The book taught me about the science of HeLa cells and that was the main reason I wanted to read this. I found that portion of the book very interesting. I was also moved by the tragic story of Henrietta's life. She deserved much better. However, the story seemed to drone on about the life of her descendants to the point I didn't care about them anymore. They began to annoy me with their antics to the point that the sympathy I originally had for them disappeared. I understand their socio and economic background and understand their plight but has Henrietta's daughter said, "times were different back then" and nothing was done intentionally to defraud or short-change the family.
The last part of the book was interesting where it discussed what is happening today legally and ethically regarding the use of human tissues when they leave your body. Like Henrietta, it is something you just don't think about. As I believe Henrietta would have wished, I would hope that my discarded tissues could benefit mankind in some way.
This was one of those books that you're already looking forward to the next before this one ends. A good book is one that as you approach the end you wish there was more. Unfortunately, this was more the former for me.
Fantastic book...especially if you've listened to John Adams like I did. I must comment once again on the remarkable and mellifluous voice of Cassandra Campbell. As soon as I noticed she was the reader I was sold. I highly recommend that you look for her when choosing a download.
Anyway, Abigail Adams. What an amazing woman she was. This book presents the other side of the the John Adams story. How she coped and ran the family during his extended absenses as a career public servant.
It was interesting to learn how archaic society's view of women was during that time and how she struggled for her own identity within those constraints.
From the book, John Adams, and hearing about the love letters they wrote, I had the impression that life between the two was all lovey dovey but it really wasn't according to this. Additionally, the book details the sensitive perspective of the family trials and tribulations as they relate to family relationships. Again, from the John Adams book, I knew of the key personal tragedies but they were told from John's male perspective. Not that any of the events were less painful to him but they were written with less emotion that a female does (we're just wired different).
I was most impressed with Abigail's financial savvy and contribution to the family's wealth through investing and her own business. This woman could do it all...and she did!
Remarkable...a life well lived.
Wow, this is another example of why this was the “greatest generation”. This book was non-stop action that script writers could only hope to come up with.
Kudos to Patrice Lawlor in his narration. I also enjoyed him in another worthy read/listen, The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai. He is quickly becoming another of my favorite readers.
This is the story of downed pilots in Yugoslavia and their life with the Yugoslav peasants as they helped to hide these airmen from the Germans. Simultaneously, the story of the internal struggle for power in Yugoslavia between Tito and Mihailovich was played out along with the Allies’ analysis of which of these two was their greatest ally. Even though Mihailovich was the one who was responsible for assisting in the rescue of these men, history shows that the Allies threw their support to the communist Tito—helping communism gain a foothold in Eastern Europe that would last more than 40 years.
I was surprised to learn of the way the British (intentionally or not) sabotaged the American efforts to rescue their men. This information was jaw-dropping. In the end, Mihailovich was abandoned and not acknowledged by America for nearly 60 years.
Ronald Reagan wrote of Mihailovich, “I wish that it could be said that the great hero was the last victim of confused and senseless policies of western governments in dealing with communism…Beyond doubt, both freedom and honor suffer when firm commitments become sacrificed to appeasing aggressors by abandoning friends." Words that still have meaning today.
Wow! What a book! Everything you wanted to know about slave ships, the business of slavery, & more.
This book detailed the whole sordid story of slavery as a business machine and its mass production of human cargo as a commodity. The perspective of everyone connected to the slave ship is detailed. There are stories from the captains, the merchants, the crew members, and the slaves themselves—all with their unique viewpoints of their situations.
Many slaves continually fought their captivity by choosing to commit suicide through starvation or by throwing themselves overboard. As suicide resulted in a loss of profits, actions were taken to ensure the health of their “product”. Netting was set up around the ship to prevent slaves from jumping off the ship and those refusing to eat were gruesomely force fed.
Insurrection occurred on 1 in 10 ships and resulted in torture and murder of those responsible. Discipline as a deterrent was frequent aboard the slave ships. Man’s inhumanity toward man in these cases were stomach churning. The images of bodies (either dead, as suicide, or as a form of torture) being thrown overboard still haunts me. As the remoras attach themselves to the sharks, the sharks attach themselves to the slave ships and instantly devour anything that falls into the water. The thought of that form of death still gives me the chills.
There was a quote in the book from William Wilberforce (an English social reformer and abolitionist) that sums it all up for me, “So much misery condensed in so little room is more than the human imagination has ever before conceived.”
This was my first experience with this reader and I have to say I was very impressed. Many readers have the strangest inflections that always take some time to get used to. David Drummond’s reading of the book was clear, mellifluous and pleasant. Both the content and the narration make this a worthy listen.
There have been various comments about this reader…either love him or hate him. I happily align with the former.
Since there are many other sources for a review of the book, I’ll comment only what makes this different, the reader. With so many characters in the story, I found different voices the reader used for each helpful and delightful in the reading of this very clever story.
I rate William Dufris right along my other favorite reader, Scott Brick.
Easy, fun listen.
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