I am now listening to the Pope's latest book and I know why I like it so much. I LOVE reading Wright but it's too much work for this lowbrow American to process the British accent. Benedict XVI was wise to get a narrator who speaks American.
This is a fine book that becomes a tour de force with one of the best narrations I've heard, and I listen to audiobooks every day.
The only drawback is the unorthodox pronunciations--I am more comfortable with non-British narrations but can tolerate it better if the words are close to how most of the academy speaks.
I will finish the book, most likely, because it's somewhat interesting.
It's not approvable as a dissertation. I've only read about 1/3 and am distracted by mistakes like Aslan's assertion that the Zealots arose around the the Temple resistance in the latter half of the 1st century. He also claims that Jerusalem was called Aeolia Capitolina after Vespasian's triumph (it was 60 years later under Hadrian). He says that Jesus "the Christ" began with John Mark in 70CE (Pauline epistles use the term extensively and they were written in the 50s).
His preface says that this is the fruit of 20 years of research which is something I cannot buy.
For anyone who knows little about the 1st century, just be prepared for some exciting fiction a la The Davinci Code, which I also enjoyed, once I could overcome the offensiveness of the fantasy.
It's about as historically accurate as The DaVinci Code but not nearly as entertaining.
I have an Evangelical-ish background and can recommend this for them, especially, as the author is clearly comfortable with them/us, hoping also to challenge and stretch.
My own taste prefers, especially when authors are not narrating, a less regional voice; think Brian Jennings or Diane Sawyer. For me, such voices would make listening less rigorous.
This book is a labor of love, indeed. Thousands of interviews, copious footnotes, and still it reads more like a novel than a history book.
I dare say that it is impossible to have more than a modicum of understanding of American History without the range of information covered here.
Thank you, Isabel Wilkerson!
It builds slowly, but deliberately, to a wonderful emotional end where the reader feels sad to say, "Goodbye" to characters. I did not see the "repetitiveness" asserted by some reviewers as laborious. Sections recapped earlier portions in the way that TV dramas do. I enjoyed the approach. It is a long book to which I look for a sequel.
Answer: Kill them, unless you can torture them first. What was the question?
If you're looking for the country that ruthlessly eliminated indigenous peoples, tried to annex Canada in 1812, then annexed Texas from Mexico, then invaded Mexico, occupying Mexico City hoping to seize the continent by divine mandate, who invaded and conquered Hawaii, who then went after territories around the planet--you'll find she's alive and kicking, stomping and shooting.
This amply researched work reveals the dark side that so many pretend is not there or know is there but imagine there's nothing wrong with bellicose imperialism.
If this book won't provide a stroke of conscience, nothing will.
This a special combination of amazing historical narrative with the perfect choice of narrator.
Once again I am outraged at my public miseducation as a child. We lionized a few presidents. I was an adult before I truly discovered Andrew Jackson. I never really bothered with the uninteresting Polk and after Greenberg's work it's clear why. His record hardly supports the jingoism of the fairly tales of childhood pedagogy.
These guys make their "points" and make this listenable to academia while making sure not to leave a lay audience behind.
I feel like it would have been so much more had McClaren and Campolo narrated it--it lacks the enthusiasm I have found in their voices when they share their convictions.
I agree with Bishop Robinson's conclusions, but the presentation is terrible for something titled, "What the Bible Says..." Really? He can't remember whether Lot has one or two daughters, attributes a saying commonly attributed to Jesus to Paul--the "be in the world but not of the world" statement (which is a stretch even when crediting Jesus).
It sounds throughout like Robinson either read the Bible a long time ago and not since, or he's leaning on someone else's research and never read the Bible.
The tragedy in this is that opponents may use his errors to discredit his points. I am not an opponent.
Thomas DeWolf's personal reading lends to credibility. I've read a considerable amount of American history including black history--what makes this work stand out is the personal investment in uncovering uncomfortable realities.
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