I bought this book thinking that it was the story of the Battle of Thermopylae. While it is that, most of it concerns the life of the narrator of the story, the (fictional) single Spartan survivor of the battle, as he relates it to the Persian King Xerxes after the battle. The result is that most of the book concerns not the battle itself, but the lives of those living in Sparta, both citizens and non-citizens, and hence gives us a view of what life was like growing up in this most military of states.
I had, of course, first heard about Sparta when in Elementary School and had my first formal presentation of the story in High School history class but, after reading this book, I have to say that I had no real idea at that time what the term "harsh upbringing" really meant. Steven Pressfield has clarified that term in great detail and this book will stay with me for some time to come. I found it very hard to read but, at the same time, found myself reluctant to put it down until I had heard what happened to those involved. Not those actually involved in the battle of course but those related to the primary characters in the book. The idea that 300 or so Spartans and their more numerous allies could hold off the entire Persian Army for 7 days (3 days of which was battle) seemed incredible to me when I was young and still seems hard to believe, but the details in the book are presented so well and so clearly that I could almost imagine myself as being an invisible observer as the battle progressed.
This is not an easy book to read (or listen to), but is well worth the effort for the clarity it gives to one of the pivotal moments in history. The narration by George Guidall is very well done, as one would expect from him, and the tone suits the events. I may not re-read this book but I am glad I went to the effort to buy and listen to it. I recommend this book to those with an interest in history in general and the early Greek states in particular but do not recommend it to the squeamish. It is, as I wrote, a hard book for me to read.
This book covers the period from the end of World War II through the end of the Soviet Union as seen through the eyes of the Soviet leadership and, as such, it adds a great deal to a balanced view of what happened and why. While it may not be surprising that the Soviets viewed the causes of the crises that arose between the Soviet Union and the West differently it is sometimes surprising to find out exactly how they viewed these causes and what they saw as the possible solutions. This book is written by Vladimir Zubok who appears to have been a member of the Soviet government during part of the time covered by the book and his views and statements are backed up by Soviet archives. The book seemed to me to be facts, as seen from the other side, not just opinion.
In looking at the period from 1945 through 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, the book looks at the actions of each of the Soviet leaders – Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev and the others – and I found it interesting to find out what was on their minds, how and why they proceeded as they did and what others in the leadership thought of their actions.
I found the book to be slow going at first and I was unsure if I could actually finish it. However either I got used to the somewhat wooden narration or the book became more interesting after the first 3 or 4 hours. All of the book is interesting enough and I found that it changed my view of the causes of some of the events covered. In particular it became clear that the Soviet Union was falling apart in it's last decade and that had someone other than Mikhail Gorbachev been head of the Soviet State things might have ended quite differently.
While this book stands on it's own I found it helpful to have also read “Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire” as the two give a very good view of the last 10 years or so of the Soviet Union's existence. The feeling that the whole system was coming apart is clear in both books. The end of the Soviet Union was an enormous political event and this book does it's part in explaining what led up to and transpired during that event as seen from the Soviet side. As such I think it is helpful in understanding the late 20th century.
As I mentioned I think that the narration of this book is a bit wooden and uninspiring. It is not bad, it is just not very good. Still, I believe this book is a help in understanding what happened and, as such, I feel I can recommend it in spite of the narration.
I, like many people, have always been fascinated by the Tudors. Perhaps it is because of our popular culture, from the BBC to our movies, but the Tudors have always seemed like a remarkable group of rulers so I was particularly interested in G J Meyer's book on them. It was all I could have asked for and more.
My Meyer's examination of the Tudor dynasty, from Henry VII through Elizabeth I, is thorough, detailed and incisive. The book is full of detail, in some cases almost too much detail, and leaves little to the imagination. His indictment of the Tudors flies in the face of today's cultural view of the Tudors, but leaves little doubt as to the validity of his assessment.
Understandably much of the book centers on the two best known Tudor monarchs – Henry VIII (or, perhaps we should say Henry VIIJ as you will read in the book) and Elizabeth I – although Henry VII, Edward VI and Mary I are hardly ignored. Mr Meyer's indictment of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are based on fact and opened my eyes to a part of history that I did not know. Most of what I knew about Henry was related to his break from the Catholic Church and his efforts to secure a male heir. While I have always condemned what I saw as his “excesses” I thought I understood his desperate search for a male heir since there had never been a successful British Queen before that time. However I never really knew how much of a tyrant he was and I never really knew how much the British Parliament of his day had been made a creature of the crown. His slaughter of all of those who stood in his way, and of those who served him faithfully, are facts ignored by most contemperary accounts, at least those with which I was familiar.
