This book is packed with suspense and action including sea, land and air battles. The major part of the book is based on cyber warfare. Even though this is fiction it should act as a warning of what could happen. Lou Diamond Phillips did a great job narrating this story. Jack Ryan Sr is back as President and Jack Jr is off chasing the cyber spy "center". His girlfriend is spying on him for the FBI. War heats up in the South China Sea as China tries to increase it's territory. Great air battles--felt like I was in the plane with the pilot. Clancy sure can write a good suspense military story. Looking forward to his next one.
The author is a well known Conductor in England. He is the founder of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. In some ways this book is an autobiography of Gardiner and his search for information to understand Bach, wrapped in a biography of Bach.
Gardiner tells of the difficulties Bach had with his employers throughout his career and his recurrent refusal to accept authority. He tells of Bach’s life as an orphan and his problems with schools. Gardiner book is dense with fact and full of diversions. The book is also rich in informal conjectures. He writes of Back’s gradual turn from what listeners today might consider “the parochiality of the liturgical context” to “music that shows more and more signs of an almost limitless appeal.” Gardiner speculates “It is entirely possible that Bach’s growing disenchantment with Cantatas in the 1730s arose from a since that the communality of belief that he had once shared with his congregation was breaking down, and that, for whatever reason, he was now failing to make his mark.”
The author writes in a lively, conversational style. Gardiner has done an excellent job of painting us a picture of Bach considering how little information about him is available. Antony Ferguson does a great job narrating the book.
My grandmother was born in Sheffield. I can remember my great grandmother and grandmother telling me stories of what happened to the City of Sheffield after the battle of the Somme in World War I. My maternal great uncle was a member of the Sheffield City Battalion (12th Battalion) York Regiment 94th Brigade, 31 Division and died at the Somme. I have his regimental patch with the white rose on it. I grabbed this book “Covenant with Death” by John Harris because it was a historical novel about the Sheffield City Battalion. The book was first published in 1961 and has been reprinted several times since then. The audio book I read was released on September 4, 2014.
The book is a novel about Mark Fenner, a reporter from the Sheffield newspaper, some of his friends from work and other men of the city of Sheffield. The first half of the book is about signing up with great glee and anticipation when War was declared in 1914. Then the waiting to be called, while life went on normally, at last call came, the training, and finally the issuing of summer uniforms and being sent to defend the Suez Canal. Finally they are sent to Senne, France in April 1916. The story continues with the daily routine of the men who by now we have gotten to know well. The last half of the book deals with the battle of the Somme. The book shows us with unbearable actuality what happened to the Sheffield City battalion on that horrible day. In the Somme offensive they were on the extreme left of the 15 mile British front. At 7:20 a.m. they moved into No Man’s Land at 7:30 a.m. bombardment stopped and four waves of the battalion rose and advanced into a devastating hail of machine gun and artillery fire. After 10 minutes all of the 1131 officers of men of the battalion were dead. In the story our hero Mark Fenner is the only one alive. But in the real battle only Corporal Outram, a Signaler was the only one left alive. This was repeated up and down the line and at the end of the ten minutes over 70,000 British was dead. This was the deadliest ten minutes in the history of the British Army; at the end of the battle one million men were dead. The battle of the Somme was the costliest battle in British history. The minute by minute description as told by Fenner is gripping. It puts you right into the battle with him. There is a big difference in reading a story from a personal viewpoint of the battle of the Somme than the history book description.
My great grandmother told me that most of the young men of Sheffield died in that battle and it took a long time for the city to recover. Every house was in mourning. The book gave us the contrast between the years of preparation and the moment of destruction of a single generation of a cities’ population on 1 July 1916. If you can picture this scene in many towns and cities throughout England and the British Empire with all their young men dead or wounded you will then understand why they changed the rules and never again allow regiments of men from the same city.
This is a great book that personalized the Great War. I am sure there are many people that would not be able to read this book. But if you are able, you will learn in great detail what it was like to be an ordinary soldier in the Great War. Mike Rogers did an excellent job narrating the book.
