I've read (or listened to) many books on the financial crisis and this is one of the best. I have quite deliberately not read the memoirs of Geithner and Bernanke, however. Not only does Blinder (former vice chair of the Fed, among other prestigious positions) cover the crisis in broad strokes, but he also covers at some length policy prescriptions to head off or lessen the impacts of the next crisis (and there will certainly be another). I gained a better understanding of the various instruments that the Fed has used and a better understanding of the Dodd-Frank bill, which is bitterly opposed by those who do not wish to be closely regulated. Blinder writes in an easy-to-read (or listen to) style and explains complex problems in a clear way. Though an self-described Democrat, he does not spare his criticism of both the Bush and Obama administrations. Definitely recommended for those who wonder what happened, what the response to the crisis was and a way forward from this disaster.
The narrator was excellent. The book is written in a somewhat folksy style and Graham Vick captured the tone perfectly.
This book looks primarily at LBJ's presidency. My view of him is tainted by the Viet Nam War but from this book I learned that he left a great legacy. During his presidency Congress passed landmark legislation: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Open Housing Act of 1968. Lots of other major legislation was also enacted, as you'll find out.
The author is (or perhaps was) the director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. His view of Johnson may or may not be biased. Rather than a straightforward narrative of the presidency, he uses quotes from people who knew LBJ and sometimes has passages from the actual recordings made in the White House. A range of people who knew and worked for LBJ are quoted, but little criticism is offered.
The audio book is one of the unusual I've listened to. Instead of only reading quotes from LBJ and those he called or met with, we get the actual sound recordings from the White House tapes. Some of these, unfortunately, are not the best. LBJ comes through loud and clear, but the other party's words are often mushy. In the conversation between MLK and LBJ, I had to really crank up the volume to understand what MLK was saying; and then, of course, LBJ came back on waaaaay too loud. The other narrators do a fine job.
This book is well-written and the "calling" of the race is well-done. The first several chapters delineate the sires and dams of Secretariat and I found this section somewhat tedious. Once we get into the story of Secretariat and his owners the story picks up and the "book" is hard to put down.
The narrator or the editing process could have used some work, however. There were several words that were simply incorrect. The one that I remember vividly is when the author is relating an exciting segment about Secretariat in a race. The narrator reads it as "Secretariat was lopping along. . . " That stopped me cold (as you can imagine). "What?!" I exclaimed. Then I realized that the word should be "loping". I rewound back a bit because I had lost the momentum of the story.
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