This is one of the few audiobooks I've managed to listen to "cover to cover" (twice, at that). The writing style and the narrator make this as much an engaging story as it is a history lesson. The focus is on the race to put a satellite in space and the aftermath, but the story also sets up the origins of the space race in a broader sense.
Listening to this book made me want to know more about the "characters" that drive the story; Korolev and the Russian scientists, Von Braun and his rockets, and even the political players.
I'd love to see more books written in this style that cover other phases of the space race as well.
This book won't tell you absolutely everything you'd ever want to know about public speaking - but it doesn't have to. In the short run time Jack Valenti manages to give you enough skills to lay the foundation for a successful oration.
I first downloaded this book two years ago before a public presentation I needed to make; I have always had a problem with public speaking. I took this audiobook for a good, long, walk and by the end of it I had the tools to make my presentation go well. In that the book did what it promised.
However, what I hadn't expected (and what I was pleasantly surprised by) was Jack Valenti's ability to relate his techniques to his own experiences. His stories, which I've seen some reviewers find are unnecessary and distracting, had the exact opposite effect on me. Jack shows us how these techniques he is sharing were useful in real situations with the added pressures of speaking in the presence of some of the most powerful people in the world. The stories serve to reinforce what he is telling you - and they are engaging taboot!
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