This is the first time I have read a book written by Bill O’Reilly. I almost did not buy it because of O’Reilly but the suggestions that he could prove that General Patton was assassinated intrigued me. I got the book to see if O’Reilly would reasonably prove his claim. The death of General Patton in December 1945 is one of the enduring mysteries of World War II. For seventy-four years, there have been suspicions and lots of conspiracy theories that his death was not an accident. O’Reilly and Dugard take readers inside the final years of the War, the majority of the book is taken up with an over view of 1944 and 1945. They also recount the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced in the last chapter of the book.
The author’s claim newly unearthed diaries of Douglas Bazata have been found. Bazata worked for the OSS in Europe during the war. The OSS was headed by General “Wild Bill” Donovan. Bazata claims that Donovan ordered him to kill General Patton. The diaries state that Bazata staged the car accident then shot General Patton with a low velocity projectile which broke his neck. This is not new information; this was ignored by the press and historians at the time. There was a made for T.V. Movie made using this information called “The Last Days of Patton.” There is a new movie called “Silence Patton: First Victim of the Cold War.” The authors are emphasizing the second part of the Bazata’s claim. When Patton was getting better and about to be transferred to a hospital in the United States, U.S. officials turned a blind eye as an agent of the NKVD poisoned General Patton, therefore, the author’s claim that Stalin ordered the assassination of Patton.
General Patton is one of the general that I read everything I can find about him. I have read about these claims for years. The authors did not convince me of the validity of these claims. I was looking for documentation that proved these old theories. I have only highlighted the theory, you will need to read the book yourself for the details and make up your own mind if they proved their theory. O’Reilly narrated the book himself.
I found this book most interesting. I knew some of the information contained in the book but this is the first time I had seen in presented in this manner. I was aware of the Dulles brothers but it did not register with me that they were both in power at the same time. The Dulles family has served the government through many generations. John W. Foster was Secretary of State (1892-93) for President Benjamin Harrison. Eleanor Foster married Robert Lansing who served as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Under FDR Allan Dulles served a decade in the State Department then served in the OSS where he was sent to Switzerland. He was to commission Carl Gustav Jung to prepare psychological profiles of Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Kinzer portrays Allen as a facile, charming womanizer with a lifelong passion for the ethos of espionage. Kinzer paints Foster as a stridently moralistic cunning strategist in international commerce. The author writes “They made an ideal team: one brother was great fun and a gifted seducer, the other had uncanny ability in building fortunes.”
Foster served as a foreign policy adviser to Thomas Dewey, the Governor of New York. Forster became an avid critic of Stalin’s essays and speeches. In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower became President and appointed Foster as Secretary of State. Allen became director of the CIA. Never before had two siblings enjoyed such concentrated power to manage United States foreign policy until the Kennedy brother came to power.
Eisenhower adopted the Containment Doctrine developed by George F. Kennan. I read “The Kennan Diaries” in March of 2014. This book goes into depth about the containment strategy. The author covers in great detail, the six different nationalist and communist movements around the world that covert action was taken by the Dulles brothers. There are Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, African Congo and Cuba. Kinzer blunt assessment of Foster’s intellect, quoted Winston Churchill’s disparaging verdict that the Secretary of State was “dull unimaginative, uncomprehending.”
Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther that this book. “The Brothers” is a riveting chronicle of government sanctioned murder, casual elimination of “inconvenient” regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interest and cynical arrogances on the part of two men who were among the most powerful in the world.
The author blames the two brothers for most of the evil of the cold war on the other hand he gives little attention to their sister who was their opposite. Eleanor Lansing Dulles graduated from Harvard with a doctorate in economics. She worked for the State Department for over twenty years overseeing the reconstruction of the economy of post war Europe. She helped establish the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. When her brother, John Foster Dulles, became Secretary of State he tired to remove her from State but she successful fought him. She was hailed as “The Mother of Berlin” for helping to revitalize Berlin’s economy and culture during the 1950s. She retired in 1962 and became a professor of economics at Georgetown University.
If you are interested in history, cold war, covert operation this is the book for you. David Cochran Heath did a good job narrating the book.
This is a short book that makes a nice break from reading extremely long books. I have been a fan of the space program since it started. I try to read as much about NASA as I can, thus I grabbed this book to read. Duggins provides us with the reasons for the end of the shuttle program. As well, it covers major milestones for the program. It is neither a concise history nor a program review. Rather, Duggins book takes the reader on a human perspective. It is, the social issues come more to the fro than those of a technical nature.
