I came into this book thinking Irish historys would be the same as Scotland -- a celtic people trying to fight off the English. Wrong! Ireland, because it's an island, and because it remained Catholic had a much different, and much worse history.
Many interesting events here. How English invaders who stayed kept going native. How the 1790 rebellion was led by Protestants. How de Tocqueville found poverty in 19th century Ireland worse than anything he had seen in Europe or N America.
Recommend this book to anyone wanting to know where the 'troubles' came from.
British history is vast and it's rare to find a book like this. It covers the main events in enough detail to see into the factors at play behind the events. Example: The author presents the idea that the plague was in part the cause of the Reformation. During the plague, priests became so rare, that the church allowed anyone (even women) to give last rites. This planted the notion that priests were perhaps optional; maybe one could even read the Bible oneself!
A wonderful series of lectures. Rhetoric is not about manipulating people; it's about presenting your ideas clearly and logically. Prof Drout reminds me of some of the best teachers I had. He knows his subject, he knows how to present it, and the common ways that people misunderstand the concepts. He also has great stories and anecdotes.
Excellent history of America's culture of personality. A hundred years ago what mattered was a person's character. Traits such as trustworthiness or integrity. This gave way to measuring a person by their personality. Being "outgoing" was a valued trait.
The book then covers brain science; the idea that introversion is a survival strategy that can be seen in birds and other animals.
Well worth a listen.
Route 312 goes from Shanghai on the coast to the Kazakhstan border, and the author's trip down this road by bus, taxi, and foot provides a fascinating slice throught 21st century China. Gifford's views balance the tremendous optimism and change in China today to its fragility, lack of political checks and balances, and social inequity. Required reading for anyone who thinks China's ascendancy is guaranteed.
Fascinating ideas of the near future. Ubiquitous web-presence, holographic technology, Gesture-based wearable computers. Self-driving cars. The manufacture of things has become as cheap as today's chip manufacturing. Even buildings are self-assembling units. Into this world lands a grumpy old poet from our time who's awoken from years of dementia by a new cure...
Excellent narration and a humorous story make this a great audiobook for a long drive. Young Andrea ends up working for the boss from hell. Her sharp observations of co-workers in the inanity of fashion journalism are great. I still think the movie is just as good as the book, in this case. But the book has a better ending!
Some interesting ideas but author's long-winded style gets tedious. As someone who was once self-employed, I found this book's message was dead on. People start a business to get away from bosses, when what any business really needs is a boss, even if that's just being a boss of yourself.
Hard to believe that a war that killed 40,000 Western soldiers and 300,000 Chinese and Korean soldiers could be mostly forgotten. Halberstam covers the war using personal stories, from soldiers to MacArthur's underlings. The Democratic/Republican split on the war echoes today's situation, as do the false victories, and stalemates. An excellent read.
Like a new Sam Spade novel, the characters in this novel have great lines. "The money in our family is so old that it all ran out" moans Madeline Dare as she sits in Syracuse. Her family are the bitter ex-rich, and her in-laws are wonderfully crusty rurals. Something dug up in a field leads Madeline to solving a mystery involving both.
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