Michael Flanagan Michael's Comments (member since Jun 06, 2010)


Michael's comments from the The History Book Club group.

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Jun 19, 2015 11:29PM

8115 I hope you the book does not disappoint.
Jun 19, 2015 11:29PM

8115 I hope you the book does not disappoint.
Jun 19, 2015 06:27PM

8115 Saeed wrote: "just started KL  A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann by Nikolaus WachsmannNikolaus Wachsmann"

I will be very interested in your thought on this one as I have just purchased it. You have a mammoth listen ahead of you Saeed.
Jun 19, 2015 03:32PM

8115 36. ISIS  Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss by Michael Weiss(no photo):
Finish date: 16th June
Genre: Terrorism, Current Affairs
Rating: B-
Review: This book gave me some great insight into ISIS on a historical and organisational level. The author uses a great array of sources to give the reader a well-researched overview.

I found the historical part of this book very engaging and Michael Weiss does a solid job in putting together all the complicated pieces in a manner that is easy to read. Another aspect of this book that I found riveting was the high level of organisation and planning that ISIS use in its campaigns. They appear to be functioning at an extremely high level and this is what is contributing to its ability to punch way above its weight. It is also a very terrifying realisation to come to.

Overall this book gives the reader a good overview of ISIS and the related issues. It is a timely book and as given me a new perspective on the subject
Jun 19, 2015 03:28PM

8115 Next up to entertain my ears is Lemay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis Lemay by Warren Kozak. I am very excited about this listen.

LeMay  The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay by Warren Kozak by Warren Kozak (no photo)

Synopsis: Kozak’s biography of U.S. Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay (1906–1990) won’t convert those utterly convinced that he was a bomb-happy maniac. The more open-minded, however, will find in it a broader perspective on this controversial officer than we have had elsewhere. His outstanding competence as leader and organizer of strategic airpower in World War II and during the cold war is convincingly presented; so are his limitations in the Pentagon and his poor judgment in being George Wallace’s running mate in 1968. Kozak suggests that LeMay was utterly dedicated to the mission of destroying his country’s enemies and to the men under his command charged with carrying out that mission. This led to what can only be called a certain lack of the social graces and a good many of what might charitably be called misinterpretations of where LeMay’s patriotism led him. A book that definitely belongs in aviation and modern military history collections.

Narrator:Grainger Hines

Running time: 13hrs 50mins
Jun 17, 2015 09:07PM

8115 Alisa wrote: "Just started this one and it's turning out to be quite interesting. Wine, high end auctions, the Forbes', and Thomas Jefferson. Why's not to love?
[bookcover:The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery..."


What a great read added to the ole TBR with gusto.
Jun 15, 2015 05:53PM

8115 35. Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2) by Pierce Brown by Pierce Brown Pierce Brown
Finish date: 10th June
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: A+++++++++++++++
Review:After the tour de force that was Red Rising I eagerly tore into Golden Son and I was not disappointed. Right from the opening paragraphs Pierce Brown continues with his spell binding narrative and immersive writing style.

Like book one of the trilogy Golden Son had me reading well into the night and was responsible for some very tired and grumpy mornings. Golden son continues on the tale of Darrow and his quest to honour and avenge his wife.

As the book rips through the pages I was pulled once again into the world of the Gold's with all of its deceit and arrogance. I was transported into the tormented soul of Darrow as he is pulled between the here and now and his past. This book delivers more twists and turns than a drunk trying to find his way home.

If you have not yet experienced the Red Rising Trilogy I implore you to do so NOW. But be warned this series is addictive and the end of this book pulls a sucker punch that will leave you dazed and craving more.
Jun 15, 2015 05:53PM

8115 JUNE

34. The Lost City of Z  A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann by David Grann David Grann
Finish Date: 6th June
Genre: Adventure
Rating: C+
Review: City of Z. The author does a great job of mixing the past and the here and now to deliver a spellbinding read.

I came into this book with not much knowledge on the exploration of the Amazon and was fascinated by the stories told. I had no idea about the Fawcett and the legend that had developed around him and his disappearance.

I must say that after reading about the hardships faced by those entering the Amazon it is the last placed I want to go to. So I shook my head in disbelief as the author set out to chase down the fate of Fawcett and finally find a conclusion in the deadly jungle.