His description of Elizabeth's reign also brought to my attention much I never knew. I had always thought that Elizabeth failed in perhaps her main responsibility to the British state – marrying and producing a successor – and I always thought that she did so out of her own selfishness, but I never knew much about her persuit of practicing Catholics in the country. I knew of the general policy and I knew about how her agents persued Catholic Priests to arrest them, but I never really felt that I knew why they did so. Mr Meyer explained the thinking behind this policy and, perhaps, why British policy up till the 20th century continued to exclude Catholics from most government positions. None of this is meant to excuse this policy for Mr Meyer makes clear that most Catholics, including those slaughtered for their beliefs, were loyal British subjects. In particular the story of Edmund Campion ended for me the idea of “Good Queen Bess”.
In A Word Undone, Mr Meyer's history of World War I, he alternated chapters between events and background information. His background sections were particularly helpful in explaining the “whys” in what was happening. He uses the same technique in this book, although there are not as many background chapters, to explain why things were as they were, why particular policies were followed and why particular solutions worked or did not work. I found this extremely helpful in understanding what was happening during the 120 or so years of the Tudors. Another thing I took away from this book is an understanding of how stable today's politics are compared to the world of the 16th century where the English, French, Spanish and Hapsburgs were constantly making and breaking alliances for the most transient of reasons.
This book is narrated by Robin Sachs who does a splendid job.
I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the period of the English Reformation or to those interested in British history of any period. So much of what happened during the reign of the Tudors is central to what came after that this book is enormously helpful in understanding events that happened hundreds of years after the last Tudor monarch died.
I bought this book thinking it was a biography of Stalin. It is not and you will not find much about his young life, his marriage and children, his life in the early Communist Party and so on. Rather the book is a study of Stalin during a series of political crisis, many of his own devising, how he came to dominate the Communist Party and State, how he disposed of his rivals and how he maintained that control. It is a frightening portrait of how one person could terrify first a party organization and then an entire state. It is also a view of how a ruthless person who has no controls on his behavior can keep and maintain terror as a weapon.
The author's family apparently grew up in Russia during the time of Stalin and this connection allows him to add a personal touch to the episodes in this book. The very first story in the book concerns Stalin's birth and how the entire Soviet State observed a fictitious anniversary on his “birthday”. This episode is meant, I assume, to assure us that everything we thought we knew about Stalin as likely to be wrong and simply a device through which the dictator fashioned and maintained the information the public thought they knew about him.
Most of the information is related to Stalin's seizure and maintenance of power. Other events, such as the Second World War, occupy little or no space at all. However the re-imposition of terror after the Soviet Union's victory in World War II is given a great deal of space as is his plans for a final round of terror prior to a new war. The book is chilling and one is left with the feeling that only providence prevented World War III.
While much in this book was surprising to me perhaps most surprising was the willingness of some of Stalin's victims to be victims. Their loyalty was more to the Communist Party and the Soviet State than to their own lives and they were prepared to be humiliated and degraded rather than be seen as varying from “the party line”. This seemed to be true of almost all of the early Communist revolutionaries with the exception of Trotsky who never was willing to bend to Stalin.
The title I gave to this review is from a line in the book. Stalin's associates apparently knew that their day would come and felt that as long as he was humiliating them, they were safe. Hence the line – humiliating the living dead. They knew they were, as the expression goes, dead men walking, and he seemed to get a great deal of pleasure out of humiliating the living knowing that they were eventually doomed to be killed in one of his purges. And their view of Stalin is shown in the story of how Khrushchev acted when he found Stalin almost dead from a stroke. While I had read this story before Khrushchev's actions explain perfectly the way Stalin's associates viewed him.
While this book did not give me much information about Stalin's life outside of his struggle to gain and then maintain power, he left me with much more knowledge about this despot than I had before and I feel that it was well worth reading. The narration, by David McCallum, was powerful and perfectly suited for the subject. I would have given it 6 stars had I been able to.
Highly recommended with some warnings. It is not a biography and it is not for young children.
