This is the third Modern Scholar series of lectures that I have listened to (the first two were actually part of the Portable Professor Series which Audible used to offer). I found the subject matter to extremely interesting and Professor Winik's knowledgge of the subject matter to be excellent. I learned a great deal from listening to the lectures. There were a great many points that he made that I found to be fascinating (Before listening to the course I was already interested in the subject matter). However the greatest drawback to the course was Professor Winik's narration. It was dry and at times it seemed stilted and disjointed. If his live public speaking is similar to his delivery in this course, I do not believe that I would do not believe that I would enjoy attending his classes as a student
I must admit that I am not a great fan of Lyndon B. Johnson-especially since I place great blame on him for the Vietnam war. That being said, upon finishing this book I acquired a great deal of respect for President Johnson- especially in light of the way he handled himself during the time period that is covered in this book. The humiliation that he faced while serving as Vice President and his ability to hold up to being ostracized by the Kennedy White House inner circle during the Kennedy Administration are very well portrayed in this book- and have in part changed my opinion of him. But my greatest respect for him is reserved for the way in which he almost single handedly pushed through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
As he always does, the author does a great job in describing and analyzing all of the events from Johnson's election as Vice President to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Grover Gardner does a great job (as he almost always does) narrating the book. I am really looking forward to his next volume on Johnson's life.
This book is well worth the listen.
The author started with a great thesis- namely the decline of the Army Leadership by the Generals who have led the US both during and since World War II. He then did an excellent job supporting his position by offering great insight into all of the wars in which the army has been deployed- from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. Portraits of all of the American Generals who commanded the US Army in these- Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, McArthur, Ridgeway, Taylor, Westmoreland, Abrams, Schwartzkopf, Powell, Franks, Petraeus, Sanchez, McCrystal are laid out here for the listener, as well as how each contribted to the success or failure of the army high command during these wars.
George Catlett Marshall- whom quite frankly not many people know enough about and appreciate today. Ricks portrays him as the father of what was great in the army during World War II- namely the ability to select men of high intelligence, energy and affability to lead the US forces- and to remove from command those generals who did not win battles. I became so fascinated by Ricks' portrait of Marshall that after listening to this recording I actually purchased and am reading a biography of Marshall from Amazon (Ed Cray's book entitled "General Of The Army"- which happens to be a great read so far) . Not many people actually realize it but Marshall wanted to command the Allied Invasion at Normandy in 1944- and it was at Franklin Roosevelt's request that he did not agree to become the commander and instead appointed Eisenhower- who as we all know won enough accolade and fame to eventually be elected President of the US.
All were decently portrayed
While I did not have an extreme reaction to the book, I must admit that I came away with the feeling that the current US Army command leadership structure needs to be reformed and new blood infused into that institution if the army is to be a relevant force in protecting the interests of our country. I believe that the author's recommendations on how to bring about and implement this change are well laid out in the epilogue to the book
I am glad that I purchased and listened to the book. While another reviewer has aptly pointed out that there is only theme to this book and that the author constantly reiterates it- I believe that book is well written and well narrated and worth the listen.
I would try another book from Jonathan Fenby but not from Robin Bloodworth
Listening to the narrator bomb foreign words e.g. the "w" in Wehrmacht was pronounced by the narrator with a "w" instead of a "v". Listening to the narrator's horrible impersonation of a French accent. Listening to the narrator mispronounce the names of the historical figures who are part of the story. Unfortunately all of the memorable moments relate to the poor narration. It is a pity but the narration turned what was a well written well researched book in to a horror show.
Grover Gardner, Nelson Runger, Jonathan Lee, Nadia May- anyone except Robin Bloodworth
The book needs to recorded with a new narrator. Someone who can pronounce words correctly and does not have a very artificial French accent.
As stated above, the book was well written and interesting but the narration ruined it. This might well be the worst narrated book that I have ever listened to in the Audible Library.
This is a very well written and well narrated book. As has been pointed out by previous reviewers the book is narrated by Cotter Smith and not Professor Feldman. The book focuses on the lives of four of FDR's Supreme Court Justices- Jackson, Douglas, Frankfurter and Black- all of whom had a very significant impact on the history of the Supreme Court from the New Deal era to the current day. Professor Feldman does an excellent job discussing the backgrounds of the four justices and how their education, social and political experiences framed their view of jurisprudence. For readers who are very interested in the Supreme Court and how it has become so important in the modern day political era this is a great listen. I would also recommend that after listening to this volume, readers may also want to listen to Jeff Shesol's well written and narrated book "Supreme Power" which focuses on FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court. While the court packing scheme is discussed in Professor Feldman's book, it is justifiably given less space than in Mr. Shesol's book. I would strongly recommend both books. Great additions to the Audible Library
This was an extremely well written and narrated book. The author did a great job in describing the various aspects of the war from the leaders (Churchill, Hitler, Stalin and Roosevelt but not Mussolini), to the commanders (Mainstein, Guderian, Rommel, Patton, Montgomery, Brooke, Eisenhower, Rommel, Patton, Bradley and Clark but not MacArthur) to the various aspects of the war (the nuclear bombs, air power, sea power). The narration by Christain Rudska was excellent. I thought Mr. Rudska's ability to portray the actual voices of the characters was great. I learned a great deal about the war that I did not know listening to the book. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in acquiring a full knowledge of the Second World War
Although I have read the book before and thus am familiar with the plot, I believe that this one of the finest narrated books in the audible collection. John Lee did an absolutely fantastic job in narrating the story. I believe that the story is Dumas greatest work (although the Three Muskateers and The Man In The Iron Mask are also great books). I think that the translation from French to English left something to be desired (for example the term "notaire" in French should translate to "solicitor" in English not notary) but overall a great book and very much worthwhile listening to.
As a student of history, the First World War is my favorite topic. Norman Stone is an excellent historical scholar on this topic. His book "The Eastern Front" (not available in audio) which discusses the Eastern Front in World War One is a bible for people like me. This book provides an excellent concise overview of the war in a very well written and organized volume. If you have never listened to any books regarding the topic and want to understand this period in history, this book is where you should start. There are some small historical errors but these do not detract from the narration and content. Overall a great addition to the Audible Library
I thought that this book was well written and narrated. Besides providing a chronological detail of Mays' life it really shed great light on what it was like for minority ballpayers who grew up in the era of seggregation and who came to the majors just after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. I always respected Willie Mays for what he accomplished "on the field" during his career. I have a greater respect for him and understanding of him after reading this book. Overall- an excellent book and a worthwhile listen
This book was extremely well written and well narrated- it is probably one of the best books I've listened to this year. Jeff Shesol did a great job of painting a picture of all of the key players in Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court- from Roosevelt himself to Senators Bert Wheeler and Joe Robinson, to each of the US Supreme Court Justices that made up that court. What made this book so great was that the author did an incredible job of framing each of the key player's personal agendas and priorities as either a proponent or opponent of the court packing scheme as well as providing a brief biography of each of them. Most interesting were the discussions of Chief Justice Hughes (a former US Presidetial candidate) as well as Justices Stone and Roberts (who eventually became the key swing vote in the court). I strongly recommend the book as a great listen
This is the first book of Oscar Wilde's that I have ever listened to. It was a very entertaining book. It is well written and Wilde's wit as expressed through Lord Henry Wotten is extremely entertaining. I also thought that Greg Wise did a great job with the narration. I highly recommend it
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