His real letters
The reading of the letters between Sherman and Grant make this book very real and personal. I felt like I was there on his staff when he was talking about the events of the day. General Hardy was smart to evacuate Savannah, otherwise the city would have ended up like Atlanta. Sherman was a ruthless commander but because of him and men like him, war is hell, but the actions taken are necessary! And the war has not stopped, just in a different place.
I love reading or listening to anything that David McCullough presents. He is truly one of the best if not the best historians and writers of the second half of the 20th century. Having that rare gift of being able to write a book and then read it as only he can do. Having studied the Civil War and the Revolutionary war extensively, this one year 1776 was filled with many many events which were recorded, however yet were not realized in their significance to launch the Americas into a war with Great Britain. This book explains in detail every event in 1776 which took us down that road to independence.
This book was not about bullets and battles, this book dealt with the fact of the American people coming of age during the Civil War and for a short time thereafter. Having read many books on the Civil War seen many films and visited many battlefields and monuments over the decades this concept and factual evolution brings a whole new thought process to understanding what happened during the Civil War and thereafter. The author was inspired when he came up with the idea in his own mind to write this book. It's certainly a masterful presentation that you will enjoy reading and listening to. Definitely a refreshing look to the Civil War.
Amazing how fate would have it that capital become one of the greatest leaders of the Russian aristocracy and the monarchy during many troubled decades in Russia. Story upon story abounds in this book of her and her court, the man she loved, and the men that love her. She did a lot of traveling in Russia, and you can only imagine the difficulties of traveling in that day when there was no modern conveniences to transverse the hundreds and thousands of miles that are needed in order to see Russia and all the cities and provinces that she ruled over. There was recently a movie about her however the movie was only a couple of hours it would take a definite miniseries and a large magnitude to ever amplify all the efforts achievements and affairs that transpired during her reign. This is a story worth reading listening to if you've never studied this subject it will certainly enlighten you as to, there's a lot more going on in Russia than you think.
We hear stories like this in the news every so often of a man in powerful positions abusing that power however at the time they don't feel they're abusing it. Certainly Gen. Arnold did not see that he was doing anything wrong by making money on the transportation of goods because the communal Congress would not paying the money that he was owed for being a general. This un-rational way of thinking and coupled with his desire to marry Peggy Shipton led to his downfall. There are several good movies out from the history Channel about Benedict Arnold and would benefit the listener to watch these movies as well as listen to this short biography.
I have always been captivated by Pres. Jackson ever since I saw his domineering presence at the Hall of the Presidents exhibit at Disneyland and Anaheim California in the late 1960s. Also I enjoyed watching him be portrayed by Charlton Heston in the movie back in the 1960s. He was truly a great president that helped shape the country and win the war against the British in 1814 to help with that notion to rest. If you're not very good at geography you will need a map to follow along with this book to understand all the names and places of where he went in what battles he fought and how they all related to his home in Tennessee. The book is an easy lesson that follows the progression of the facts about his life all the way through the presidency.
Having been an admirer of Gen. Patton since the first time I saw the movie starring George C Scott in 1972. I was in the military at the time in this figure of leadership and impressed me to the point that over the decades I have looked for and read many things about this man. The author of this book puts all the facts, stories, and the legend into an easy reading and listening format. I can only look back on my career and wish that I had been born in a day when many of the trials and tribulations that Patton pursued and established were done with reckless abandon and adventurism. An example would be the excursion with Gen. Pershing in the Mexico, shooting bandits and strapping them into the hood of some of the first automobile that had been developed, to then parade them back to Columbus New Mexico like dear strapped to the hood of a pickup truck during hunting season. This reckless abandon carry-on the rest of his career and life, and we're thankful of his leadership no matter how reckless was there to stem the tide of World War II for the Allies. The sequel to Patton, the movie was entitled The Last Days of Patton this movie also starred George C Scott, however sad it will give you a good insight into those last days after he had been injured. It's amazing to me that Gen. Eisenhower did not come to see Gen. Patton when everybody knew he was dying in the hospital in Europe.
Before you would read this book or possibly after you read this book you would want to watch the 1974 British television series called The Fall of Eagles. This book runs parallel with what was happening in the late 19th century up through the first world war. The narrator of this book which is a woman, does an excellent job projecting the voices of the three monarchs, as well as other associates that surrounded themselves to the thrones. I find it amazing the arrogance of Kaiser Wilhelm and Czar Nicholas, as well as the arrogance of the Czarina Alexandra. It's amazing, how could this twist of fate in their arrogance brought about the downfall of these monarchs, which only if they had not been so arrogant and learned to bend with the political wind, quite possibly Germany and Russia to this day would still have a Kaiser and Czar. Can you imagine that? I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is interested in the turn-of-the-century, of course nowadays we have to be careful in which turn-of-the-century were talking about it. Another good book that complements this book would be the Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, President Kennedy referred to the Guns of August in relationship to the Cuban missile crisis, all of this relates back to the beginning of World War I, and how events escalate out of control for no real apparent reason, which would justify a world war on the continent of Europe.
This is a great story from start to finish. I have friends that are part of the U.S. Navy diving community, and have talked with them about this adventure. Both of these men in the book who were the primary divers have went on to become famous in their own right and television on the history Channel, as deep-sea detectives. This book read like a thriller, once the submarine was found then the race was on to find out what submarine was it? I had never really stop to consider all the diving that went on in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the time when you think about scuba diving you think of beautiful tropical places. It's also amazing how these divers reached the depths of the ocean before mixed gas was popular. This is a great real life adventure story of some of many divers who made the discovery possible of the submarines identification.
I was 10 years old when this event happened, and somewhere I have a faint trace of the memory of hearing about this capture. I listen to this audio book for the first time, in about three weeks later I felt I had to listen to it again. The history of World War II and in Europe with the Nazis was brought forth in a very well organized format by the author which was one reason for the second listen. Then you get to the chase! As I listen to the book, I did a Google search for the map locations in Buenos Aires, so it was like almost watching a movie, I could picture myself at those street addresses. The way the author tells the tale of how they made it through the airport, in the long flight back to Africa, and then on to Tel Aviv. Certainly the pilots of the airplane had nerves of steel, as well as all the characters in the spy network that did the research, the shadowing of Eichmann, and then the capture on that dark lonely road that one night. I also found two VHS tapes on eBay that dealt with the trial, unbelievable the way the evidence was put forth and he maintained his innocence until the end. This is a great book recommend you give it a read or listen.
Having experience in cold weather climates, one of the amazing feats of survival in this story is how Truman Everts survived without the proper clothing. Today we are kept warm and healthy with all the technology of a manufactured environment. To be hungry for so long while having to think about making decisions for your own survival is very well described in this book. It is also amazing how he got lost in the first place, his horse wandered off, then he could not find the people he was with. Later on after he's discovered, and he recovers, we find he's somewhat of a disagreeable person. You have to wonder if his getting lost was not by accident from the others that he was with. If you like the outdoors, if you have ever been to Yellowstone and the surrounding country you will like reading this book.
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