A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
This is one of those works of nonfiction where it is difficult (if not impossible) to rate. As a memoir or narrative autobiography it is good and solid, just not great. After reading it, I wished Douglas had gone into more detail and bulked it up a bit with more of his experiences.
However, if you consider the time, the author, the impact, etc., of NLoFD it is hard NOT to give the book every accolade. This book seems to be the 'Common Sense' of the Pre-Civil War abolitionist movement. It didn't just summarize sentiments of abolitionists and slaves, but seemed to actually create energy and expand the movement out Douglass' words (like Paine's 'Common Sense' did in the 1770s).
So grade that. How do you rate something that transformed US?
A brilliant biography. IT is hard to separate my love of Morris' second Roosevelt biography from my love of TR. The book captures the dynamo-President's force, eccentricities, and political skill while also accurately capturing the politics of the time and the rise of America's global power. Occasionally a person enters the global stage with such energy, power, competence and audacity that it seems the earth moves for them and water separates. I can only think of a couple other leaders that capture the Nietzsche' Übermensch ideal (Napoleon, Fredrick the Great, Alexander, Caesar, etc) as well. Even when Teddy wasn't super, he was still super lucky.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
While delivering these lectures Prof Ramsden shared the information in an engaging and easy to follow manner. ( I am still listening to The Guns of August, as recommended.) I had previously downloaded' ' Six Months That Changed The World' and found those lectures so Interesting I had followed up with 'World War1'
I do buy a poppy to wear on the 11th November. The Red Poppy of Flanders Fields on Armistice Day is one export/import I am pleased was spread to Australia from the US. I did not know that till I heard these lectures. Nor did I know that it was the cessation of copyright, that allowed the movie
"Oh What a Lovely War" to be made.
And I have to think about the Spanish Civil War having it's roots in WW1.
No doubt I will listen to these lectures a few times, and follow up with more reading.
At least now I understand a little better why an assassination in Croatia paved the way to The Great War...and that paved the way to...