Meant for Audio!!! I'm not sure if I would have attempted this book in print, but I was addicted to the audiobook!
I don't have the words to describe the experience of listening to this audiobook. It is a true masterpiece of Historic Nonfiction.
Yes, it's compelling, amazingly well-researched, well-written, interesting and very important. The book has won many awards, no surprise there! It is a remarkable work.
Don't let that scare you away!
This great forgotten piece of history is accessible and tremendously interesting.
Initially, I had no particular interest in the topic. I have read/listened River of Doubt by Candice Millard. It is the brilliantly written story of Teddy Roosevelt's unbelievably dangerous and semi-suicidal trip through unknown lands of the Amazon. The trip actually takes place after the events in this book. I was more than impressed with Roosevelt after that story. That was my only real frame of reference, besides the story that goes around about Taft becoming so corpulent that he became stuck in a bathtub.
A whole world was opened for me through The Bully Pulpit. These men and their wives and friends became three dimensional. I felt the entire range of human emotion listening to this book. Why doesn't history get taught like this in school??
This topic turned out to be far more essential and important than I could have realized. I think it is a book everyone should read (listen to actually) because it tells of a pivotal time in American History. These were the last decades of America as a fledgling country. As this book ends, and through the actions of the very characters if this book, America begins a new chapter as an emerging superpower.
This is also the story of a friendship that guides the country. Ultimately that friendship will turn into something ugly and sad. It will change the career and lives of Taft and Roosevelt forever.
I was actually a little bit lost when I finished this mammoth audiobook. I had a hard time finding anything to hold my interest, much less anything up to the standard of this writing. I hope to see much more from this author in the future!!!
Excellent! An insane murder mystery and a journalistic dogfight between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. The beginnings of the aggressive news media we all know today...
More fun than I expected!!
Incredibly well written, and well performed.
Easily worth the credit. Solid 5stars.
I was not interested in the life of Rockefeller when I bought this. I got it truly bc of the reviews and the fact that it was one of the only Chernow books NOT narrated by Scott Brick. (Sorry I know lots like him, but I've gotten a little tired Scott brick.)
I knew about Roosevelt's trustbusting and Ida Tarbel's newspaper attacks, but not from the perspective of those who were victims of much scrutiny and hatred. Tarbel in particular went too far.
I sludged through first two or three hours, then I was hooked. I learned SO much about how big businesses worked back then. The most interesting part of book for me was the way the family charities evolved into serious organizations whose members won Nobel prizes for curing diseases and saving countless lives. Many will be surprised at the state of medicine in America before the Rockefeller Institute for scientific research in medicine. The charities are so numerous. I especially was impressed with his work to raise education in the south.
Chernow is an outstanding historian. He covers every aspect of every story. Good and bad. He creates both the savage business man and the well meaning family man. He shows us the humanity that was lost on so many others who abused him personally about his looks and his illness, they even attacked his family. I did feel sorry for the man at times!
Definitely interesting and beyond well-written. Great Performance by Grover Gardner!! As usual... (Why didn't he read George Washington????)
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
Other reviewers have said most of what needs to be said about this often fascinating book. The era of the plains Indian and the American incursion which brought it to an end is incredibly rich material, and Gwynne has brought it to life with a wealth of telling detail.
I would like to add that one of the great strengths of the book is that it brings the landscape itself to life as a character in the narrative. This sense of place as a central character adds tremendously to our understanding of both the extraordinary prowess and resilience of the Comanche and the daunting obstacles which faced settlers during their gradual but inexorable occupation of the mid-section of the country. Having spent a year in Amarillo and traveled on horseback in Palo Duro Canyon, I was deeply impressed by how well the author captured the almost malevolent expanse and elemental grandeur of the plains. Beautifully done.
I assume that the print version of the book includes maps, and I strongly suggest that listeners would best enjoy the listen if they find some on the internet keep them close at hand.