The end of the book for me came a little abruptly but the revelation was staggering. Overall this book is an excellent read and the author has done a great bit of investigative writing.
Jun 15, 2015 05:50PM

8115 JUNE

35. The Lost City of Z  A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann by David Grann David Grann
Finish Date: 6th June
Genre: Adventure
Rating: C+
Review: City of Z. The author does a great job of mixing the past and the here and now to deliver a spellbinding read.

I came into this book with not much knowledge on the exploration of the Amazon and was fascinated by the stories told. I had no idea about the Fawcett and the legend that had developed around him and his disappearance.

I must say that after reading about the hardships faced by those entering the Amazon it is the last placed I want to go to. So I shook my head in disbelief as the author set out to chase down the fate of Fawcett and finally find a conclusion in the deadly jungle.

The end of the book for me came a little abruptly but the revelation was staggering. Overall this book is an excellent read and the author has done a great bit of investigative writing.
Jun 04, 2015 02:46PM

8115 Towards the Flame  Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia by Dominic Lieven by Dominic Lieven (no photo)

Synopsis:
The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era. Some articulate, thoughtful figures around the tsar understood Russia's fragility, yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that despite Germany's patent military superiority, Russian greatness required decisive action.

Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future, but in fact - after millions of deaths and two revolutions - they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniquely terrible generations-long experiment under a very different regime.

Narrator: Sean Barrett

Running Time: 15hrs 59min
Jun 04, 2015 02:45PM

8115 Baptists in America  A History by Thomas S. Kidd by Thomas S. Kidd (no photo)

Synopsis:
The Puritans called Baptists "the troublers of churches in all places" and hounded them out of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Four hundred years later, Baptists are the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers. They have built strong institutions, from megachurches to publishing houses to charities to mission organizations, and have firmly established themselves in the mainstream of American culture. Yet the historical legacy of outsider status lingers, and the inherently fractured nature of their faith makes Baptists ever wary of threats from within as well as without.

In Baptists in America, Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins explore the long-running tensions between church, state, and culture that Baptists have shaped and navigated. Despite the moment of unity that their early persecution provided, their history has been marked by internal battles and schisms that were microcosms of national events, from the conflict over slavery that divided North from South to the conservative revolution of the 1970s and '80s.

Baptists have made an indelible impact on American religious and cultural history, from their early insistence that America should have no established church to their place in the modern-day culture wars, where they frequently advocate greater religious involvement in politics. Yet the more mainstream they have become, the more they have been pressured to conform to the mainstream, a paradox that defines - and is essential to understanding - the Baptist experience in America.

Kidd and Hankins, both practicing Baptists, weave the threads of Baptist history alongside those of American history. Baptists in America is a remarkable story of how one religious denomination was transformed from persecuted minority into a leading actor on the national stage, with profound implications for American society and culture.

Narrator: Jonathon Walker

Running Time: 11hrs 59min
Jun 04, 2015 02:45PM

8115 New for the month of June at Audible:

The Hunter Killers  The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War by Dan Hampton by Dan HamptonDan Hampton

Synopsis:
A gripping chronicle of the band of maverick aviators who signed on for the suicidal, dangerous top-secret "Wild Weasel" missions during the Vietnam War - which used controversial and revolutionary tactics to combat Soviet missile technology - from New York Times best-selling author Dan Hampton.

On July 24, 1965, Soviet advisors to North Vietnam launched an SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM), blowing an American F-4 Phantom out of the sky - the first of several kills using this menacing system. To counter this new weaponry, stunned Pentagon officials created a classified program - "Wild Weasel I" - pairing experimental equipment with a highly select group of electronic warfare officers and fighter pilots to combat this deadly threat. The men who did this became the "Hunter Killers" - and it is time to know their names.

Fifty years later Dan Hampton provides a cockpit view of this highly classified military program that was a radical departure from conventional fighter jet tactics. These courageous, daring, and skilled warriors risked their lives to fight the SAMs and save their brother aviators.

Using firsthand accounts and declassified documents from both sides of the conflict, The Hunter Killers takes listeners into the skies and up close to the bloody duels that left half the Weasels dead or captured. At its center are the men who risked everything to fight the most dangerous antiaircraft weapons the world had seen.

Narrator: John Pruden

Running Time:11hrs 51min
Jun 04, 2015 02:43PM

8115 With ISIS dominating news I thought it was a about time to learn about them. After having a look at the books on the subject I decided on ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss

ISIS  Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss by Michael Weiss (no photo)

Synopsis:
Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, along with other fledgling terrorist groups, as a “jayvee squad” compared to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law.

