Chris Matthews creates an excellent portrait of JFK with great nuggets of independent research. Well written, the book provides a superb view of a man and his time. Timeless political lessons are presented which have relevance in today’s “flat,” Internet fueled world. The blend of historical fact and appropriate interpretation makes for a story that can’t be put down. It is clear that the author knows his stuff . . . and how to tell a story. GREAT book.
Unfortunately the narration contains several “ouch” moments. It seems that nobody took the time to “proof” the final product. Butchering names such as Harold Stassen, Averell Harriman, and Bernard Baruch show that the narrator and production supervisor weren’t alive when these were household words. IMHO Chris Matthews would have been much better off reading the entire book himself. He did an excellent job narrating the introduction and should have finished the job. Certainly he’d have known how to pronounce the names properly.
Smith's research and analysis make this work a cut above other Eisenhower biographies. The basic story is the same but nuance, insight and motivation behind the facts open another dimension on what took place at the time. For example, his analysis of Nixon's "Checkers Speech" makes it like a totally different exchange. It's not just the facts that are interesting but the "why" behind the facts that brings the story to life.
The performance is superb. It's truly a pleasure to hear the foreign terms and individuals' names pronounced correctly. Bravo!
This work truly rates five stars in all categories. It is a masterpiece.
As expected from Rachel Maddow, DRIFT presents another way of looking at substantive things our country has come to take for granted. The research is superb and presents a fact-based rationale to support her thesis. As Eisenhower said half a century ago, "Beware of the military - industrial complex." Not much has changed since then. Unfortunately, much has become structural.
Many of the book’s factoids are incredible. My biggest eye opener was that $7 trillion of our $15.6 trillion national debt was run up by the nuclear weapon industry. Talk about a concept that has never seen the light of day! That and our dirty bomb explosions around the world are disgusting. Why isn't anyone in government concerned about these and the myriad of other issues she raised?
The beginning and end of DRIFT are clearly exceptional. Some other parts are overcome with too much filler to hold an overall outstanding pace. A little more editing with an eye toward impact per page would have made it one of the best books I've ever read. It's not bad . . . but it's also not perfect.
Performance, on the other hand, is off the charts. Ms. Maddow's obvious understanding of the topic and enjoyment at presenting it are spectacular. It is a truly enjoyable and enlightening presentation.
This book should be read by everyone who is interested in helping America. The “Might Makes Right” mindset goes only so far. What could our country have done with a portion of $7 trillion applied to something else?
As a review of a significant historical person and time, this work is excellent. It is well researched and written. Vignettes are used to effectively provide a well rounded perspective on a complex person and time. Parallels with our country's current situation are inescapable. You get a "twofer." Learn something about FDR and the post-depression period plus see what the future might bring. This is timely book well worth reading. At the very least, it makes you think about history and its repeating cycle.
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