The author’s fondness for the space industry comes through in the book. Duggins acknowledges the shuttles shortcomings, he also lauds it successes. Duggins discusses the dramatic influences of politics up on the space shuttle program. The author does not cover the effect of closing the shuttle program on the key areas such as Florida’s Space Coast, The Johnson Space Center or California space area or about the thousands of workers who will lose their jobs.
Pat Duggins is a senior news analyst at WMFE in Central Florida. He has covered more than 85 shuttle launches. Pat Duggins does his own narration.
This is the last volume of Follett’s Century Trilogy. I was hooked with “Fall of Giants” and was so excited to read the final volume of the trilogy but in another way I am sad to see my friends leave me. This book, as with the other two, is a very long book that you never want to end. Follett is chronicling the pivotal events of the twentieth century through the eyes of a vast array of deftly drawn characters
This volume starts off with Rebecca Hoffman, a school teacher in communist East Berlin. In 1961 she discovers her secretive husband is a clandestine Stasi Lieutenant who is spying on her family. In the United States George Jakes has just graduated from Harvard Law School. Jakes is of mix-race and civil-rights minded join the Freedom Riders to battle racial inequality. Jakes goes to work for the Justice Department and joins Robert Kennedy’s inner circle. In Russia, Dimitri “Dimka” Dvorlen an aide to Nikita Khrushchev finds himself embroiled in heated US-Soviet nuclear political power plays. Cameron Dewar, the Senator’s grandson becomes politically active with espionage. Half way through the book two cousins a German and A Briton form a rock band in Hamburg. I noticed that revenge plays a role in the story with Hans and his power in the Stasi going after Rebecca and her family for the rest of his life. Cam trying to destroy Eve Williams after she refused to date him when they were teenager he tries to destroy her career when they are adults. It is amazing how vindictive people can be.
Expertly paced, character rich exploits, Follett created a fascinating story about five families-English, Russian, Welsh, German and American whose fates personalize historical events. We have followed these families through three generations; the author has made them so real I feel as if I am part of the family. The various viewpoints of the characters in the novel intertwine the fictional with the real historical figures in the unique way only Ken Follett can write. I can image there is an enormous amount of research required to write this trilogy and allowing for the relative fabrication provided when writing fiction. Surprisingly the book is fast paced, switching to and fro between the different time periods, countries and characters involved in the pivotal historical moment. This historical fiction book makes learning history enjoyable. John Lee, with his golden voice, narrated the entire series.
I enjoyed this book as it provided another aspect of the Civil War that one rarely hears about. Abbott provides an alternate view of the Civil War by featuring previously untold stories of the impact women and civilians had on the war effort. She brings these individuals fully to life with passion for their causes. The subjects of Karen Abbott’s engrossing book are four women who worked undercover in the Civil War. Belle Boyd and Rose O’Neal Greenhow worked for the confederacy and Elizabeth Van Lew and Emma Edmondson worked for the Union. Boyd was 17 years old in 1861, known as “The Secesh Cleopatra” and La Bella Rebelle” she flirted and spied never making pronounced efforts to conceal her espionage activities. Emma Edmondson born in 1841 from Flint Michigan, by way of Canada, worked as a nurse and also infiltrated enemy terrain to gather intelligence. She masqueraded herself in various disguises to do this. She even disguised herself as a man and fought with the 2nd Michigan Infantry. Greenhow ran a spy ring out of Washington D.C. she also learned cipher and Morse code. In 2012 I read “Wild Rose” by Ann Blackman which gave an in-depth history of Greenhow’s life. Elizabeth Van Lew was of Richmond society. Her father was a prominent businessman and slave owner. She was one of Richmond’s wealthiest citizens. She had been educated in Philadelphia by an abolitionist governess. She ran a spy ring, learned to cipher and Morse code. Van Lew’s most impressive agent was Mary Jane Bower, her black servant.
Abbott did meticulous research for the book and it is smoothly written and structured (chronologically) so as a certain amount of suspense is built in. The author’s research included letters, diaries and news accounts of the time. Abbott claims that as many as four hundred women both North and South were posing and fighting as men. The author also stated women were capable not only of significant acts of treason, but of executing them more deftly than men. Karen Abbott is a well known history author and a graduate of Villanova University.
