Melvyn Bragg was lyrical in his appreciation of the literary contribution of the King James Bible to the English language, crediting it with having the most influence on the all subsequent English literature of any writing. He dismissed the content of the Bible as being mostly fairy tales however, which was disappointing. As it is the 400th anniversary of the K.J.V. being universally available, I was hoping to find a book that gave some background to the events which finally allowed ordinary people to own these amazing scriptures which have influenced our culture so markedly. I lost interest halfway though the volume as it became a technical treatise about language.
William Manchester has written an in-depth biography of Sir Winston from the time he took over the premiership of Parliament at the outbreak of the second world war, until his death.
He doesn't minimise Winston's faults, but he is very sympathetic to the man, and outlines the extreme difficulties he had to deal with in keeping both his allies and his senior officers in sympathy with his plans. Certainly his oratory won the masses, and his tenacious belief in the cause he was espousing, kept him going in spite of severe and often unjustified criticim when others of a lesser calibre would have capitulated
Two iranian women were imprisoned for converting to Christianity, and for 'proselytizing their faith in Jesus Christ. They were sent to the most horrifying prison in Teheran, where the facilities were indescribably filthy and overcrowded. Maryam and Marzilyah were friends who met met at a Christian conference in Turkey, and struck up a friendship. They shared a flat together in Teheran, and took every opportunity to speak about their faith to others, and this drew the attention of the police.
Prison became a further opportunity to speak of their faith, and their behaviour and the kindness they showed to both fellow prisoners, and to their guards, earned them great respect. Inmates would come to them to request that they pray for them, and the faith that the ladies had in Jesus Christ became renown in the prison. in spite of constant interrogation, and the urge to compromise their story in order to be released, they refused.
By God's grace, and in response to pressure from the overseas news media - they were released after nine months. Both ladies were reluctant to leave the friends they had made in the prison, where they had shared their sorrows and their hopes for a better future. Their incarceration taught them grace that they would never have developed without those experiences. They now live in the United States
In a world where the Pope exerted supreme authority over the crowned heads of Europe, The Latin Bible was denied to any but the priests. Tyndale was determined that every "English Ploughman'" would be able to access the scriptures in his own tongue. He firmly believed that no other book was necessary; the Bible was all that was needed for any situation.
Tyndale was hounded by the authorities and forced to flee the country to fulfill his objective. Even so, he had to keep moving from town to town to evade his opposition. His mastery of the language was so good, that it is said that "without Tyndale, there would have been no Shakespeare". He added about 30,000 words to the English vocabulary.
This is a very objective account of a remarkable man to whom we owe a great debt - the Bble which we take so much for granted
Charlie Wilson's obsession for getting rid of communism escalated what was a guerilla was into a major conflict. The smooth talking, apparently charismatic Texas congressman, was influential in acquiring funding and armaments for the 'freedom fighters' in Afghanistan, which consequently escalated the conflict into a major war which is still unresolved today. His actions resulted in a great many lives being lost, and a whole culture disturbed - was it worth it?
I got lost in the detail at times, and confused with some of the names of the characters. I didn't feel that the constant use of the "F' word added anything to the narrative. I was left feeling very disturbed by the message of the book and the way one man could manipulate Congress to approve a conflict which destroyed so many lives.
An amazing account of triumph over adversity. Kamila Sidiqi realises that in a household of women - the men having left for their own safety - she had to do something to support her sisters. Living in Khair Khana where the Taliban were in control, and life for women was severely restricted, she learnt to sew, and established a thriving dressmaking business. Her youngest brother was the only male in the establishment, and she relied on him to escort her whenever she ventured outdoors to market her wares, or purchase fresh material.Her enterprise and great courage are amazing, as she eventually supplied work for many of her neighbours, enabling them to earn sufficient to live on There is a lot more to be written about this brave lady - I do hope a sequel is considered.
Elizabeth Gaskell writes about her favourite topic - the conflict between management and labour in the industrial era of the 19th century. From the start this story absorbed me. The characters were well drawn and believable, the action was well paced, and there was no superfluous dialogue.
Mill owners were suffering from a reduction in orders for their goods. Rather than lay off workers, they reduced their pay, but gave no explanation of the their reasons for so doing. Living from hand-to-mouth, disenchanted union members held a meeting and elected to punish the mill owners for their reduced circumstances.
A union official murders the son of one of these mill owners, and the blame is placed on a young man who was completely innocent. The mill owner, determined to see his son's killer brought to justice quickly, leaned on the authorities to hasten the process.
The hero was saved from the gallows at the last hour by the heroine; the real culprit identified, and a new understanding between an embittered unionist and a bereaved father was achieved.
Perhaps it appeals to my perception of decency and what some would call today, old-fashioned morality, but I thoroughly enjoyed this audible book with its happily-ever-after outcome, made even more enjoyable by the beautiful diction of Juliet Stevenson.
A well crafted story about 'the eternal triangle,' with an unforeseen conclusion. Edith Wharton paints her characters realistically, to the point where I felt as though I was personally involved with their story. David Horovith's narration greatly enhanced the pleasure of the listen. A book I will certainly re-read at a future date.
Back to the dark days of ' gentle' women having to 'catch' a man with money in order to have a home of her own, as they could not manage their own inheritance. Tale of 'socially inferior lady who marries quite outside her 'class', to the chagrin of her peers.
I was no so impressed with Gasine Smith's narration. Her diction was excellent, but her tone rather uninteresting; she did not add any colour to the romance.
John le Carre is a brilliant story teller, and captures the reader from the first page until the book is reluctantly finished. It takes concentration to remember all the characters in the book, and their role in the drama without losing the thread of the story., There is a feeling of having been personally involved in the events oneself. I heartily recommend this novel to thriller devotees
i was rather disappointed in Madelaine's book, as I was expecting a more personal account of the experiences of her family as Jews in a hostile environment. To a small extent it was there, but the book concentrated on the politics of the war, the reasons for the decisions made by politicians for entering the war, and why the Czech Republic chose to align with Russia after hostilities ceased.
Madeleine was a small child at the outbreak of the war. Her parents had converted to Catholicism long before the war, but there was still potential danger for them if they remained in Czechoslovakia. Her father got a post as a journalist, and the family spent the war years in London. Madeleine received her early education in Britain, and she describes the officials that she met, and the political responsibilities that eventually fell on her her father.
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