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William

Murphy, TX, United States | Member Since 2009

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 180 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932 - 1972

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (87)

    This great time capsule of a book captures the abundant popular history of the United States from 1932 to 1972. It encompasses politics, military history, economics, the lively arts, science, fashion, fads, social change, sexual mores, communications, graffiti...everything and anything indigenous that can be captured in print.

    Paula says: "Fabulous book, good narration, bad recording"
    "Manchester is a great writer"
    Overall

    This is an excellent book by a great history writer. William Manchester loved the English language and it shows in his writing. In this social history he spent a paragraph during each era covered and he would write out a scenario using only the slang of the era. It was a fun thing to hear.

    In this overly long book, the author’s notation not mine, William Manchester covers everything that impacted American culture or at least tries to. This book is a great survey history of this era. The covering of this particular 40 years can be seen as a history of the growth and height of the liberal movement. With Franklin D. Roosevelt as the beginning, and Richard M. Nixon as the beginning of the end for it.

    Manchester’s work is a great history by a writer who clearly had fun writing. The phrasing and transition sentences show a sheer pleasure in finding a right way that was entertaining to the author and therefore the reader. This large book is worth the reading for any history student especially for the heart of the twentieth Century.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

    • ABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By David Halberstam
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (629)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (181)

    Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. The Coldest Winter changes that. Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures.

    Doug says: "Almost as good as The Best and the Brightest"
    "Greatness"
    Overall

    This was a book I listened to and Edward Hermann is one of the best at narration, a reason that he does so much on the History channel. He must have loved being asked to work with such great material as Halberstam’s book, which is an excellent history on the war, one of the best. Halberstam was a great writer and it is amazing that the writer could cover so much of the war and still be of reasonable length. It is truly a great work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Night to Remember

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Lord
    • Narrated By Fred Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    The "unsinkable” Titanic was four city blocks long, with a French “sidewalk café,” private promenade decks, and the latest, most ingenious safety devices… but only twenty lifeboats for the 2,207 passengers and crew on board.

    Gliding through a calm sea, disdainful of all obstacles, the Titanic brushed an iceberg. Two hours and forty minutes later, she upended and sank. Only 705 survivors were picked up from the half-filled boats of “the ship that God Himself couldn’t sink.”

    Tad Davis says: "Riveting story"
    "A Classic and still an Authority"
    Overall

    This is still an excellent book. Walter Lord published this book in 1955 and it is still an authority on the night the Titanic sank. It seems to have inspired three movies on the subject the last being James Cameron’s masterpiece.

    The book wastes no time getting to the tragedy. It opens with the iceberg being spotted and striking the ship. From there Lord follows the passengers into the depths of the night. Lord does little back stories on the passengers to expand on who these passengers were. This tragedy effected the people involved greatly, marking them for life and would be the moment they would relive with the slightest reminder of the worst night of their lives, and thus the title.

    Walter Lord’s classic is still a great book despite its age. It is still the standard on the Titanic tragedy, still highly readable, and great.

    Fred Williams was good at the reading too, not great but still good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Penn Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Emerson
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (380)

    The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.

    Eric Berger says: "Marvelously written and read"
    "Book is overrated"
    Overall

    Michael Emerson, of Lost fame does the reading and he reads the book with characterizations in a great subtle, distinctive and easy to follow way. Based on his work that I’ve seen, and now heard, I feel he is clearly a better actor than many that are more well known. He brought this book, that was difficult for me to read on a few previous attempts, easier to understand through his narration. I cannot say enough good things about his reading.

    On the book itself I can see how it won the awards in the 1940s. The fact that the Warren’s prose goes on a bit shows his poetic side. For a modern reader this drones on a bit. My attitude at several points was get on with it, I get it. I understand what you are saying about the moment, now move on. My father has tried to read some old classics and has said that you do not realize how much writing, and the readers, have changed. It makes relatively modern books, such as All The King’s Men, more difficult to get through than one would imagine.

    Robert Penn Warren’s masterpiece here to me seemed typical of southern literature of the time. The family secrets, the slow moving drama, the tremendous pull the past has, the affairs of honor, and the beautiful but damaged woman who helps with the downfall of a man. Any one could make a good story but the southern authors of the first half of the 20th Century to me seem compelled to involve as many in their stories as they can. It does make a rich complex story. A problem is the payoff in the end may not equal the build up.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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