I am an avid eclectic reader.
It is obvious that Alison Weir did a lot of research for this book. I like the fact that she subtly inserted the citation into the narrative. There is a lot of information provided in the book but the story line never bogged down. I do wish Weir had provided more information about the day to day rule of Elizabeth 1. I was amazed at how well educated Elizabeth 1 was and how many languages she spoke. I was unaware she served as an arbitrator between various countries helping to solve problems as to avoid war. Elizabeth 1 seemed to be such a talented person beside the above noted education, she was a magnificent horse women, a musician, dancer, singer, good at needle work, and a good politician. She apparently put the people of England as her priority. No wonder she was known as "good queen Bess". Davina Porter is a fantastic narrator and she was superb with the book. I am looking forward to reading more of Alison Weir.
I learned so much from this book. I must admit I had not read or studied anything about the history of the first amendment before. This absorbing book is about the law and also about change, how one man's thinking evolved nearly 100 years ago. For 125 years the first amendment was essentially dead until Holmes wrote his dissent in 1919. Thomas Healy shows us how Holmes was educated/persuaded to change his mind about the meaning and reach of our most fundamental safeguard. His friends, Justice Brandeis, Judge Learned Hand, Harold Laski, Felix Frankfurter, Zechariah Chafee (all teachers at Harvard) and others had discussion, letter exchanges and loaned or gave him books to read. Holmes was a voracious reader and during his summer breaks he devoured books that challenged his thinking. Holmes also had a habit we should all learn, he listened to people who didn't agree with him and set about to learn more about the topic from all view points.
The rule, at the time, borrowed from British practice, was that you could speak and publish freely without fear of prior restraint, but once you had spoken, the State had the freedom to prosecute you. Holmes had written the majority opinion in Debs V U.S. upholding the conviction. Eugene Debs was the Socialist candidate for President. He gave a campaign speech and was arrested after for violation of the Sedition act and sentence to 10 years in prison. I found this interesting because via Audible I had read "1920: The year of six Presidents" by David Pietrusza and "Clarence Darrow" by John A. Farrell. Darrow was Debs attorney. Both these books provided a great deal of information about Debs and the above mentioned case. Holmes had been a defender of the power of government to punish controversial speech. He was a Boston Brahmin and his friends were owners of big business so he dismissed the fight of and for unions and the problems of the workers.
I found it fascinating how Holmes's friend educated him at age 78 to change his mind. . When the Court reconvened in the fall they heard the case Abrams V U.S. Holmes decided to write the dissent opinion in the case and changed the Frist Amendment forever. He provided guidelines to help determine when the speech crossed the line, he stated "clear and present danger of public harm" to be the key. The Abrams case is covered in-depth in the book so I will not spoil it by going into it. Danny Campbell did a good job with the narration. This is a book I am going to read again.
HRC is written by two journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. The book attempts to be neutral while providing in depth recounting of Hillary Clinton from defeat in the 2008 democratic primaries to Obama, her stint as Secretary of State up to 2013. It also is a revealing window into the layers of intrigue that develops when a celebrity politician who is married to a former U.S. President loses to yet another celebrity politician and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her. The author’s emphases the Clinton’s loyalty and disloyalty list and loyalty emerges as a theme through the book. The author’s claim that during her tenure as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton was busy building a base of support for Hillary to run in 2016. The author’s state that Hillary’s term as Secretary of State showed she had strong leadership and organizational skills and a “workmanlike enhancement of diplomacy and development” with “deliverables” those were real but not high-profile. She elevated the stature of State, which had lost influence to the CIA and pentagon. The author’s went into detail about the “Benghazi affair”, her flu and head injury and her work with the Clinton foundation. The author’s state that people who ended up working with Hillary developed great respect for her and liked her. This book retraces much of the same ground covered by “The Secretary” by Kim Ghattas, but with less “I was there” feel and much more political and foreign policy content. The author’s portray Hillary as adept at mastering complicated policy material, attention to detail and obsessed of an “unrelenting work ethic.” They also indicate Hillary was adept at nurturing personal relationships around the world. Hillary Clinton is one of those people that one either loves or hates, there is no in between. This book is interesting no matter which group one falls into. Kimberly Farr did an excellent job narrating this 16 hour book.