I have been looking for a balanced history of the time of the Kennedy brothers for a long time. Although I was too young to vote in 1960 when John Kennedy ran for President, I was old enough to be serving in the US military so I remember the Presidential campaign and his Presidency very well. And, like most people who were adults at the time, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard about his assassination in Dallas, Texas as well as the assassination of Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, California.
I thought that histories of the Kennedy Presidency written shortly after the assassinations of John and Robert tended to lack objectivity and to be more paeans of praise than real histories and that those written during the 1980s tended to be revisionist and overly critical focusing on conspiracy theories, long on innuendo but short on facts. I bought this book because I felt that perhaps the 40+ years since the assassinations was enough time for historians to have gained the necessary objectivity to view the events of the period more dispassionately and write in a more balanced fashion.
This book centers on the relationship of the brothers during their time in office and especially during the time of John's Presidency. The central idea of the book, as described in the introduction, is that Robert's actions as Attorney General led directly to the events in Dallas and his brother's death. To describe the events and their linkages to the assassination the book covers the details of John's Presidency in a good deal of detail and, for me, that seems to be one of the main issues with the Audible version. Meetings between mafia Dons, labor leaders, high level US government officials, Soviet officials, Cuban exiles and the like are described and quotes from these meetings are used liberally. While the events and the quotes may well be accurate, the Audible reader is given little information concerning the source of the quotes. Perhaps there are footnotes in the print version of this book but nothing in the Audible version indicates where the quotes came from. However Mr Mahoney's credentials as the Kennedy Scholar Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts seem above reproach and I assume the quotations are valid. Given that, the conclusions one are drawn to are hard to avoid.
This book is dense with facts, meetings, events and quotes and normally I would suggest that such an event rich book would be better understood in print where it is easier for readers to return to the previous paragraph to re-read something. In fact I found myself rewinding 30 seconds or more frequently to make sure I understood who was saying what, but the events themselves are fresh enough in my memory to have compensated for the lack of a print version and I found myself listening to hours at a time when I would normally have been doing something else. In fact I finished this book in less than 3 full days. Given it's length that gives some indication as to how the story and the narration held me.
Both John and Robert Kennedy are presented as real people with both foresight and limitations and the descriptions seem fair and real. Given the material being discussed (assassination attempts against Fidel Castro, collusion and communication with the Mafia and the stories behind both the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among others), what we see is a very different view of Camelot that detracts from the highly burnished view that many people have of the Kennedy Presidency. I should also mention that this is not a book about who killed John Kennedy. The book, through quotes, follows several threads involving individuals and groups who threatened to kill him, but makes no judgment concerning who may have actually done it. It does, however, have something to say about the judgment of the Warren Commission about a single shooter.
The final section of the book describes the change in Robert Kennedy after he left the office of Attorney General, ran for the U.S. Senate, became an opponent of the Viet Nam war and ran for the Presidential nomination. Of particular interest to me was the change and growth he underwent as he became more aware of the plight of the poor and neglected. The Robert Kennedy that appeared in 1969 seems like a very different Robert Kennedy from the one involved in the Kefauver Committee hearings in the 1950s.
The narration by Peter Altschuler is very good and well suited to the contents. The events described in this book may be at variance with many people's current views of the Kennedys but I think the book is very well done and well worth reading. I recommend it although some parts of it may be hard to listen to, especially for those whose view of the period was formed by the legend of Camelot.
This is the third volume in the Matthew Shardlake mystery series. While I felt that the first book in the series was first rate I was disappointed with the second book which, I felt, had little real plot and in which the identity of the murderer was fairly obvious. I had hoped that the third volume would be better and I was not disappointed.
The events of this book take place during the period when Catherine Howard was Queen and the King and Queen were on a Royal Progress to the North Country after a northern rebellion. Matthew Shardlake, who is part of the Progress because of a job he has been given, finds himself involved in the investigation of a death and that investigation takes him deeply into matters that involve the Royal Family, the succession and the rebellion. And, for him, these are very dangerous waters for him to be involved in.
Everything about this book is great. The death may be an accident or may be murder. If it is murder, the reason might be pedestrian or involve treason. Matthew's position and personal safety are in jeopardy, there are many different threads to the story and they may or may not be related and, on top of that, there are sufficient red herrings that the truth is not clear until the very end. On top of all of that you get the chance to learn more about Matthew's assistant, John Barack, and the people involved in his life. All in all, as much as I liked the first volume I felt that this one was far better.
