Not a mainstream reader.
This audio book is fascinating. It's a bit chilling to hear the First Lady being so candid about the President and their private lives. To able to hear her voice and conversations with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., is a historical dream. You can always read these events, like the Cuban Missile Crisis, but hearing her express her feelings that she wanted to be with JFK and their kids, if something would happen, is something that you can't get from text or even from film. Listening from the actual recordings is awesome because besides the actual conversation, you can hear Jackie Kennedy light her cigarette and inhaling, ice cubes rattling in her drinks, and planes flying in the background. These forgotten detail makes their conversations comes alive. There is one point in the audio book where Schlesinger ask John-John if he miss his father. John-John, which an innocent of a child, responded to him that his father is in heaven. The only way to read this title, is through audio. Wonderful conversations.
After watching "Lincoln" a few years ago, I wasn't too impress with the movie. I remember falling asleep for most of it because there was too much dialogue and not enough action. It wasn't the movie that I was expecting. I haven't done much reading on our 16th President and the Civil War other then in school.
"Team of Rivals" was suggested to me because I wanted a longer read. The hours in this book went by quickly. I really thought that I would have a hard time getting into the materials, and would be spending weeks at trying to get to the last minute, but I would never had thought that Lincoln's story would be interesting and sad at the same time. I've read my fair share of great figures in our history, but I never went in depth of Abraham Lincoln's life and his power.
Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote this book with vast information, and her timeline of the President's life just flows with every spoken word. I have found my next favorite historian, second to David McCullough. Her style of writing is passive, but her flow of storytelling and introducing new detail facts are appropriate to each chapter.
I was born way after the Truman era and I cannot say that I lived in the past during the Korean War or during Truman's presidency, but I like history and very fond of David McCullough's writing. There is no doubt that McCullough is the best historian of all time. He writes the facts without little or any personal rhetoric. A lot of times, the author's opinion gets in the way of telling a good biography.
"Truman" is one of the best biography that I've read in a long time. It is very detail and long, where you feel like you lived his life, but yet I could not put this one down.
After certain number of hours, most information that I read becomes like mush, but not with Truman. At clocking in over 54 hours, the information that I'd listen to is still fresh in my mind because McCullough's style of writing is smooth and not broken. It is just listening to a symphony without having an intermission between the chapters.
You just remember where you left off because the story of Truman's life is so compelling and excellent told.
I cannot rave this book enough. It took me over a week to finish, but I dug every minute of it. I am just sad that McCullough is in his golden years where he won't be telling our future generations of our first Black American President or writing about modern disasters.
David McCullough is the best at what he does and I just hope that he archives more of our past in more titles to come.
I loved learning more about the life of George Washington. There are so many books on his life out there to choose from and I'm not sure why I chose this one, but it was a good book. It did not sugar coat Washington's life, but did show so many of Washington's qualities that make us think of him as a national hero. I am glad I listened to it. I learned a lot, such as the fact that when he was gravely ill, the doctors drained 5 pints of blood from him because they believed an illness was the result of bad blood. He died, needless to say. I also learned that in spite of never having children of their own, he and Martha raised quite a few children, including two of Martha's children from a previous marriage (the two oldest had passed away), and later her son's children, Eleanor and Washy. (Yes his name was George Washington Custis, and they called him Washy.) I learned that he was never very close to his mother who never seemed to be proud of her son's accomplishments. I learned a lot about his prowess as a general in an unwin-able war, which he managed to win anyway. I learned that he never really wanted to be president of the United States, and never intended to serve a second term, and that he was a very good dancer. And I unlearned a lot, such as the fact that he never cut down a cherry tree, and never said "I cannot tell a lie," although he was a very honest person, and he never had wooden teeth. I learned and unlearned a lot more than this, of course, and I'm glad I got to know this great man a little better. I do honor him and all he did for our country.
Scott Brick is a good narrator, and is in fact many people's favorite. Although I like him, he is not my favorite. I would not listen to a book just because he is narrating it and would certainly not like to listen to him read the phone book. (I would not mind listening to some of my favorite narrators read the phone book - that is my litmus test of a great narrator.) But he does a good job with this rather lengthy book.