An interesting read (or listen) but hardly an objective view of history. It is apparent from the outset that Schiff is a woman with an ax to grind and will not allow the facts to get in the way. Her overriding theme of every negative thing ever written about Cleopatra being false and every positive thing true is at first only annoying but quickly becomes tedious. She takes to task everyone from ancient historians Plutarch and Dio, to Shakespeare and Shaw for supposition, personal prejudices and outright fiction in their writings about Cleopatra and then merrily does the same for over 300 pages. Worse yet, she happily credits those historians whenever they prop up her slant on the subject and disingenuously discredits them when they do not. In the end this is just another persons take on a subject and time that there is very little actual documented accounts.
Anyone who believes in personal responsibility and being the primary beneficiary of their own ingenuity and hard work should read this book. Come to think of it, maybe the people who don't believe in those things should read it too. They might learn something. Everything about this book is superb. From the ideals it espouses, to the writing, to the narration, it was a pleasure from beginning to end. Any man who does not aspire to be like Howard Roark or any woman who does not aspire to be like Dominique Francon is just one more of the milling masses who want to live off the backs of others. I read Atlas Shrugged probably 25 years ago and thought it was just okay. After reading The Fountainhead I revisited Atlas Shrugged and realized I was just to young and naive to understand it back then. After a lifetime of seeing mediocrity rewarded and excellence punished, I now understand it. Thank you Ayn Rand, wherever you are, for having the courage to write these two books.
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