As an Aussie, I knew very little about LBJ but I had heard these Caro books were brilliant. How right that is. I particularly appreciated the depth of the background in the history and working of the US senate and Caro's portrayal of this complex and flawed man is unflinching and compelling. I highly recommend it for anyone, but for any politics tragic, it's an absolute must. Seven stars.
A most wonderful example of social history - looking at the story of the great migration through the eyes of three real people, who are portrayed so realistically and compassionately that I really felt sad as their stories drew to a close. The interweaving of the individual stories with the overall history of the migration was very enriching, and I was inspired by these people who took such risks to make something of their lives. Some of the discussion of racial attitudes even of relatively recent times was quite horrifying and it was encouraging to see how far American and other western cultures have come in our acceptance of people of other races and backgrounds. Highly recommended.
Wonderful selection of Lewis' writings, full of encouragement and deep thought. The title essay is particularly valuable and made me long to know Jesus better.
A wonderfully complex and rich book, full of subtle and beautifully portrayed characters, is made even better by Juliet Stevenson's extraordinary performance. She really brings the people to life. This is about as good as an audiobook gets.
Nancy Wake was a woman of extraordinary heroism, and this is a story of a truly fascinating life - at least up to the end of WW2. Her bravery and sheer determination are inspiring. It is interesting and quite sad, however, that the rest of her life seems such an anticlimax after her experiences in the war - reminds me of the David Hare play, "Plenty".
However, this book is like a hagiography - obviously the author loves his subject, but somehow the portrayal of her lacks depth and feels airbrushed. The narrator also lets the overall impact down with a rather stilted delivery, but I think she is doing the best she can with material that is sometimes fairly clunky.
This book was rivetting - a fascinating, entertaining, horrifying story. Lewis helps us peer into the economic abyss we're falling into with a clever and often very funny blend of travelogue, interesting characters and reporting. The explanations are clear and relatively free of the financial market-speak that obscures the reality - that Wall Street and its Masters of the Universe are nothing more than expensively dressed con-artists, and the rest of us are the greedy, naive easy marks who made it all possible. Lewis looks at a number of nations at the centre of the crisis - Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and the US (California) - and examines how culture contributes to the method of economic suicide chosen by each.
While the book ends on a strangely optimistic note, it just underlined to me how humanity never, ever learns from its mistakes. Highly recommended - but all the way through, I was wondering if I'll be laughing on the other side of my face in 5 years' time in the midst of the next Great Depression.
Generally speaking, this is a good Bible reading; the voice characterisations are accurate and help elucidate the text. However, in the last part, things start getting really odd. Readers change mid-book, with one voice overlapping another, and for some reason, from 2 Corinthians onward, the books are broken up by songs, which generally don't come from the text and don't add anything to it - except sheer annoyance.
The Curzon sisters lived in very interesting times and moved in very interesting circles; however this book is far less interesting than it should be. We are told that their father was a truly great man, yet from this book it is hard to know what that reputation was based on.
The most interesting section involves Cimmie, her infatuation for the revolting Oswald Moseley, her loss of him to Diana Mitford and her tragic death.
Irene comes across as a failure - an alcoholic who never found true love. Her life was far more than that, yet we only see her in this dimension.
Essentially, this is where I was disappointed with this book. The private lives of people who achieve much in the public sphere may be less than perfect, but without a good treatment of their achievements, you cannot understand the full person and they become far less interesting.
A truly inspiring book. Helped me to focus on the fact that life is all about preparing for eternity, and that true purpose and meaning in this life can only come from that preparation.
For any serious Christian who really wants to focus their life on serving Jesus.
A middle aged spinster hangs out for the day with the 1938 equivalent of Paris Hilton and a Hollywood stylist, discovers that superficial people really know what life is all about, undergoes a miraculous personality transformation and finds true love. Utterly ridiculous.
Other notable features are a casual anti-Semitism that is somewhat chilling given what would have been going on on the continent and what was around the corner, and Frances McDormand's miserable failure to do English accents.
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