Very well written and preformed. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in American history.
Me, myself, and I.
There is nothing that I can write that would do this story justice. An amazing work, amazing experience, expertly narrated, and worth every moment I stole away from whatever responsibilities I had. I have a newfound respect for James A. Garfield, and a newfound fascination with the late 19th century. Who knew it was filled with such drama? Well...many people, I am sure, but experiencing it through the lens of medicine, invention, politics, and insanity in the 1880s brings a whole new appreciation.
This is a incredible piece of American history in which Ms.Millard delivers with brilliancy.
I never thought she would be able to top her "RIver of Doubt"( Teddy Roosevelt's journey down the Amazon River) but, she does here. This is an entertaining,sad,but all the time,interesting story of a forgotten President. Highly recommended if you love American history.
Other than the shooting at the hands of Charles Guiteau and brutal treatment by his own doctors, the only thing sadder is how we as a nation, were robbed of James Garfield and how he could have offered so much to our nation. Thanks to Ms. Millard, our 20th president has now become a new hero of mine.
THIS IS A GREAT BOOK! I ENJOYED IT IMMENSELY!
I found the material extremely interesting and well written. Gave just enough background information on the characters to set up the conflict. My only gripe would be about the narrator's accents, which were sometimes a little distracting.
I would say they are about equal, other than the [obvious] fact that the audio is more portable, you can listen in your car while driving or on the treadmill while walking or running. The book is not difficult or analytical, and audio is a good platform for it.
Roscoe Conkling, villains are always more interesting characters than shiny heroes. Conkling is painted as a self-serving, egotistical, without principles politician (I don't know if that is accurate).
The book moves along breezily, narrator does a good job keeping forward momentum for a book that, in paper form, must have had some dry, suitable for skimming sections.
The Unknown Hero in the White House
I liked the author's book, The River of Doubt, better than this one. Teddy Roosevelt (another egomaniac, like Conkling & not Garfield) is the central character in that book, which is more of an adventure story than political history.
Insightful, clever, thorough
Team of Rivals - very detailed and offers great insights often overlooked in other books.
Great read...I learned a ton and I really appreciated the details about all of the president's contemporaries.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
When reading long narrative passages, Paul Michael was excellent. But using different voices for every quote, even brief 2-3 word quotes, resulted in a somewhat choppy effect. It became enough of a distraction to bring down the performance score, but I suspect it wasn't the narrator's choice so much as the producer. Either way, I think a straight up reading would have been better.
The tragedy of the horrible suffering Garfield experienced at the hands of a physician who, even by the unenlightened standards of the day, showed only self-serving arrogance even to the grieving family. Alexander Graham Bell's devotion to try and find a way to detect the bullet in an effort to save a good man's life.
Enlightening story of a president who was not well known to me. As the epilogue states, this was a man whose character and courage would sadly be forgotten eventually by the general public. He deserved better from history.
I was thoroughly engrossed in the narrative, it is an amazing congruence of personal brilliance and madness that would have made a great novel. But I found myself wanting to punch my car stereo each time the narrator broke into a character accent. Listening to Mr. Michael try to do Mrs. Garfield's voice almost made me bail on the rest of the book. It might just be me, but I wish all narrators would realize that the interest is in the book, not their vocal acting abilities. Let the story unfold, don't distract with your vocal prowess.
I have not enjoyed a book about a president this much in years. Millard is not only a skilled researcher, she has a true gift for making a faded bit of history both fascinating and relevant.