I am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
This is the story of Franz Stigler, a German fighter pilot and Charlie Brown a B17 Eighth Air Force pilot. It is the fascinating story of how their lives intersected in December 1943 permanently altering their lives. I found this an emotional book with a similar effect on me as Laura Hildebrand's "Unbroken". It left me feeling good about people. Most of the book is about Franz Stilger's life as a child, young man and pilot commercial then military. He was a German ace and later flew the jet planes over Germany. It also covered the men of the B17 and then their hunt for each other after the war. I noted that long after the war the crew of the B17 "Ye Old Pub" received their metals- Brown, the Air Force flying Cross and the silver star for each of the crew making them the highest decorated B17 crew. Adam Makos is the editor of the military magazine Valor and came across this story during interviews with WWII pilots. He brought to life the story of a man, the air battles, the thrill of flying and the fear of living in Nazi Germany. I am sure glad he wrote the story as a book. Robertson Dean did a great job reading this book. This book is not only for us WWI and WWII history buff but for any teen or adult that is looking for a good story with moral value.
This was an interesting story. I have lived through it all and remember the day like it was yesterday. It was nice to hear an insider view point. The narration could have been better. The author repeated several points over and over but at least he got the information across. The information on Jackie Kennedy was interesting and confirmed other stories about her. Like any book it has it good and bad part but it is well worth a listen. It was about time the secret service agents provided their view point of that horrible day in Dallas.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
From the time I was a small child, I was fascinated by World War I, just as Meyer says he was. I asked a lot of questions of my parents and grandparents which were never quite answered. Perhaps they cannot be answered. That is part of the problem with approaching such an immensely complicated subject.
One thing is certain: to understand the second war, one must look to the first. We who were born afterward, the ones whom the German language calls "die Nachgeborenen," have a duty to understand both wars as deeply as we can for obvious reasons.
To attempt to write a survey of World War I is an ambitious endeavor. Meyer's achievement is all the more impressive because he manages to do so in a compelling, interesting way throughout.
As with the author's monumental work on the Tudors, each chapter is dense with information. "Side trips" follow in the form of background sections, which illuminate some of the more complicated issues. These annotations are seamless and full of essential information.
Perhaps as we approach the centennial of the beginning of World War I, interest will be renewed and Meyer's book will reach a wide audience. It certainly deserves to do so. It is an excellent all-in-one choice, a true "desert island" book. If you want to read just one book on World War I, I recommend this to you without hesitation.
I have always loved Robin Sachs' narrations, and this book was no exception. His calm voice and ease in pronouncing foreign languages made listening a joy. I was saddened to read he just passed away on February 1, just days before his birthday. May he rest in peace.