One of my favorites. Well read (except for the eery 1950s communist background music that is interspersed at the end/beginning of some of the chapters that comes out of nowhere). As a space race/apollo fan i woudl like to think i knew a fair bit about the milestones in this area, but this book is full of stuff you don't get anywhere else, especially the inner workings of the USSR. Well paced, and in the end, has a great summary of the impact of these decisions on the next 40 years of history. Just awesome, highly highly recommeneded.
One of the best history books covering any period ever written in my opinion. It offers the reader the unique experience of living through this period through the eyes of the forgotten men and women who lived these times. It is truly a unique work by a uniquely gifted writer. Instead of a top to bottom history, focusing on events, dates, battles, meetings and leaders of the time, this is a bottom-up version of history with attention focused on what ordinary men and women felt, did, suffered through, and ultimately triumphed in taking the US from a 2nd rate power to the predominant super power in the world. When you listen to Rock Bottom, you feel like you are living and suffering through the depression, listening to Roosevelt, or been just told that Kennedy was shot. By the end, you feel like you just lived through this entire period of history.
Downside: This is a terrible recording. The narration is way too fast. I had to listen on slower speed on my ipod, or the pace would just be too fast to listen to. Second, there is static which makes certain sections hard to listen to (see on line sample). Most maddening is the “skips” in which words or sentence fragments are skipped in the second section of the book. It sounds like an old LP record where the needle skipped. It is maddening and incredibly distracting.
I would offer future listeners encouragement that once you make it through the 2nd downloadable segments, the worst is over and the rest is from an audio standpoint considerably better. I wish Audible would offer a better version
After listening to the whole work, I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in this period of history, but after struggling through the 1st and 2nd segments, I almost gave up and was extremely upset that this product would even be sold. Overall, however, this is the as good a book I have read/listened to.
As good as it gets. Well read with a quick pace, the book moves quickly painting a panoramic view of these years, scanning across the US as well as its relationship to the rest of the world. Very rapidly paced, well research, outstandingly read and presented. A great part of the Oxford history series. highly recommended.