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James

Reno, NV, United States | Member Since 2007

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 75 ratings
  • 155 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Paul C. Nagel
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    A United States minister, senator, president, and congressman in turn, John Quincy Adams was one of the most prevalent and dedicated Americans in history. Drawing from Adams' 70-year diary, author Paul Nagel probes deeply into the psyche of this cantankerous, misanthropic, erudite, hardworking son of a former president whose remarkable career spanned so many offices.

    James says: "Good Book, Narrow Focus"
    "Good Book, Narrow Focus"
    Overall

    This biography by Nagel provides the reader with more of a character study of Adams than an historical biography. This is not a problem as long as you are expecting a biography focused more upon Adams' lengthy diary entries as opposed to a more objective analysis of Adams.

    While this book had decent narration and production values, it is unlikely to enchant readers who do not already have an interest in John Quincey Adams.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Thomas B. Allen
    • Narrated By Jeremy Gage
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The American Revolution was not simply a battle between independence-minded colonists and the oppressive British. As Thomas B. Allen reminds us, it was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war, in which conflicting visions of America pitted neighbor against neighbor and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church.

    James says: "Mediocre Story, Poor Narrator"
    "Mediocre Story, Poor Narrator"
    Overall

    I strongly urge you to listen to the sample. The narrator takes liberal pauses with each punctuation mark (including commas) and talks at a pace that makes me feel like I am listening to my grandfather reminisce about his childhood. This is the first audible book out of thirty that I am seriously thinking about not finishing. I made it half way through and cannot bring myself to endure the torture of the second half.


    The story itself (minus the narrator) is moderately interesting, but often loses its focus on its Tory theme and wanders into "Rebel" affairs.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert W. Merry
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (45)

    When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which included what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful Mexico. And the territories north and west of Texas---what would become California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado---belonged to Mexico.

    James says: "A Decent Overview of Polk's Presidency"
    "A Decent Overview of Polk's Presidency"
    Overall

    I initially started this book expecting it to be Polk's biography, but the book focuses almost exclusively on the events surrounding and during Polk's presidency. This is not a problem as the book is still fascinating, but readers should be aware of this before they purchase the book.

    I would have given this book 4 stars except that it focuses way too much on the insignificant politics of Polk's presidency to the point where it almost seems like a giant episode of the West Wing involving characters to whom you feel no particular connection.

    Overall, A Country of Vast Designs is a book worth reading for anyone interested in Polk's presidency or the politics of the Mexican American War.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1068)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (319)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "A Pleasant Surprise"
    Overall

    This book is well produced, well written, and well narrated. I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in American History. However, I must warn you that the author is sometimes so praising of Hamilton that it made me want to gag.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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