great, book, and I loved the narration. Only qualm is I ended up buying full version, as there are huge gaps, which I you really want to understand the Adams-jefferson relationship, full length version is much better.
this is a gripping book. I was a big fan of Rhodes' "Making of the Atomic Bomb". It should be noted that this book is both history mixed with a significant amount of 'editorial',i.e. it is much more biased. Instead of just focusing on facts, the author's deep seeded believe that the arms race was avoidable, tragic, and a huge waste of resources is more than evident. I would have preferred he let the reader come to his/her own conclusions.
that being said, the book starts with an unbelievable chapter about the Chernobyl disaster, setting the stage for the rest of the story. This is an incredible way to do this, becuase it makes the reader realize in real terms what nuclear war would have been like, given that Chernobyl would only be a taste of the devastation.
The middle sections of the book are a little dry, with long discussions about particulars of the gorbachov/Reagan summits the go one for lengthy periods. The West (and the Reagan administration in particular, although not necessarily Reagan himself) comes out of the book looking quite silly, while Gorbachev comes out looking quite heroic. i am not sure things are really that black and white.
In the end though, this was just an awesome look back at how isolated decisions look silly in a historical context, and makes you wonder what type of silly decisions we are making today. would recommend highly.
Narration is outstanding as well.
In the first paragraph of this book, the authors states not to expect an unbiased look at politics. No statement could be truer.
First the good: this was darn funny and extremely entertaining, and grabs your attention from the first sentence. It flew by and I definitely really enjoyed it. It was a great very raw look at the game of politics, and if you were not cynical before, you soon will be. But you’ll be laughing the whole way.
That bad: this is Clinton writing at its worst. There is not a single insightful introspective sentence in the entire work. This is just a constant tirade about how the democrats and the Clintons in particular are perfect, while the Republicans are a bunch of thieves who have nothing to offer the country except lies and scare tactics. Furthermore, all of the Democrats problems are due to persecution at the hands of biased press and Republican witch hunts. In this regard, it reminds me a lot of Clinton’s “My Life”.
It would be nice if the book could muster some objectivity to analyze the democratic strategy, both strengths and flaws, and add some insight into the author’s regrets, thoughts on his achievements, and reflections on the last 20 years. However, he offers nothing in this regard, just a diatribe against anyone who was not in the Clinton’s camp. Of course the author is perfect in his loyalty to his friends, and his actions throughout 20 years in politics. The only thing approaching how humerous and entertaining the stories in the book are is the uniformly single sided viewpoints offered. Entertaining, but you are not going to learn anything except how dirty politics is. The audio was excellent.
OK, I know there are something like 50,000 books on the American Civil War and hence it is rare to the point of infinitesimal to find anything new being published. That is especially true now, as the 150th anniversary of the war is upon us. However, I think "A World On Fire" does succeed in bringing something new, or novel, to the Civil War literature. It is a focus on the English perspective. The perspective of politicians, financiers and the general public in the UK, and the perspective of Britons who participated first-hand in the war itself, on the Union side, Confederate side and in a few cases on both sides (not to mention some of the English journalists).
The book does try to be a stand-alone piece, so it is not necessary to be an expert on the Civil War to put this english perspective in context. The author does that. So for those of use quite familiar with the history, there is redundancy in the work. But it is necessary to put the english views, events, the diplomacy in context without much thinking on the part of the reader.
The book is very well written and read as well. Highly recommended.