Part of the enjoyment of this book is the chance to learn something about early sixteenth century life in England – how people lived, how they thought, the tension between those who were still Catholic and those who now believed in the Church Of England and, most horrifying of all, imprisonment in The Tower Of London and what passed for justice at the time.
This book is narrated by Steven Crossley who does as good a job as he did with the previous volumes. Individual characters are generally recognizable by their own accents and way of speaking and there is continuity of tone with the previous volumes. If you enjoyed Dissolution you should enjoy this even more.
There are a number of things that made buying this book an interesting idea. First, the idea of two novels written by two authors based on the same basic idea. I wondered exactly how different the stories would be, how interesting the second would be after reading the first and how dated the earlier version of this story might be. Second, any novel by John Scalzi seems worth at least some investigation as I have not read anything by him that I have not considered to be worth the time spent. Third, Wil Wheaton does a good enough job narrating a book that his narration made the purchase even easier. So, how are the two different stories?
Fuzzy Nation (approximately 7 hours, 20 minutes)
Simply put, this book is a gold mine and, at the same time, a roller coaster ride. It is one of the few books I have read where I could say I really did not know how it was going to turn out. Of course you have a general idea that things will turn out for the best, but this book has so many ins and outs, so many legal turns and so many unexpected developments that I was unable to figure out precisely what would happen.
At the same time this novel is just plain fun. There are laugh-out-loud moments when my wife just looked at me as if perhaps I needed to see a doctor, suspenseful moments when I did not want to stop listening and just plain interesting moments when time seemed to fly past. I have not had this much fun listening to a book is quite some time. In particular I had no idea how the courtroom drama at the end of the novel would turn out, who would win, who would lose and how all of the lose ends would get tied up. In the end Mr Scalzi did a neat job of closing all of the loose ends and answering all of the questions and in a way that caught me completely by surprise. This is not a simple book and the plot is quite involved, but also quite satisfying at the end.
The narration, of course, is first class. The writing is first class. The story is first class. The first novel in the book is worth the purchase price alone. Five stars.
Little Fuzzy (approximately 6 hours, 25 minutes)
I had such a good time with Fuzzy Nation that I was actually reluctant to start listening to Little Fizzy. It was hard for me to see how the story could match John Scalzi's re-writing of it and the narration by Peter Ganim sounded harsh and uninviting by comparison. I actually waited for a day before I even began listening and, after 20 minutes or so, stopped listening and waited another day before getting back into the novel. I should not have worried.
The main character, Jack Holloway, exists in both books but is a completely different type of person in each. He is an independent mineral prospector on the same planet in both novels, but that is the extent to which the characters match. In Little Fuzzy he sounds like an older grizzled loner as compared to the young ex-lawyer in Fuzzy Nation. His views and opinions are much more dated and altruistic in Little Fuzzy, but he is still a main character worth spending time with in both stories. He is open and welcoming to the fuzzies when he finds and makes a home for them.
Little Fuzzy is a much simpler book than Fuzzy Nation. The plot is fairly straight-forward, the characters are mostly what you expect them to be and the “bad guys” seem to be operating with a much simpler set of goals. However the story is also interesting in its own way with what turns out to be a parallel, although somewhat clearer, set of plot lines. Still, the characters are interesting, there is a good deal of uncertainty as to what will happen to the fuzzies themselves and the courtroom drama at the end is, in its own way, as interesting as the first book.
This is, in many way, a very different book from Fuzzy Nation, but is worth reading on its own. While the narration is, in my opinion, not as polished as that of Fuzzy Nation, it is still well done. Four stars.
Both books are worth spending the time. Fuzzy Nation seemed to me to be a much more sophisticated novel with deeper character development, a more nuanced story and a more satisfying ending. Little Fuzzy, which I think is worth the time on its own, seemed more superficial by comparison with a much simpler story line, more straight-forward characters and has a more paternalistic feel than Fuzzy Nation. I believe the narration of Fuzzy Nation to be better than that of Little Fuzzy, but both are good. I have rated the combined book at 5 stars since I cannot give 4 ½ stars which would be the average of the two novel ratings.
