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Anonymous

Wheat Ridge, CO, United States | Member Since 2015

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 341 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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3

  • Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress - Pax Britannica, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jan Morris
    • Narrated By Roy McMillan
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (151)

    The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s epic story of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. Heaven’s Command, the first volume, takes us from the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The story moves effortlessly across the world, from the English shores to Fiji, Zululand, the Canadian prairies and beyond.

    Cookie says: "Review for all three in the series"
    "Know what you are getting into.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not an accessible book for Americans (at least after the first couple chapters). There are too many descriptions of architecture in far flung parts of the British empire and lots of references to notable families and people (most of whom I have never heard of).

    That being said, many chapters provide compelling overviews of the British empire or exciting stories of sieges and wars. And all the chapters are very well written and the narrator is excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (271)

    Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan's best-selling Paris 1919 is the story of six remarkable months that changed the world. At the close of WWI, between January and July of 1919, delegates from around the world converged on Paris under the auspices of peace. New countries were created, old empires were dissolved, and for six months, Paris was the center of the world.

    W. F. Rucker says: "Good book, well narrated"
    "Irritating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Author describes every other man's physical appearance as simply "ugly" and/or "small".
    Also, half the historical figures are described as simply "boring" or "dull" -- in which case they are not worthy of further description. And, being British, author makes sure to show contempt for Wilson, repeating a negative story about him over and over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bismarck

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Edward Crankshaw
    • Narrated By Raphael Corkhill
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The awesome figure of Otto von Bismarck, the ’Iron Chancellor’, dominated Europe in the late 19th century. His legendary political genius and ruthless will engineered Prussia’s stunning defeat of the Austrian Empire and, in 1871, led to his most dazzling achievement - the defeat of France and the unification of Germany. In this highly acclaimed biography Edward Crankshaw provides a perceptive look at the career of the First Reich’s mighty founder - at his brilliant abilities and severe limitations and at the people who granted him the power to transform the shape and destiny of Europe.

    Anonymous says: "Do not be afraid!"
    "Do not be afraid!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost did not buy this after a review for this book that said the author assumes that the reader knows a lot of European history.

    Eventually I bought this book and I'm very glad I did. The author only assumes readers (1) know the very basics of Prussia, Junkers, and the formation of German; (2) know the causes of WW1 and the players involved; and (3) know a bit about HItler.

    I like the style of this book, because it doesn't focus on every mundane detail of Bismark's life, or spend time analyzing his grandparents like other authors would (I don't care about the grandparents of famous historical figures). Instead, it mostly sticks to explaining and analyzing Bismark's personalty, career and political maneuvers.

    Also, unlike many biographers, this author is not afraid to expressly judge his subject or the impact he had on his country. He thinks Bismark was immoral and not quite as far-sighted as most historians seem to think. The author also thinks Bismark actions contributed to leading Germany into WW1 and WW2. In fact, the author probably goes a bit overboard in this direction, but nevertheless this makes for interesting, rather easy, listening.

    If you are interested in WW1 and want to get more into 19th century European history, I would suggest this book. Also you should get it if you heard extraordinary claims about Bismark and are interested in learning more about the man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Andrew Roberts
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (408)

    Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.

    Tad Davis says: "What a dynamo!"
    "Really tough to finish. Bad narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to many history books and biographies. This is one of the most boring. It fails to provide sufficient context about politics, warfare, the French revolution, 18th, 19th European history, etc...

    Its very narrowly focused on Napoleon and naming the cities and towns he conquered and the number of men he lost. Some chapters are just a meaningless stream of place names, and statistics.

    But I really can't finish this because of the narrator. every sentence is spoken with such flair and dash, like its all really clever.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The American Experiment

    • UNABRIDGED (88 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James MacGregor Burns
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (52)

    James MacGregor Burns’s stunning trilogy of American history, spanning the birth of the Constitution to the final days of the Cold War. In these three volumes, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner James MacGregor Burns chronicles with depth and narrative panache the most significant cultural, economic, and political events of American history.

