This is something I always wanted to learn about but since I never grew up in music or play a musical instrument I had limited access to this type of information. But this book can obviously be appreciated by experienced people in music as well.
I liked the idea that there are stories behind the music. The music as explained by this Professor teaches you how the composer is expressing himself with the music. Once you hear what the story is behind the music and the background of the composer it all makes beautiful sense.
Professor Greenberg was an awesome narrator/professor. He could easily be a professional narrator which is unlike some of the "Great Courses" narrators since they are professors. But Greenberg is great and very easy to listen to. You can pick up on his experience and passion.
I never knew the about the stories behind the music and that the composers were actually expressing themselves so specifically with the music. When Greenberg informs you what it is the composer is 'saying' at each point in the music it makes wonderful sense. I don't know how I could have listened to these pieces in the past without knowing the stories behind them.
Its like the greatest hits of orchestral music. Greenberg plays the highlights of the scores and you don't have to listen to an hour of music. He picks up on the highlights of each piece of music and explains to you what is going on with the music at that particular time.
I like the insight this book gave into this rather unknown President. His personality was soft spoken and a man of few words. The book shows these traits worked for Coolidge because it was who he was and they were a reflection of his true personality. In an age of politics were rhetoric is perceived as the key to success, this president was comfortable in his own frugal, quite personality. He also had many successes including balancing the budget and he was a pure economist so he cut, cut, cut national spending. He was certainly also a pure Republican whether that is good bad or otherwise. It was interesting how he was so cost conscious that he even cut the costs of running the actual White House in terms of expenses for food, staff and entertainment. Interestingly he chose not to run for a second term which seems to be because of the stress of the job. He loved good Cuban cigars but I am sure he would probably never have spent the money on them unless they were given to him. He was a devoted husband and father and was without political controversy. Quietly refreshing.
I suppose the closest comparison would be "Wilson" but I did like Wilson better. It is not near as good as John McCullough's Adams but that is not a reflection on the author or narrator as much as it is on the subject since Adams was such a powerful and monumental person in time.
No first time that I can recall.
No extreme reaction but it was insightful, interesting and I was glad I purchased the book.
If you enjoy biographies, especially political biographies this is a good book. For example, there are multiple books on Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy etc. but this is sort of refreshing because it is about a president who only ran for one term and is not all that well known in terms of his personality and accomplishments. I will listen to the book again sometime down the road.
Yes I would recommend this book for any biography junkie especially political biography junkies. I bought the abridged version but wonder now if maybe I should have gotten the unabridged because I did like the book and will probably listen to parts of it again in a couple months because it is inspiring.
I liked the back half of the book the best from WWI through his death and legacy. When he had his first major stroke and he and his wife and doctor were keeping his condition from the public and Senators was an interesting part of the book. I also appreciated the description of his grief as a result of the fallen soldiers in WW I. There is also a lot of depth to the book and good research. I listened to it twice and liked it just a much the second time if not more.
The ending chapter leading up to his death and his legacy grabbed me a little or maybe it was just that I was listening to that part of the book on a lazy Sunday afternoon and had a glimpse of my own mortality.
I don't think the book rises to the level of the John Adams biography. The reason could because I only bought the abridged version. I did not know much about Wilson even though he was a relatively modern President. His moral Character is a focus in the book. I definitely have a greater appreciation for Wilson after having listened to the book I am very satisfied with the purchase and can now say I view Wilson as a great president.
I loved the adventure of this book and that a former US President would take such a journey...and survive.
My favorite seen is when Roosevelt had given himself up for dead and chose not to go on so he would not harm the group from their chances of getting out alive.
Courage beyond measure
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