• Kill Switch

  • The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy
  • By: Adam Jentleson
  • Narrated by: P.J. Ochlan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (407 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An insider's account of how politicians representing a radical minority of Americans are using "the greatest deliberative body in the world" to hijack our democracy.

Every major decision governing our diverse, majority-female, and increasingly liberal country bears the stamp of the US Senate, yet the Senate allows an almost exclusively White, predominantly male, and radically conservative minority of the American electorate to impose its will on the rest of us. How did we get to this point?

In Kill Switch, Adam Jentleson argues that shifting demographics alone cannot explain how Mitch McConnell harnessed the Senate and turned it into a powerful weapon of minority rule. As Jentleson shows, since the 1950s, a free-flowing body of relative equals has devolved into a rigidly hierarchical, polarized institution, with both Democrats and Republicans to blame. The current GOP has merely used the methods pioneered by its predecessors though to newly extreme ends. In a work for fans of How Democracies Die and even Master of the Senate, Jentleson makes clear that, without a reevaluation of Senate practices - starting with ending the filibuster - we face the prospect of permanent minority rule in America.

©2021 Adam Jentleson (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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What listeners say about Kill Switch

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Don't bother, narration intolerable!

I have waited anxiously for months for this important book to become available. Unfortunately the narration is intolerable...such a disappointment. I hope that Mr. Jentleson and the publisher will pull this version from the market and release a new, more worthy audible version as the subject matter deserves a more accessible performance. It is hard to believe with all of the advance marketing and planning that was done for this book that they missed this critical flaw in the release plan. I will return this audible version and read the book instead. Come on Audible, your loyal customers deserve better, much better. Overall rating is result of the very disappointing presentation.

13 people found this helpful

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Narration was defective and robotic

The content was excellent but the narration was painful to my ears and brain. This is a serious and otherwise excellent book, but not as an Audible listen.

12 people found this helpful

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Informative and interesting!

This book is thoroughly researched and delivers a very interesting tale of how the senate became what it is today. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in the backstory as well as intel on some of the current players. I was dismayed, however, to listen to this book read on audible by an extremely nasally, monotonous actor. It’s as if they thought the topic would be dry so they served it with the most milquetoast rendition they could muster. I heard the author discuss the book prior to its publication on Chris Hayes’ podcast; the book would’ve been most more enjoyable had he read it himself.

11 people found this helpful

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Narration sucks

Sounds like a robot. Not well done. Please have someone else narrate and upload a new version.

7 people found this helpful

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A must listen (despite the narrator)

If you care about the future of democracy in the United States, this book by a Harry Reid staffer on the history of obstructionism in the Senate and the ways and reasons to fix it is a must listen. While the author is a progressive Democrat, he accepts Madison’s wise proposals for protecting the voice of the minority while not allowing it to overshadow democracy’s foundational principle of majoritarian rule. Should be required reading for all Senators.

But the narrator is shockingly off-putting. You get used to it after a bit, so try to push through. But yeah...it’s startling.

7 people found this helpful

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unable to listen to the narrator

I was very much looking forward to listening to this book when it was first released in print. The narration is so robotic and lacks any proper inflection or tone that I cannot continue to listen to it. I am hoping that it is re-narrated so that I can finish the book. So disappointed!

4 people found this helpful

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  • RT
  • 04-19-21

Great content, somewhat frustrating read

This is a very well researched and thoughtful book. I’d recommend it to anyone with even a casual level of political or historical interests. It’s filled with some information you probably were aware of but perhaps not as knowledgeable of as you we all should be. Take the information within, and share it with everyone you know.

The reading of this has an overly staccato like pace often perhaps robotic. At times I found it a little distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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In violent agreement

It is highly unusual to find almost universal agreement in the reviews of any audiobook. Having approximately 150 audiobooks in my personal library I can attest to the fact my fellow listeners are spot on when they say giving one star for narration in this book is overly generous.
Having said that, for anyone who is interested in governance, politics or the United States Senate "Kill Switch” is a must read and that includes every sitting in United States senator.

3 people found this helpful

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Essential Reading

Excellent and engaging presentation of what's wrong in Washington (Filibuster + Senate Rule 22) and a few ideas about how we could get out of this mess. Fascinating, if painful, history at its best.

Excellent narration.

3 people found this helpful

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Great historical detail; horrible narration

The book is good, particularly the details on Senate history. The ending is maybe a little too overbroad in its solutions — many of these were either never discussed or only tangentially discussed in the book — but I happen to agree with them.

My objection is with the narrator. The robotic tone sounds like an AI that only knows two pitches — sing and song — and can only use punctuation, never context, to know which to employ. I almost didn’t continue, but glad I was able to eventually hear beyond the autotuned voice. Amazingly, in looking up the actor who narrates this, I learned he actually teaches others about narrating books. His students should be branded with a warning: caveat auditor!

3 people found this helpful