Brilliant, engaging, influential
"A Jane Austen Education": Both books deal with how literature can and should change your life.
He sounds just like I'd imagine Harold Bloom to sound--professorial and profound. The pauses are in all the right places.
Why we should memorize poetry, and his interpretations of certain works are truly memorable.
Bloom chooses a few works from each period English and American literature and shows why they are the most important, how they should be read and interpreted, and how they should be savored and remembered.
My eyesight is not good enough to read long books, but I did check out this title and it's good in the print version also. It has at least 10 pages of black and white photographs, the type is a decent size, and it's altogether a nice book. The audio version adds the "actiing"--the reader gives us Churchill's accent, Stalin's accent, Hitler's accent, Patton's accent--he is very good at differentiating between British English and American English when anyone's words are quoted. There are many direct quotes taken from diaries, published memoirs, interviews, and these add excitement and realism to the plot line.
I haven't finished listening to it yet, but the most memorable part so far seems to be the author's thesis that Hitler's war was the first ever fought for ideological reasons over everything else, including economic reasons. Although Hitler wanted "Lebensraum" (living space) for an expanded Germany, he also made military decision that were militarily stupid because of his racial ideologies. For example, when he invaded Poland, he had to stop to kill as many Jews as possible by putting them in ghettos as well as mass executions, and he even arrested the farmers even though he needed food for his army. When he invaded Russia, he first took over the Baltics, Ukraine, and other parts of western Russia where separate nationalities had retained their culture, which hated Soviet Russia because of forced collectivization, mass murder, forced starvation, and many other atrocities committed by the Russians, and would have gladly collaborated with Hitler's armies to help him defeat Soviet Russia. But instead of pretending to be friendly with these newly invaded nationalities, he insisted that his troops remember their primary objective of mass extermination of the Western Russians to provide lebensraum. They were to kill as many people as possible, especially the Jews and Slavs, and to not form any army divisions out of foreigners who would have gladly fought with him if his forces had treated his newly occupied peoples as liberators instead of conquerors.
I don't think so. This one is very good.
No. It is four parts long, and since I'm always doing something else (gardening, exercising) while listening, I decided to listen to Part II again before proceeding to Part III, in case I missed anything.
Great book and a great performance. The dialogue and details make even the parts of the war I don't much care about, like Rommel's desert campaign, very interesting.
The author is very enthusiastic about how Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) will create a new epoch in law, in business, and in medicine, but spends too much time explaining familiar ideas and concepts.
The author made sure that his concept--one concept--was very easy to follow, at the expense of boring readers with knowledge of the subject gleaned from just magazines and newspapers, to say nothing of those readers who may have learned more.
This is the third or fourth book I've listened to in which the author claims to have known absolutely nothing about a subject before researching it intensely for the purpose of writing a book. One can learn a lot of fascinating things from the outside observer's point of view, but also be surprised at an author's missing some essential point or getting an important fact wrong. I felt uneasy as I listened to this author, because he draws gigantic conclusions based on little evidence and seems to start with even less than a literate person's understanding of different fields. I felt like he was an untrustworthy first person narrator.
Reminded me of Toni Morrison's "Paradise." Much more readable than Faulkner. The first time you read it for the plot. Then read it again for the way everything links together. There are so many different and opposing types of characters whose inner lives are convincingly conveyed. Jones opens new territory by describing slavery as a commonly accepted economic system, with free blacks being even more likely than free whites to own slaves. Wealth and caste are as divisive as race, and a social hierarchy based on wealth as much as skin color means that below God are wealthy whites, then wealthy blacks, then middle class whites, then middle class blacks (a problem category), then poor whites followed by Indians followed by poor blacks, followed by slaves. My only problem is that Jones claims to have done little research, and made up his county to avoid being held to historical sources. But nevertheless, Jones raises so many important themes in this novel that are supported by historical sources. Anyone who likes African American literature or who is interested in the history of slavery or the American South should read this novel. Slavery is a divisive issue in several black families here (no white families). For some, like Caldonia?s mother, is the only source of wealth, a wealth worth murdering for. For others, like Henry, it is simply a means to an end, and for some, like his parents, the entire system is morally objectionable.
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