Although my wife didn't listen to this book, she learned to hate it... while I was listening to it and for weeks after, I bombarded her with all the fascinating trivia about salt that I picked up. This was mostly at meals, of course. The book is packed with interesting facts, but I wish the author had organized them better. Sometimes he takes a chronological approach, but then switches gears to a geographical approach, and then on to a culinary approach and then back to chronological. The narration could have been a little crisper. It's a light listen overall, but worth your time.
This was a very enjoyable listen. There are many great things to be said about the book that have already been noted here. My only concern is that I did not get a good enough idea of why Hamilton was so despised by the Jeffersonians. Perhaps this book wouldn't be the right the place for it, but I would have benefitted from a more objective discussion of the Jeffersonian ideals that conflicted so much with Hamilton and the Federalists. What this book provides instead is an extended illumination of Jefferson's hypocrasies, which, while fascinating and mind-opening, does not really address the ideaological differences between the men sufficiently.
Anyway, a good book should lead you to others, and I'll now seek out a better understanding of all this. This was well worth the listen and fully worthy of 5 stars!
This book is the best value on Audible! This is my second favorite book from Audible, after Charlie Wilson's War. I really became a fan of Truman after listening to this book, and I have to admit that I even got a little misty-eyed when he died! The book takes some time to get into as the first few hours read like the beginning of an Icelandic saga, delving into the archaic ancestry of Truman and Missouri. This was an interesting mini-history of Missouri to an extent, but I could have done without it. I would have liked more detail about his presidency instead. Great narration.
Although I wasn't crazy about the narrator or sound quality, the subject matter and writing were engaging. Shame on Ike for allowing the coup to happen!
Of the dozen or so books I've listened to, this was the best so far. This is exactly the kind of book that proves that non-fiction can be more exciting than fiction. Great characters, great story, and some really important history to boot! The narrator sounded like Rod Sterling from the Twilight Zone - a perfect match for the book.
This was a great story! The author really managed to squeeze in a lot of history, too. This book piqued my interest in Roman history and led to more great listens (The 12 Caesars and A History of Rome). I liked the narration as well.
I liked the balance this book provided between the bright and dark spots of American history. I've always been skeptical of the mythical status of American history as it is usually remembered; this book brings it down to earth. I didn't like the narrator too much, and especially not the "guests" who read the quotes. I also felt like too much time was devoted to everything before the Revolution. The 1800s just whizzed by. Overall, though, it was well worth the long listen and I learned a lot.
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