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.
Love to Bungee!!
I seldom read or listen to biographies, but I decided to make an exception when I first heard about Robert Gates' book. Forget what you heard about this being a hatchet job of President Obama. What would the 4th Establishment do if it could not sensationalize a story.
I have always admired Secretary Gates and the balanced reporting in his book only enhanced my opinion of him. His portrayal of the key military, civilian and political actors is first rate and is in line with other sources. His criticism of Congress, in my opinion, does not go far enough, when will the political theatre end?
The Gates book comes at a critical time. His final chapters, in part, criticize the American penchant to use force and consider the consequences later. His warning is timely, considering continuing calls for US involvement in the Syrian civil war and other troubled world areas.
The narration is first rate. My only criticism about the audio version is the short number of breaks. Most segments are over an hour long.
It is a hard book to stop listening to and although it clocks in at over 25 hours, I listened to the complete book in less than a week.