The audio recording of these interviews gave such a glimpse into Mrs. Kennedy's life at the time. The tape recorder stops and starts, kids come into the room, planes fly over, Mrs. Kennedy sips her drink. It makes it so much richer to hear little pieces of the world around her as she recounts her life with the President and her time in the White House.
Her quiet voice recounts such a different side of the important people we read about in history books. In this recording we get snippets of people's personalities, gossips about state dinners and ex-first ladies, and views on marriage, family and women from such a classy lady. It was interesting to hear her daughter in the intro talk about how her views changed over time, but I enjoyed hearing the candid and contemporary 60s views Mrs. Kennedy had at the time.
Want to wake up your love and appreciation for American History? Read this. Rather, devour it.
The narration really ruined this book for me. I do not think I've ever had that happen before with an audiobook.
The book itself was not my favorite, but the narrator did not vary his voice enough to add emphasis or pause where required. It made me zone out and have to go back and re-listen to sections. The story was morally complex, but I failed to find connection with any of the characters. Despite some pretty heart wrenching events happening, I had almost no emotional reaction to this story at all.
Writing consciously without losing the overall meaning is harder than it looks. Far from being a complete biography, this book manages to pluck out some of the most important pieces and tell a fair, interesting story.
Bernstein packs a lot of information into this book. It may be review if you've read a lot about Jefferson, but it is a well handled and well presented review. It treats TJ's many contradictions, sharp corners and gray areas in a fair and historical manner and uses them as context for his less controversial accomplishments. Jefferson has meant many things to different generations of scholars, this book peaks your interest and presents the varying schools of Jeffersonian thought, but leaves you with an overall positive view of him.
Rather you are an existing fan of Jefferson or not, this book makes you want to read more, to dive into different aspects and continue exploring the life of this complex and fascinating man.
I did learn some new things in this book, and some of the chapters were quite enjoyable. However, throughout the whole thing, the author seemed to display judgmental prejudice against some founding fathers while giving a much more generous and fair treatment to others on similar topics (morality, slavery, debt).
I learned a few things and enjoyed hearing more about the founding father's personal lives and how they shaped their public personas. This book has some good content, but is detracted by its lack of impartial discussions on historical figures - particularly Jefferson, whom Fleming seems to think was lucky, but overrated and under-talented - a fact he drives home whenever he can. I most sincerely disagree.
The relationships within this brotherhood had such lasting and important effects, it is nice to see them presented together, and to see them struggle through each others' strong personalities to start a discussion about government that has been able to continue though today.
I loved the focus on key episodes to introduce broader concepts of the time and provide context around their decisions and thought processes. This book focused on how each man's strengths balanced the weakness of another, that without each other, they never could have achieved what they did.
Good narration in the audible format helped make this good book a great listen.
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