yes - this is a well balanced synopsis of the complex life of Thomas Jefferson, which helps to not only explain the Federalist - Anti-Federalist debates, but also paints a picture of the talented man who played a key role in nurturing and protecting the otherwise fragile Democratic Republic experiment which we and the rest of the world all take for granted.
Jefferson's love of his fellow man and his talent for keeping the peace through respect and empathy, extending to all walks of life, including even his slaves. Jefferson's early [failed] attempts to win support for emancipation, his relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings, who was also his dead wife's half sister - their children, all of whom eventually won their freedom - all add an interesting element to what might on the surface otherwise seem to be simply a shameful slave owning southern plantation story.
I recall visualizing the scenes of the younger Jefferson, reciting prose and playing music with his older sister Jane, his failed attempts at love, followed by a classic life love, and more (don't want to say too much here). Jefferson's on again, off again relationships with his political rivals, and his eventual burying of the hatchett with John Adams resulting in a series of over a hundred letters in their old age.
Not quite extreme. In classic Jeffersonian style, this book avoids too much extremeism and unnecessary drama - just like Jefferson lived his life.
I want more - I would like more details on Jefferson's life and the lives of those around him.
Yes, I only hope that an update can be done to fix the missing sections!
Lincoln is of course, the focus, but this book alsop brings to life Lincoln's rivals and their families.
Suzanne Toren is an excellent reader, bringing both power and poise to recreate historical events and attitudes.
I only wish the editing job was better. I am 80% done and have already counted over 10 sections where the audio simply cuts to another section - losing who knows how much material. Sometimes in the middle of famous speechs too - I feel as though my historical knowledge still has gaps.
I am currently on my second read of this important book; there is a lot of material contained in this book and there are a lot of exotic names concepts and places mentioned and it is too hard to remember them all in one reading.
I enjoyed hearing the life story of the Dalai Lama, as well as his diagnosis of the world's religious problems and I feel as though he offers a very rational, compassionate, and workable set of solutions towards solving the world's problems using existing religious institutions in a unified approach which could actually work.
I must admit that hearing the Dalai Lama's life story narrated in first person by Richard Gere threw me for a loop after the first few sentences, but once I adjusted to hearing Richard's voice while picturing the Dalai Lama working with a translator, I was able to easily transcend the initial mind warp. Richard Gere has a very good reading voice and he is very easy to comprehend, so he does an excellent job.
World Peace - not just a corny wish at a Beauty Pageant
This book has inspired me to do my part toward building world peace.
Probably... someday. The book touches on many different areas - all of which go into what it is to be human - many areas where one's own humanity could be considered sorely lacking. I also hope and expect to read the sequel, as I expect that the Turing contest is only going to get more interesting as time goes on.
Not sure. I will say that my very next audible.com purchase was "The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human" by Jonathon Gottschall. Narrated by Kris Koscheski.
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