An interesting question is how my views might have changed if I had read the stores in the reverse order. Having finished both books I clearly cannot do that but readers might want to think about which one to listen to first. Regardless, I recommend this combined book to those who like science fiction and are looking for a light read.
The first part of Edmund Morris' biography of Theodore Roosevelt is absolutely wonderful. This volume covers Mr Roosevelt's life from his birth through his selection as Vice President under McKinley and McKinley's assassination and is long enough, at 26, hours to cover everything of importance. While this is not the first Roosevelt biography that I have read it is the first that has covered all of the relevant parts of his early life with what seems like completeness.
Theodore Roosevelt led an extraordinarily varied life – young naturalist and student of animal life, Harvard student, New York assembly man, corruption fighting reformer, Civil Service Commissioner in Washington, cattleman in the Dakota Territory, Police Commissioner in New York, assistant Secretary of the Navy, mayor of New York City, Rough Rider and more and all of it comes to life in the wonderful writing of Mr Morris and the flawless narration of Mark Deakins. While parts of his life seem incongruous (for example his ability to be both a nature conservationist while, at the same time, engaging in hunting trips to kill wild animals and mount their heads and skins at his house) we need to remember that this occurred well more than 100 years ago and was perfectly in line with the common views of his day. What stands out above all are his enormous energy, his quick and subtle thinking and his absolute honesty. It is easy to see why he was so popular with the voters while, at the same time, so unpopular with some of the political class of his own party. His rise to power, given the unhappiness of some of the powerful politicians of his day, seems remarkable.
Mr Morris' writing of Theodore Roosevelt is largely positive, but not fawning. He writes about both the positive and negative sides of Mr Roosevelt's habits, views and opinions and his writing seems well balanced. However there is also a tendency to attribute the motives Mr Roosevelt's opponents to either meanness or greed and he (Mr Morris) seems unwilling to believe that those opponents might have held honest views which just were at odds with those of Mr Roosevelt. It is not enough to spoil the book but, while listening, I kept thinking to myself that perhaps the person in question honestly believed that Mr Roosevelt was wrong.
This is a very long book. All three volumes, in Audible format, add up to about 77 hours. While that length itself seems long it seemed even longer when compared to some of the other popular political biographies – Ron Chernow's biography of George Washington is about 42 hours, David McCullough's biography of John Adams is about 30 hours, H W Brand's biography of Ulysses Grant is about 28 hours, Jean Edward Smith's biography of FDR is about 33 hours and so on. As I said, this is a very long book. To find a comparably long biography one has to look at William Manchester's 3 volume biography of Winston Churchill which, at about 133 hours, eclipses even this book.
While listening to the Audible book I kept thinking that the book might have benefited from some judicious editing but I could never really put my finger on anything that should have been left out. It is long, but all of the information seems to be important, interesting or both. While 77 hours seems very long perhaps it is necessary for a life so varied, intense and central to the history of the US and the world. Theodore Roosevelt's life deserves a great biography and has found it in this book.
Highly recommended for those interested in history during the beginning of the 20th century.
The title of this book - Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs – led me to think it was about the various temples constructed in Egypt, how they were built, how they were used, how the pyramids were built, what current scholarship believed to be the purpose of the various interior spaces and, perhaps, a description of Jean Francois Champollion's successful efforts to decipher the hieroglyphs. Instead what I found was an overview of the thirty or so Egyptian dynasties and, along with that, a brief history of Egypt.
I don't want to be misunderstood. The information provided is interesting and well presented. The overview of the Egyptian dynasties was informative and Ms Mertz's explanation of what is known and, perhaps more importantly, what is not known and why it is not know, was very helpful to me as a casual reader. I found the competing ideas as to what happened and why to be of great interest. Still, the book did not address those questions which the title led me to believe were the contents of the book.
Ms Raver's narration is superb and the content both interesting and, at times, witty. However, after finishing the book, I am left with almost all of the questions I had when I bought the book – what does current scholarship say about the interior rooms of the pyramids? How were the tombs discovered? What is the history of the archeological efforts in Egypt? How were the hieroglyphs deciphered (yes, I know about the Rosetta Stone, but it would have been nice to have some information on the effort and process itself)? Who were the main Egyptians involved in the design and building of the pyramids? What processes were used in the construction? What efforts were made to protect those buried from tomb robbers? Why did those efforts fail so badly? And many more.
