There isn't much I can add to what other reviewers have already said but I still had to share my enthusiasm for what may be the best history I've read/heard of the 20th century. There are all the major developments but also minor stories that might seem anecdotal but are often representative of the ethos of the time they describe. My remembered consciousness only begins in the 1980s but I imagine that these are all the things people of those times sat around the kitchen table or the workplace water cooler talking about. The sound quality isn't very good with many glitches throughout and long stretches of distortions in chapters 15 and 26. The material was so spectacularily good though that the sound problems didn't appreciably detract from my enjoyment. Highly, highly recommended! 57 1/2 hours might seem long but at the end I just found myself wanting another 50 hours. I just wish there were a similar a-book covering the following 40 year stretch to the present.
I almost did not buy this book because to the review comments concerning the technical issues. There are a few skips but considering the length of the recording they are minor. I did love this book because it covers a period in history that you never seemed to get to in school. Since I was born in 1955 it was very intersting to hear about happenings since my birth many of them I have some memory of. The author interjects tid bits of popular culture now and then which I enjoyed.
An excellent book, unfortunately the audio quality is so poor it is very difficult to make sense of several chapters. I have informed Audible twice over the past year and re-downloaded an only slightly improved version.
This book is unturnoffable.
It is a gripping reminder of a period of our history that is very relevant to today
Any Barbara Tuchman, which from me is high praise from me
It was ok, not the best reader, but serviceable
I might listen to it again in the future- as some of the details could need refreshing, and I found the experience relaxing.
I'd compare it to the podcast "Whistlestop" from John Dickerson (of Slate's Political Gabfest and Face the Nation - I purchased this at his recommendation) - it has the same sort of appreciation of the multiple perspectives of history from the big events to the little cultural details that just belies a love of history that becomes infectious.
I really enjoyed the section on the Bay of Pigs invasion - I had never understood JFK's decision until I heard the whole story here.
This is audiobook was practically it's own hobby - it's a great value for 1 credit.
There were some damaged areas of the audio files, and my attempts to address them with audible support were failures. (Support basically didn't closely read my comments after asking me where to detail the issues with the audio book
Written like a biography of America, with profiles of important people, story lines covering important events, and broad, colorful descriptions of pop culture, demography, and every day life. Particularly fantastic perspectives on political events, from the perspective someone who lived though all of these events (the author was born in 1922), with many of these events covered during the 17 years in which this book was written (1957-1974). Without a doubt, this is what allowed the author to give this book it's remarkable, almost autobiographical feel.
I enjoyed this book more than any I've listened to in ages. I wish the book had gone on another 57 hours. Years ago I read most of it and still have my old paperback. It came in handy when I wanted to follow along or when I wanted to quote something for friends. I was born in 1948 so I remember lots of the events from the later parts of the book. Manchester gave me new insights to those events.
I don't think anyone can read aloud as fast as this reader. His reading must have been sped up some. It took a little getting used to.
If you are like me, many of the common English language references carried some meaning but not a full understanding to me. As I listened to this audiobook I gained the historical significance of many words or phrases that I had read or heard in conversation. McCarthyism. I like Ike. The Vietnam war. Pearl Harbor. If you want to know what was happening in our world, the United States of America. Both politically and in society, you will enjoy this book. It is long and takes perseverance to complete, but do not rush and, most of all, enjoy learning about our history.
Wonderful book. Description of the 1960's not altogether accurate and sometimes annoying but the 1930's, 1940's and 1970's presentations are memorable -rich and entertaining.