This book by Lynne Olson recovers some history that is not well-known to Americans, specifically the way in which a few key figures from the US, in the UK during the late-1930s & early-1940s, were instrumental in getting the US (rightfully) into rightfully into World War II. Contrary to the way in which we read this history today, this was a close-run thing, not obvious (especially during the ambassadorship of Joe Kennedy) to US leaders nor UK leaders that a true military collaboration would come to pass in the dark days of 1939 & 1940, when "England stood alone." It is well-worth getting this book if you are interested in the real history of this period or in WWII history.
I have dinged it slightly, 4 stars rather than 5, because the latter half of the book contains familiar material if you are familiar with the period after the US buildup, or of the complicated relationship between FDR, Churchill, DeGaulle & Stalin. And because Lynne Olson's previous book, "Troublesome Young Men - The Rebels who brought Churchill to Power ..." was so much better, more focused, than this one. Hopefully Audible will try to get that book in audio too.
This is another terrific history book from Lynne Olson. Even though I knew the general outlines of the period, 1936 to 1941, I certainly did not know all of the players, all of the factions, machinations, FDR's political jockeying and poll-watching, Lindbergh and his long suffering wife (and mother in law). Olson makes great use of all kinds of evidence, speeches, letters, newspapers, newsreels, movies and diplomatic dispatches to knit together the time in such a way that you feel as if you were there. The narrator is also very good.
The book is told by several protagonists and each has its own narrator.
It is a combination of a cultural novel, a human interest story, and a mystery story.
No particular favorite. The book is written so beautifully that you can identify with each protagonist.
I would have, but it was too long. But I did feel compelled to listen to it over and over to get to the end.
The audio edition is very entertaining & moves well. Excellent narrator. This is not the kind of book that has to be read in the traditional way, no crying need for referring to maps or photographs to follow along.
The author focuses on several women who were trying the be the first to swim the channel that summer, not just Gertrude Ederle, who was the one who did it first.
This is a very interesting story, but could have been dispatched in a long magazine article (e.g., New Yorker or Atlantic) rather than in a full-fledged book. If you are willing to tolerate wading through all these interesting facts, then the book could be to your liking. If you are, like me, sometimes impatient with extraneous material with little to do with the plot line, you may find it hard going.
The narrator was very good.
Yes, Evelyn Waugh is a poetic writer. Every sentence carefully crafted. A good book to read and a good one to listen to. I listened on my Kindle, while reading the book. Not simultaneously, but flipping back & forth. You get to see the elite life of Brits in the first half of the 20th century, and terrific character development too (especially the men).
This is one of the best long-play history/biography/nonfiction audiobooks I've listened to.
Robert Caro's multiple volumes on LBJ.
This Lincoln is not to be missed. The first half (first book volume) released early last year. And the second half (second book volume) this year. The author succeeds in bringing you into the time, if not day-by-day, close to that feeling. As if you are living it vicariously.
One of the top fiction works I've listened-to on Audible over the years.
Melville & Muller bring you through the exciting parts of the plot, and the intermingled encyclopedic parts about sailing, whaling & whales, without a hitch. When reading the book it is just far too easy to skip the encyclopedic parts even though the are a necessary part of the narrative fabric.
Very well read. Did not dip into artificial accents to depict the different characters. Something I have found annoying in other books.
This had already been a film, more than one. But no film could possibly do justice to this powerful & lengthy story.
Yes, it is a fascinating and convincing interpretation of evolution using contemporary, historical and archeological evidence.
I would have liked to, but it is too long for a one-sitting work. I was driven to get through by the power of the arguments and of the prose.
I would listen again. Goodheart does a terrific job showing what people actually thought & felt, mostly in the north, as developments built toward a Civil War most did not want or anticipate, and none felt would turn out as a 4 year bloodbath.
Usually we think about history, without much intellectual effort, as if the participants knew what was going to happen in their tomorrow, in their next year. And of course that is not the way things happen. Goodheart's strength is showing that.
Everyone should read Jane Austen. Her work (and that of such slightly later contemporaries as the Brontes, Dickens & Trollope) are the roots of all of literature we read today. But unlike other writers whose works show their age and are hence hard to read and to draw parallels to today's world, this is not the case for Austen. Sense & Sensibility is one of the better of her 6 books. Juliet Stevenson's narration is terrific.
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