Given that this book did not cover what the title implied I felt compelled to give it no more than 3 stars. However the narration was so good that I decided that 3 12/ stars would be better. Since I cannot give it what I would like I settled on 4 stars. This is, I fear, too much.
I first read this book in paperback when I was very young and it has been one of my favorite Heinlein novels ever since. Although, as I got older, I found myself liking Heinlein's writing style less and less, I always had found memories of this book so, when I saw it on Amazon, I purchased it.
The first thing I found was that the Audible version is different from the version I first read back in the 1950s. I was surprised enough by the differences that I did some research about the early book. What I found was that some of the anti-communist content, which is in the current Audible version, had been removed from the print version that I originally read because it was felt to be inappropriate. That seems a little surprising to me considering that the 1950s was thought to be a strongly anti-communist period and yet the anti-communist content was removed so as to not influence young minds. Interesting fact.
More than 60 years after the first publication of this book it feels a bit dated. Heinlein always had a libertarian view toward society and that view is clear and present in this book, but many of the background assumptions simply seem odd today. Taxis do not fly, cars cannot jump over rivers and marriages are not contracted for a specific period of time. None the less the book is still a fun read and retains a good deal of the appeal it had for me when I was a pre-teen.
The one truly annoying thing about this book is the narration. Mr James has the habit of pausing continuosly thoughout the book for no specific reason. Person 1 speaks, pause, person 2 replies, pause, person 1 replies, pause, ... It got so bad that I ended up listening to this book at 1.25 x speed (using the Android Audible reader) and thought about trying to listen at 1.5 x speed. The pauses are just maddening and detract a great deal from my ability to enjoy listening.
Still, if you can put up with the pauses, I believe this to be one of the better Heinlein novels. Still enjoyable after more than 60 years.
I bought this book thinking that it's main subject was the transition of power from the Hoover Administration to the Roosevelt Administration and how that transition affected the struggle through the Depression. What I found turned out to be a completely different book.
Mr Alter first provides us with a perfectly workable, although short, biography of Franklin Roosevelt from his birth through this successful campaign for the Presidency in 1932. I had not yet read a regular biography of FDR so this was helpful to me in understanding the background to his Presidency and the identity and backgrounds of the advisers he brought with him into office. While I knew their names from many other books I had read of the period I did not know who they really were in terms of personalities and what their backgrounds and opinions were. This book was very helpful in filling in those blanks.
The book was well written and contains a great deal of useful information, but the book suffers from a excessive case of hero-worship. Franklin Roosevelt was a great man and a great President and there is much to admire in what he did and how he went about doing it, but he, like all of us, had his faults and made his mistakes, some of them very serious, and a serious book needs to not only examine those faults and mistakes but clearly admit them to be what they were. This book does not do that. Examples abound, but I will list only two since I do not wish this review to sound like a polemic.
Franklin Roosevelt refused to help the Hoover Administration in its attempt to alleviate the suffering caused by the Depression prior to Roosevelt's inauguration. Mr Alter admits this but is quick to make excuses for Franklin Roosevelt. He (FDR) wanted the US to get as far down in the Depression as it could so he (FDR) could step in and rescue them. This does not sound like the action of a responsible person. People were suffering and FDR worsened that suffering for political purposes. It is hard to excuse that kind of action, but Mr Alter manages to do so by saying that FDR could better save them if they were far worse off than otherwise. What kind of an excuse is that?
The Roosevelt Administration adopted, almost completely, the Hoover Administration's mechanisms for combating the Depression. The policies the Roosevelt Administration put in place were those formed by the Hoover Administration. Mr Alter admits this. But the Roosevelt Administration refused to give any credit to the Hoover Administration for all of their efforts. Politics may be a hard game, but what is the purpose of throwing dirt on the names of the people whose programs you are adopting? Mr Alter has no problem with what seems to me to clearly be irresponsible behavior.
Grover Gardner''s narration is, as always, a pleasure to listen to and adds greatly to the quality of this book. My review of the book itself would be 3 ½ stars if I could award half star ratings, but, since I cannot, I can only give this book 3 stars. Mr Alter had a great deal of material to work with and could have produced a more balanced look at the start of a very important Presidency, but chose to lose himself in adoration and hero-worship. FDR and Audible's readers deserve better.
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