This is a very good work of narrative, popular history. It reminds you that, not so long ago, in the lives of our grandparents and great-grandparents, the reign of kings, kings with real power. That was certainly the case for the kings of Germany (only so recently combined into a nation-state) and of Russia, much less so for Britain ... even still their Queen Victoria & her two successors had more apparent power than the current regime, if only on the diplomatic level, with their relatives elsewhere in Europe. The details of the lives of these various heads-of-state, their international networks and the political leadership, is a great story. I am not sure you can say the 3 leaders on the eve of World War I, together, had a great influence on the breakout and course of war, although the author does a great job showing that Kaiser Wilhelm (an extraordinarily peculiar person) did have a role in this.
The book is well organized, it does not have too many characters (although I am familiar with the general history) and is well narrated.
This book by Lynne Olson recovers some history that is not well-known to Americans, specifically the way in which a few key figures from the US, in the UK during the late-1930s & early-1940s, were instrumental in getting the US (rightfully) into rightfully into World War II. Contrary to the way in which we read this history today, this was a close-run thing, not obvious (especially during the ambassadorship of Joe Kennedy) to US leaders nor UK leaders that a true military collaboration would come to pass in the dark days of 1939 & 1940, when "England stood alone." It is well-worth getting this book if you are interested in the real history of this period or in WWII history.
I have dinged it slightly, 4 stars rather than 5, because the latter half of the book contains familiar material if you are familiar with the period after the US buildup, or of the complicated relationship between FDR, Churchill, DeGaulle & Stalin. And because Lynne Olson's previous book, "Troublesome Young Men - The Rebels who brought Churchill to Power ..." was so much better, more focused, than this one. Hopefully Audible will try to get that book in audio too.
This book comes in two parts, the first 40% of so is the necessary background information for understanding the "Glorious Revolution" & its immediate aftermath, the context. The remaining 60% is the story of the run-up to the revolution under James II, the conquest, and the aftermath. The work is well narrated. However, the first portion is a jumble, organizationally, and the previous Audible reviewer who noted that having a good understanding of the history from other sources is necessary to understand this part of the book, was right on target. I do have that background, and it helped immensely. I should say that the author does a good job on vignettes & small interpretative sections here, but jumps around a bit too much and needed an editor to insert thesis statements here & there.
The 60% that is actually about the Glorious Revolution (which some pundit remarked was "neither glorious nor a revolution") is very well done. It is worth getting the book to listen to this portion. The author's history is good here, the narrative drive moves you along, and this part of the book has ample amounts of thesis statements & good organization. The author's interpretations of the events, events that were critical to the future evolution of the UK and North America, is good.
I highly recommend the book for the last 60%.