Don't let the title of this book fool you. This is not a psycho-babble guide to finding the real you. The author is a very intelligent woman who trained as a psycho-analyst and worked for years helping people with problems they found overwhelming. Her experience provides the listener with a common sense approach to deal with the types of problems we all encounter simply because life is not perfect. She helped me understand that my demands on myself for personal perfection lead to self-hate. She provided a guide for accepting my real self beginning with honesty and compassion. I have always avoided authors who write self-help manuals with the secret for happiness. This author doesn't claim she can cure all of your problems. What she can do is help me and others to better deal with problems that have made them feel unhappy and out of place all of their lives. The narrator of the book conveys the calm helpful message of the author very well. This is a very good book that I highly recommend.
This is a very detailed narrative that covers the military history of WWI from the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The author's discussion goes through to the end of the war but the emphasis is from July 1, 1916 to the end of 1916. The characterization of the battle as the first battle of the twentieth century is emphasized by the author's constant reference to the battle as the beginning of industrial war.
There is much more to the book than just a description of horrific casualty figures. The author provides a very good analysis of the changes that were brought to the battlefield by the increased industrialization of society. One of the major changes is that WWI is the only war where the majority of casualties were caused by artillery and not guns and bullets.
The author does a good job of explaining how the French beginning with the Battle of Verdun developed tactics that made greater use of artillery on the battlefield. The English had such great casualties on July 1, 1916 because they refused to utilize the knowledge that had been gained by the French. Slowly the English changed their tactics and developed greater manpower resources than the French. This allowed them to take the greater burden of the fight against the Germans.
With the beginning of the Somme the Germans slowly began losing the war. The author provides a good description of the changes in tactics made by Ludendorff in the German offensive of early 1918. However, industrial war became a contest of resources which Germany could not win.
This book introduced new ideas into the discussion of how WWI was fought. It also provided a good narrative of the battlefield action and the personalities of the leading generals. The author's new insights made it a very good book about a conflict that has been overshadowed by the rest of the violence of the twentieth century. I did think it was a bit long but it was never boring.
In the last ten years I have read more than several books about the Civil War. I had never heard of this author and thought maybe that was because he wasn't very good. Well I don't know why I haven't heard from him but it is not because of his lack of skill. He writes from the Southern point of view and sticks to the military history. Given those restrictions this was a very entertaining and informative book. He had a common sense point of view with a style that is more journalistic than literary.
His descriptions of the battles and the participants were very detailed and not dry at all. He was able to describe large group action in battles so well that I was able to create a picture in my mind and follow the action. He had many little details I had never heard before. James Longstreet one of the best large unit generals the South had been a paymaster in the old army.
The author makes a good argument for his premise that the Seven Days campaign made the Civil War last a year and a half longer. Lee drove McClellan away from Richmond when the Federal soldiers could hear the church bells of Richmond.
I especially enjoyed the author's biographical sketches of the leading participants. Many that are left out in other books, such as Benjamin Huger, get a thorough description from this author. I enjoyed the narration except for a couple of pronunciation mistakes. I know I will read and enjoy this book again. I recommend this book especially for Civil War buffs and I think that those looking for a well told story will enjoy it as well.
The title of my review refers to the content of the book and the effort involved to take in the material in the book.
The Thirty Years War was incredibly destructive. Somewhere I read that it set back civilization and development 200 years in Germany. Death came during the battles, from disease and the rampaging of the armies through the countryside. For thirty years armies marched up and down Germany and when they camped they destroyed the area they lived in. In one episode the peasants attacked the soldiers, knowing they would get killed, because they refused to be passive victims of circumstances. The war began with a revolt in Prague and it seemed like at one time or another every country, duchy and city got into the fight.
It was a period of great social and political change. At the beginning of the war everyone was fighting about religion. At the end it was nations fighting each other. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and Ferdinand III of Austria were just two of the fascinating characters among the leadership.
It was a well written book, good literature. It was also long, complex and full of all kinds of different people. It takes a commitment to develop a good understanding of the people and events. The narrator helped. His voice had a nice tone and pace which helped make the listening enjoyable. I am glad I read it and I recommend it. Now I want to learn more about this era.