If you enjoy history and true stories of adventure and courage you will find this is just the book for you. I read this as an audio book with the use of “whispersync” so I could take advantage of the photographs in the book. Karen White did a good job narrating the book.
I was thoroughly engrossed in this book, beginning to end. It provided insight into the behind-the- scenes working of those we entrust with our most important political and military secrets. Harold “Kim” Philby (1912-1988) during the 1940’s and 50’s was an officer in the U.K. secret intelligence service (MI6). All the time he was spying for the Soviet Union remitting many damaging Anglo-American secrets to Moscow. Hundreds died because of his treachery.
Ben Macintyre tells the story of Kim Philby a member of the British upper class. His father was linguist who became an advisor of King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Philby became a Communist while at Cambridge University. He married Litzi Friedman a Communist of Hungarian Jewish descent. It is claimed she was the one to recruit him as a Soviet spy. Macintyre suggest that although Philby was a sincere Communist, the impelling motive for his treachery was conceit. Cheating people made him feel clever. He betrayed anti-Soviet insurgents in Albania, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia and Ukraine, causing many deaths. The KGB defector Anatoly Golitsyn provided information against Philby in 1962. He made a confession and then escaped to Russia in 1963.
Ben Macintyre was a journalist with the Times of London. He conducted an enormous amount of research and found new sources of information in the office diaries of MI5’s deputy Chief Guy Liddell which became available in 2012. The book ends with an afterword by John le Carrie who worked in MI6 during the same time as Philby. The book reads like a spy novel but it is a solidly researched true story. John Lee does an excellent job narrating the book.
This is the second book in the Ark Royal series. The story begins eleven months after the first book ends. Captain Smith has been promoted to Admiral and is now in charge of the fleet with Ark Royal servings as his flagship. James Fitzwilliam has been promoted to Captain and is now the captain of the Ark Royal. The Earth Defense Command has decided to go on the offensive and strike the aliens in their own space territory.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part takes place before the mission leaves earth orbit and mostly deals with relationships of the crewmembers. The second part deals with the Mission with the fleet in constant state of danger. Admiral Smith leads the large fighting force on the mission called “Operation Nelson”.
The story adds another element to the plot line and creates a number of new characters including a fighter pilot named Charles Augustus. He causes some personnel problems that will impact the future. The story is interesting, entertaining and better written than book one of the series but still needs to reduce the repetition. There is lots of action, suspense and battles and ends in a cliffhanger. This I assume is to get you to buy book three of the series. Ralph Lister has done a good job narrating the series.
On January 23, 1968 the USS Pueblo, a lightly armed diminutive spy ship was boarded by heavily armed North Korean military near Wonsan and the American crewmen taken prisoner. Jack Cheevers, a former Los Angeles Times political reporter, painstakingly and dramatically describes the seizure of the ship and crew and how close the United States came to becoming involved in a second Korean War. On January 21, 1968 North Korean commandos had attempted the assassination of the South Korean President. The USS Pueblo was never notified of this incident. The author had done meticulous research including tracking down survivors for their stories.
To avoid the potential war LBJ dispatched Cyrus R. Vance to South Korea to negotiate. Cheevers carefully tracks Vance’s delicate mission. For eleven months the Pueblo crew was regularly and savagely beaten, tortured and starved while negotiation to get them back was going on. Cheever’s reports that once freed the crew all suffered from a variety of mental and physical ailments. A Navy psychiatrist diagnosed some of the crew member with “Concentration Camp Syndrome”. (A disorders that afflicted survivors of Hitler’s death camps).
The last part of the book deals with the Navy’s inquiry of the incident. The Court of Inquiry ordered a court marshal of Cmdr. Lloyd “Pete” Bucher but the Secretary of the Navy dismissed it. Bucher and crew had to fight for their reputation the rest of their lives. Many years later, after a long fight by supporters, the crew was finally awarded the POW medal.
This book tells an important and almost forgotten incident of the Cold War. The book reads like a suspense military novel rather than a history book. Jeffrey Kafer did an excellent job narrating the book.
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