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.
I did not know what to expect when I selected this book, but I am glad I did. Navai gives us a glimpse of life into modern day Teheran and it is an ugly picture indeed. Decades ago, Eric Hoffer wrote the "True Believer" an examination of extreme regimes and how they are born and survive - if Hoffer were alive to update the book, modern Iran would easily fit in with little revision.
Not all of Navai's characters are helpless pawns or innocent victims, but all suffer at the hands of the regime. The story reinforces my distrust of organized religion.
Lisle's narration is flawless and contributes greatly with a five star rating. I finished the book in two days and found it impossible to put down.