In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who behead Western hostages in slickly produced videos and have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain. Beginning with the early days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS’s first incarnation as “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” Weiss and Hassan explain who the key players are—from their elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the former Saddam Baathists in their ranks—where they come from, how the movement has attracted both local and global support, and where their financing comes from.

Political and military maneuvering by the United States, Iraq, Iran, and Syria have all fueled ISIS’s astonishing and explosive expansion. Drawing on original interviews with former US military officials and current ISIS fighters, the authors also reveal the internecine struggles within the movement itself, as well as ISIS’s bloody hatred of Shiite Muslims, which is generating another sectarian war in the region. Just like the one the US thought it had stopped in 2011 in Iraq. Past is prologue and America’s legacy in the Middle East is sowing a new generation of terror.
Jun 04, 2015 02:43PM

8115 Diane wrote: "I enjoyed my last book, but decided for a change of pace and period:

[bookcover:Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi|4778436..."


I would be interested on your thought on this book Diane as it is my main area of interest.
Jun 03, 2015 06:29PM

8115 Samanta wrote: "JUNE

52. Redeployment by Phil Klay by Phil Klay Phil Klay
Finish date: 3rd June 2015
Genre: short story, war fiction
Rating: B
Review:
"We shot dogs..."


Nice review have added it to my TBR list
May 28, 2015 03:18PM

8115 Fred wrote: "How can I do this when I don't know what a "thread" is?

Can you translate to English?"


Hi Fred this a thread each topic listed has it's own thread.

So in this instance Teri is referring to the second message at the beginning of this topic or thread.

I hope this has clarified for you what a thread is.
May 28, 2015 02:40PM

8115 33. The Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery, #3) by A.G. Riddle by A.G. RiddleA.G. Riddle
Finish date: 26th May
Genre: Thriller
Rating: A
Review: The Atlantis World sees the conclusion of A.G Riddles Origins trilogy and it delivers a fitting end to a great series. But be warned this book requires a lot of concentration as it weaves a even more intricate narrative than the other books combined.

The author manages to deliver a book that while keeping the feel of the other two books still deliver a completely different experience. As mentioned before this book requires a lot of concentration and can leave you feeling exhausted at times. This for me was an excellent experience as it made me feel like I was working for my entertainment.
May 28, 2015 02:40PM

8115 32. The Wrong Stuff  The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator by Truman Smith by Truman Smith (no photo)
Finish date: 19th May
Genre: World War II, Memoir
Rating: C
Review: I do love a good World War II memoir and in particular those of the fly boys. So it was with great excitement I cracked opened the pages on The Wrong Stuff. What I got was great is some parts and ho-hum in others.

Truman Smith tells his tale of being a co-pilot then pilot of the iconic B-17 bomber flying over Europe. Its a story that is told in the twilight of his life and as such has a very nice reflective quality.

The parts of the book dealing with the actual bombing missions where pure gold. But these where peppered with his misadventure of a young man in a foreign land. While I can see the values of these reminiscences I was expecting more focus on flying the bombing missions.

Overall I have to say it was a good read just no entirely my cup of tea "ole chap".
May 28, 2015 02:40PM

8115 31. Operation Red Falcon (Kindle Single) by Ronen Bergman by Ronen Bergman (no photo)
Finish date: 15th May
Genre: Espionage
Rating: C+
Review: Operation Red Falcon is a interesting short read that takes the reader into the world of intelligence gathering and Mossad. The book looks into the validity of certain intelligence that nearly sent Syria and Israeli into a bloody war. The author gives the reader the information and it is up to them to who they believe.
May 28, 2015 02:39PM

8115 30. No Way Down  Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley by Graham Bowley (no photo)
Finish date: 15th May
Genre: Mountaineering
Rating: A-
Review: It is a mystery to me why I keep returning to books on Mountaineering. I absolutely have no desire to climb one, if I cant get a lift to the top I am not interested. So why am I drawn to these books?

No Way Down tells the story of the 2008 K2 disaster that saw 11 climbers lose their lives. In telling this story it also examines the human spirit and drive to conquer the unconquerable. It is a book about life at it's most simplest you keep moving our you die.

This book delivers on numerous levels it is about tragedy, adventure, fate, human spirit and about the unforgiving mountain that is K2. This is what I think draws me to these books. It is not a morbid fascination with disaster but a fascination with people who have come to terms with their mortality and put their lives at the mercy of the mountain.
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