: 04-07-19

The concept of liberalism as opposed to the term was front and centre in this overview of inter personal, intra national and international power games and the author makes valid observations on populist decisions and popular movements even if they are not to the liking of all.

  • Mortal Republic

  • How Rome Fell into Tyranny
  • By: Edward J. Watts
  • Narrated by: Matt Kugler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

In Mortal Republic, prize-winning historian Edward J. Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not just a chronology but reasons

  • By Mark Belisarius on 21-01-19

Not just a chronology but reasons

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

Reviewed: 21-01-19

I am no novice on the Roman Republic and its demise but despite some repitition, I found this book engaging and the author has provided an insight into and a rationale for events that was plausible and illuminating. As always a secondary source may miss the mark but this is certainly worthy of an assessment.

  • The Roman Republic

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: David M. Gwynn
  • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

The rise and fall of the Roman Republic occupies a special place in the history of Western civilization. From humble beginnings on the seven hills beside the Tiber, the city of Rome grew to dominate the ancient Mediterranean. Led by her senatorial aristocracy, Republican armies defeated Carthage and the successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great, and brought the surrounding peoples to east and west into the Roman sphere. Yet the triumph of the Republic was also its tragedy.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Goodis.h Overview

  • By Mark Belisarius on 15-01-19

Goodis.h Overview

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

OK. Probably a bit lumpy for my liking. skips chunks and omits detail. if you want VERY key moments OK, any more and it will be found wanting.

  • The Odyssey

  • By: Homer, Robert Fagles - translator
  • Narrated by: Ian McKellen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully translated & read; poor sound quality

  • By D on 26-07-16

Exceptional -

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Allegory for life from 3000 years ago. Listen and be entranced. it tells us what is important in life.

  • The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters

  • By: Adam Nicolson
  • Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

From where does Homer come? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? The Mighty Dead is a magical journey of discovery across wide stretches of the past, sewn together by some of the oldest stories we have - the great ancient poems of Homer and their metaphors of life and trouble.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Often thought provoking, occasionally cringeworthy

  • By Richard Bowden on 03-06-15

Briiliant Presentation occasionally off piste

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

Well worth listening too, more Odyssey than Illiad but covers both well and some good insight

  • Macbeth: A Novel

  • By: A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Russ on 09-07-12

A Novel Experience

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

Reviewed: 16-07-18

I think the drive of Lady Macbeth to turn an honest thane is well reflected in this novel. Performance and story both excellent. I always look to Shakespeare's plays for a novel interpretation. This novel provides something similar.

  • Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician

  • By: Anthony Everitt
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

In this dynamic and engaging biography, Anthony Everitt plunges us into the fascinating, scandal-ridden world of ancient Rome in its most glorious heyday. Accessible to us through his legendary speeches but also through an unrivaled collection of unguarded letters to his close friend Atticus, Cicero comes to life here as a witty and cunning political operator.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent viewpoint

  • By James on 06-10-15

Narration and Story Engaging

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

Reviewed: 04-11-17

Thoroughly enjoyable. would recommend this modern telling of Cicero's life and times which provides an understanding of the age as well as Cicero's life.

  • The Odyssey of Homer

  • By: Elizabeth Vandiver, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Vandiver
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 47

What is it in Homer's Odyssey that has so enthralled readers from around the world for thousands of years? By joining Professor Vandiver for these 12 lectures on the Odyssey, you'll find out why.This literary exploration centers on a single provocative question about the epic poem's protagonist, Odysseus: Why does he long so powerfully to go home? To probe the depths of this question, you'll embark on meticulous, insightful examinations of the most important episodes in the Odyssey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended

  • By Ruben Brooke on 23-07-18

Excellent Synopsis and Background

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

Reviewed: 23-10-17

Places The Odyssey in context. Summarises the plot and explains historic importance of this work. Knowledgable lecturer.

  • Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

  • By: Robert Garland, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Garland
  • Length: 18 hrs and 51 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Integrated approaches to teaching Greek and Roman history are a rarity in academia. Most scholars are historians of either Greek or Roman history and perform research solely in that specific field, an approach that author and award-winning Professor Robert Garland considers questionable.In these 36 passionate lectures, he provides and impressive and rare opportunity to understand the two dominant cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world in relation to one another-a relationship that has virtually no parallel in world history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Unusual and Fascinating Perspective

  • By Jonathan on 10-11-14

The backdrop to Western Civilisation

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

Reviewed: 04-09-17

I thought 39 lectures would be hard going but I was sad when it finished. Great insight and reference points for more detailed reading. Thoroughly recommended