Who would have thought, in the "modern" world in which most of us live & work, a world founded on a secular view of events, on historicism rather than religious fanaticism, on science rather than religious dogma, that the opposition to these views could get their hands on the wheel of state, or of its key method of outreach to Generations X, Y & Z. Who would have thought? But of course, this is going on all around us. Not just in other countries but in our own. Not just among the leaders of our nation-state (e.g., Tom DeLay flailing for continued exercise of naked & corrupt political power at prayer breakfasts in Washington).
An interesting place to see all this in microcosm are these Kansas hearings on what students should be taught about science in general & about evolution in particular. To hear the "other side," since the real scientists have (quite correctly) decided to boycott the event (statements from members of the board itself make clear how biased the event is in the first place). You have pseudo-scientists who are all, without exception, born-again christians, proclaiming that their own faith ought to be taught in kansas elementary & secondary schools. You have scientists proclaiming the same, of course, scientists from disciplines completely outside the relevant areas & in some cases scientists with embarassingly dubious degrees in the first place. But their views make for very interesting listening, as do the self-serving comments made by the board members themselves. This is worth a listen. It is very stimulating even if it brings the blood to a boil on occasion. I am not sure I will be able to retain my interest to Days 2 & 3, which have just been posted, but certainly Day 1 is worth listening to.
The reading my David Sedaris himself gave an extra oomph to an already very entertainining and thought-provoking set of essays.
I liked the mixture of the absolutely hilarious stories with the more serious ones.
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.
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