This first volume of Bruce Catton's epic Centennial History of the Civil War begins with the Democratic Party Presidential nominating convention of 1860 and ends with the First Battle of Bull Run. This is a terrific book that fifty years after it was published is still one of the best narrative histories of the Civil War. It is an excellent three volume series. Bruce Catton was a skilled and knowledgeable author who put the listener right in the middle of the momentous events that marked the beginning of the Civil War. Catton does not limit himself to the political and military history of the war. Social and economic history combine to tell the story of the people as well as the momentous events and leaders of the times. Catton began his career as a journalist and brings to his writing of history an immediacy that makes the events and the people involved in them come alive for the listener. I enjoyed listening to the narrator, Nelson Runger. He is pleasantly soft-spoken and keeps a steady pace..
Beginning the book with the Democratic Convention introduces the listener to the passions that tore the country apart. The speeches of the fire-eaters and the Douglas men from the North tell the story of why the Civil War started in their own words. I have seen Catton cited by other history writers for his excellent use of descriptive language. He did a lot of writing about the Civil War and he knew the subject well. I think that this series is comparable to the Shelby Foote The Civil War: A Narrative. Foote focuses more on military history and is more detailed. I would recommend this book and the other two books in the series which are available here at audible.
An interesting and informative history of the events that led to the Declaration of Independence. The author begins with a good discussion of the background to the split between America and England. The military and political events that led to July 4, 1776 are covered very well. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson receive a special focus. The importance Adams role in the Second Continental Congress shows him to be a leader of the move for independence. The author writes very well and has an excellent command of the material. This is a pleasant way to learn about his very important event in American history. Highly recommended.
This was an enjoyable and interesting way to learn about Alexander the Great. Mr. Fox's voice and his English accent made it a pleasant listening experience. In a reasonably short time I felt I learned a lot about Alexander and his times. The accompanying written material was also useful. Mr. Fox showed a great command of the subject and discussed some of the latest sources from recent discoveries. There was an entertaining variety of information. Fox was the historical director for Oliver Stone's movie and participated in some of the scenes. He told what it was like to be a member of a cavalry charge and provided a vivid description of what it was like to be charged by elephants. In his travels Mr. Fox stood at the door of the tomb of Darius I where Alexander stood thousands of years ago. I think only an expert in this field would not enjoy these lectures.
This is the third volume of the Centennial History of the Civil War written in the 1960's. There is nothing old fashioned or out of date about the information or the perspective of the writer. Catton's books remain an excellent survey history of the period. I would say Catton's books are as good as Shelby Foote's only shorter. He includes the political and social history so the book is not just about the battles. Bruce Catton was an excellent writer who painted pictures with words. His writing is not just good history it is good literature. His extensive knowledge of the topic went with his talent for pointing out the relevant facts and showing how they affected the different events covered in the book. The author's little word sketches describing particular events and people are so good they are often quoted in other books on this topic. The narration is just as good as the writing. I will definitely look for more of the narrator's books. Even if you are not a fan of history this is an entertaining and interesting book.
There was too much emphasis on statistics and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this book for my taste. I wanted to hear what the times were like in the words of people who lived through them.The author chose to portray the select circle of the movers and shakers. The book that was written was well done. The writing had a good flow and there were many interesting details about events and people. The author went out of his way to give Herbert Hoover credit for being a good President who was overwhelmed by circumstances. Many of the issues of the times were set forth well.It was made clear that Roosevelt suffered a long term loss in prestige when he proposed the court packing plan. I have enjoyed the Oxford series and several are outstanding books. I didn't think this was one of the best but it is a well written and thoroughly researched work of history. The narrator was competent, not particularly good or bad.
I have some familiarity with the topic but I am not sure that was necessary to appreciate this well written, thorough narrative of the conference of the Allied powers that was the final act of World War I. The author provides a very good description of the three men, Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau who together drew a new map of the world out of the destruction of WW I.
The author's style reminds me of Barbara Tuchman, who is one of my favorite authors. The book provides a wealth of information in a style that is never dry or boring. This is good narrative history that kept me interested in the story of one of the most important events of the 20th century. The author never got bogged down by the details as she told the final chapter of how the dynasties of Europe were replaced by a group of modern nations.
Ms. McMillan draws a fine picture, warts and all, of how these world changing decisions were made. Wilson is the idealist who gets worn down by the balance of power ideas of Clemenceau and Lloyd George. He finally lets them draw the map as long as the treaty includes the League of Nations. Clemenceau's goal is to grind down Germany and safeguard France. Lloyd George fights for the interests of England in Africa and the Middle East. The scene where the German delegation is presented with a treaty which they must sign or watch their country continue to starve shows how power was wielded by the Big Three.
I enjoyed the book very much and can only list a few high points in my limited space. The narrator is very good and certainly contributed to an overall experience that exceeded my expectations.
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