While I understand how Alexander Graham Bell influenced the outcome of Garfield's medical care, the chapters-long digressions and long-winded technical details of Bell and his inventions are distracting and unnecessary. It's almost as though there wasn't enough material on Garfield, so his story has to be enhanced through association with Bell.
And then, one of the most dramatic, history-changing and defining moments in Garfield's life - his shocking nomination as the Republican candidate for Presidency - seems to enjoy relatively poor development in the book. I still don't feel like I have a grasp for why the convention chose Garfield for their nominee.
That said, the meticulous details about Guiteau's (Garfield's assassin) life and motivations are fascinating and entirely relevant to Garfield's story. Also, the development and detail around Garfield's final months - especially the evocation of the nation awaiting the fate of their beloved leader - are clearly well-researched and compellingly rendered.
Author should have written a biography on Alexander Graham Bell and moved some of this content there. Fill the void with more development on details, specifically the compelling forces at work in his Republican nomination.
All well done. Lucretia (Garfield's wife) was probably my fave. Her lilting shyness, almost a whisper, really comes out in the delivery.
I am already trying to get through as many POTUS biographies as I can, and although this was a bit of a
Toward the top. Sometimes certain audio books get to be a labor for me to get through, but not this book. Compellingly written, and full of great stories (parables, almost) to take with me in my everyday life.
Straightforward. Didn't try to make it anything other than what it is.
It's time well-spent. It's fairly rare that I actually suggest others read/ hear the books I listen to on Audible, but I recommended this one to several people.
The book is full of insightful, thought-provoking stories and analyses. I am not rating this a five-star because the thread(s) that wove the stories together were never really established nor drawn upon.
There were several common themes, but to say these stories fit some kind of framework set forth by Gladwell would not be accurate. Most of the time, the stories are very, very compelling vignettes that just proces through - and you're on to the next.
I thought it was still too technical and dry.
Also, there were parts that delved deeply into issues that don't have any relevance today.
Could have used more context, background and development of the truly crucial Papers, and could have done without several others.
Good to have given some time to such important documents.
Worth a listen, but it might be a labor for you to stick with it and not lose focus.
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