Member Since 2011
This captivating story of the origins and demise of civilizations in the West and East starts off a little slow, but as you listen, it begins to unfold and explain how so many countries in the West outpaced and produced so much more than other nations existing during the same time.
The unifying theme of the 'killer apps' is appropriate for postmodern readers, giving a clear direction and 'visual' picture of how the West continues to lead the world. The most riveting parts of the book include Ferguson's discussion about the United States' perpetual dependency on religion, specifically Christianity. Why are other Western nations withdrawing from religious activity and the US is not? Is there a correlational connection between capitalism and religion or is the relationship causal?
This book is not for generalists hoping for an easy read, but perhaps would best suit someone who has a particular interest in anthropology and sociology from a historical perspective.
In any case, I really enjoyed the author's lively narration of his work.
This story, set in the 1870s to 1900s, is a remarkable tale of how love's perils has not changed. What love did to married men in the 1870s is no different than today. The story surrounding the murder allows the reader to understand how powerful men were predisposed to changing the society, through finance, to mirror their belief systems.
Brands imparts a storyteller magic and I finished it in one sitting. I could not put it down. Beauty had its privileges; beauty brought down two men, and still becomes the advantage of those so blessed with it. I enjoyed this old, Victorian era true story, and the weaving of the tale is done peculiarly well by Brands.
One area that I wish would have been included is the thinking of the wives of these men. Were they passive participants in their husband's adulterous ways, or were they bystanders stuck in society's norms of the day?
Now this is a book that links men of different political aspirations and regional persuasions to all collide around 1920. The author connects the men through the links to the office of the president. Included in this book are interesting tidbits about each man, such as a thorough background on Herbert Hoover, --who knew his was a geologist by trade and spent quite a bit of time in China early in his career? The book is packed with all kinds of threads between men and how their presence changed the course of American history.
After reading this book I became more interested in finding out more in depth information on three of the men detailed, especially Woodrow Wilson.
Really enjoyed it!
I am not a fan of Antonin Scalia positions generally, but I did enjoy listening to his own description who he is as a justice of the Supreme Court. It is easy to learn from him, and I assume from this short speech with questions and answers that he is considered to be an accomplished teacher of law.
I would suggest that this is a good listen for all people of all political persuasions.
Starts of strong, but the writing is simplistic, even repetitive. Labored descriptions and it seems to drag on chapter by chapter. I never did care to find out 'who dunnit'. It stopped holding my attention after the fifth chapter.
The author did well in capturing my attention from the beginning chapter. Millard did a superb job of intertwining the social, scientific and political worlds at the time of the presidential shooting. Being unschooled about the particulars of the Garfield assassination, it was an intriguing read to learn about the shooter, the doctors and the politics of science.
Perhaps the most interesting parts of the book lay in the details about Garfield's academic life and the role his family played, especially the role of his wife, in many of his political decisions.
Most importantly, Millard explained in great detail the arrogance of physicians and how their limited knowledge accelerated the death of the president. We are also introduced to the black physician who initially assisted the wounded president.
A great read sewn-together nicely. Narration was superb and easy to listen to.
If you ever wanted to clearly understand what really occurred when the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia, this is the book for you. I was not too enthralled by the first few pages of the narrator's voice, but as time passed, I began to like the pace, and lack of enthusiasm in his voice. This is the seminal work for looking deep into the hearts and minds of the authors of the US Constitution.
Much like Goodwin's Team of Rivals, this sweeping work has extensive source materials and uses these source materials to support the finding and lives of these very distinct men. Beeman also carries you back to what the city was like in the late 1700's, thrusting the reader into the time period whether you want to go or not. George Washington's presence at the beginning of the book signals what is about to come!
I encourage those whose tastes move in early American historical fact, this is the book for you. It is comprehensive in scope and answers those questions that you did not think to ask!
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