One of the most engaging biographies I've ever encountered. Smith was fair and thorough in his treatment of Eisenhower. He presented his subject in such an authentic manner that I felt like I could almost reach out and touch the man. Excellent book.
After reading Steve Coll's Ghost Wars, I was anxious to listen to Private Empire. What a total disappointment. His objectivity in the former work was completely absent from Empire. The best description I can provide is "Hatchet Job." According to this work, oil companies, and Exxon in particular, are responsible for all the world's economic and social ills. Part of this impression stems from the performance of the reader. The sarcasm was pervasive. Where possible, Coll also tried to smear government involvement in the oil business, especially where Republican administrations were in play. I would recommend this for fans of Michael Moore. I got the impression Coll was trying to emulate Moore with this book.
This thorough account of the events of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 are grossly overshadowed by a poor performance by the reader. Her overly dramatic intonation produced the impression of hearing a soap opera rather than serious history. How unfortunate.
This is another gem of historical writing from McCullough. It was slow at first, but as you get into it, you find a plethora of fascinating stories about some of our nation's most creative geniuses. Thanks to McCullough, we can better appreciate the life of Samuel Morse; an artist as well as an inventor. I found myself going to web searches almost every day to look at the works of the many artists who went to Paris in the 1800s. Even more revealing is the fresh look we get at one of the world's most captivating cities.
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