    Richard says: "A Hidden Gem That Deserves To Be Better Known"
    "American leaders, politics, economics, liberalism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book starts with the constitutional convention, and Burns focuses on describing the framers, and their political motives and ideas. The sections about political theory are very interesting. However, he also analyzes each of the framers as 'leaders'. Unfortunately,his leadership analysis of each is so cursory as to seem superficial.

    From 1830-1900 he pretty much ignores presidents and great senators. Instead he focuses heavily on the social woes of the US as well as captains of industry, artists, and especially authors like Whitman and Emerson.

    In the 20th century, he covers great liberal leaders like Teddy, Wilson (he loves Professor Wilson), FDR, Kennedy, LBJ and MLK. His analysis of the first three is long enough for him to properly convey his leadership ideas. He also mocks late 20th century society culture - movies, sports, tv, and radio and he mourns the decline of literature, newspapers, liberalism, intellectuals...

    Burns has an unusual, interesting take on American history and presidents. I thought that some chapters were too critical of American society to be interesting. But I enjoyed most of it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8267)
    Performance
    (7622)
    Story
    (7638)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "Trash"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is just trash. Not interested in a baby who had premonitions that planes were going to crash in the world trade center on Sept 11. Or about how a girl who was sick of being raped by her father stuck a needle through his balls and then through his eyeball. Lots of child molestation. lots of incest. lots of disturbing stories mixed with lots of sappiness.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (320)

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.

    Jeff says: "DROP JAW AMAZING!!"
    "You should listen to this..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The most striking biography I've listened to/read. It presents a brilliant nuanced picture of perhaps the most brillant, contradictory politician in American history. Caro has an incredible knowledge and understanding of LBJ and his time period. He also writes grandly and beautifully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Rick Perlstein
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (226)

    From one of America's most talented historians and winner of a LA Times Book Prize comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide our nation today. Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.

    Frank says: "A 5-Star Book Injured by the Narrator"
    "Great account of stunning times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perlstein covers riots, protests and violence in the 60s and 70s in great detail - because they were amazing in and of themselves, and because of his contention that civil unrest fractured America. Although his lengthy descriptions of civil unrest sometimes become tedius, the extent of civil unrest stunned me (I'm in my 20s), and convincingly prove his argument.

    I also thought that Nixon was rather liberal for his talks with China and his creation of the EPA. But Perlstein shows how Nixon's idealogy and talking points contribute greatly to modern conservatism. Perlstein also shows how cynically Nixon used the war in Vietnam for political purposes.

    You may be slightly overwhelmed by all the details in this book, but Nixonland is nevertheless extremely interesting for those interested in history and politics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Harlow Giles Unger
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (127)

    In this lively and compelling biography, Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751 - 1831) went on to become America's first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America's national and international durability.

    Robert Bartel says: "Readable, but more hero worship than history"
    "Bold to a fault"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    According to Unger, Monroe almost single handily saved America during the War of 1812 and ushered in a post-partisan era of good-feelings. Unger describes pre-cotton slavery as a 'paternalistic' institution (with no hint of sarcasm) and provides an extremely lopsided account of US, native American wars - describing the atrocities that Native Americans committed but not those of the US.

    Yet despite Unger's (very) skewed narrative, I found the book fun to listen to. He makes early America come to life in a way that more reflective biographies often fail to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (730)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "an comprehensive yet engaging book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A World Undone is a very comprehensive history of WW1, yet accessible for non-experts.
    Interspersed throughout are sections called "Background" which give compelling accounts of everything from the origin of the weapons used to fight WW1 to the personal history of leading politicians and generals, to the history of the major warring countries. They help the reader get the necessary background to understand the war, yet fit in very nicely with the narrative flow of the rest of the chapters.

    The narrator is also excellent.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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