For me, William L. Shirer is THE capacity in describing and explaining the disastrous rise of the national socialists in Germany and the reasons behind the German nation supporting the and suffering from the system the nazis had established. I have read and listened to a lot of books dealing with the subject over the last 30 years but could have cut it all short if I had picked this one as the first. Shirer was right in the middle of it all and his first hand experiences make a huge difference to all the more distant observers and historical scientists. This is a must read for anybody truly interested in the subjects.
I started with Shaara's book "The Rising Tide" and needed time to get comfortable with the changing perspectives of multiple characters. I greatly appreciated "The Steel Wave" and I am deeply impressed by "The Final Storm". The story of Clay Adams and his comrades is a wake up call that military history must not only be taken in through more scientific writing. It opened my eyes for what the fighting soldiers endured. The Japanese position is conveyed with tact and respect for the cultural specifics. The horrors of the fights on Okinawa made me think about the ordeals so many woman and man have endured in World War 2 - be it during the fights on the islands, in Stalingrad, on Omaha beach, over German cities or under German and Allied bombing runs. The story of the bombing of Hiroshima does not give sufficient justice to the Japanese side. The torture of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - on the day and over decades after - demands a more extensive portion of such a narrative even though it might not incraese the book's popularity - regrettably.
Having read many books about World War II and the highly recommendable book "Brothers, Rivals, Victors" about Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower, I knew quite a bit of Patton's war exploits but wanted to learn more about the evolution of this man. Here this book is truly outstanding and provides deep insight into how this splendid officer, gentleman and human being was shaped and what drove him. The World War II phase of his life, so full of triumphs and set backs, falls a little short of expectations but this time is extensively covered in other books. Patton was one of the few man I truly admire for all his facettes. He was a non-conformist who conformed because he had such an incredibly high standard of professionalism, duty and was a true patriot. I can recommend the book for anybody who wants to see the character behind the war hero and wants to understand how such an extraordinary personality is formed. Some historic flaws such as praising the 3rd U.S. army as the military force capturing the highest number of enemies ever (the war started before Germany declared war on the U.S.A. and bigger encirclements happend in the early months of the Russia campaign of the Wehrmacht) are not dimming the excellence of the content. Need a special teaser to listen ? Here is a Patton quote: "Troop leadership is like moving spaghetti - pushing from behind buckles the pasta - pulling from the front makes it moving". Just marvellous right ?
To me an outstanding piece of literature - honest and authentic in all facettes of the situation and personality. I admire Caputo's ability to express his emotions and to describe the transformation of his personality over time. It is not only the violent situations which are fascinating but also the description of the administrative perversion which goes along with war and the inhumane bureaucracy. It is an "All Quit at the Western Front" transported to Vietnam with an equal achievement of manifestation against war and it is setting a monument for the casualties on both side. No heroism - straight forward and truthful Vietnam experience. Thank you Philip.
I enjoyed the listen a lot. The story is fascinating. While the JFK assassination remains a favorite subject of speculation what happened then and how history might have been different without that tragedy, King combines the mystic theme of time travel with the assassination to a book which tied me to the iPod. The only downside - although not really material - is, that the story has some lengths in the middle section. Anyway - the last 5 hours certainly compensate for some extra time spent listening during the approach to the amazing culmination.
To the late Mr Frank: Thank you for writing this book in time - it may have changed history and saved lives.
To the late President Kennedy: Thank you for reading and understanding this book and not surrendering to trigger happy contemporaries.
To the late Secretary Khrushchev: Thank you for not insisting, being open for ratio and removing the missiles from Cuba in 1962.
In fact a simple although terrifying subject. My greatest respect to Pat Frank for writing and publishing this novel in 1959 - it takes courage to go against the mainstream but often it is rewarded by changing direction to the better.
The message is what makes this book important and the storytelling gives it an extra quality. I listend in two straight sessions and it will stay in my mind forever. Also great narrating by Will Patton.
War is writing many captivating, dramatic and and often tragic stories and Louis Zamperini's struggle for survival, defense of his dignity, mental and physical health and regaining his ability to lead a normal life after the war is a very impressive one. I am always fascinated by people who manage to persevere in extreme situations, where others give up and drift into despair and surrender. Louis' feats in all four main parts of the story - career as a runner, survival on the raft, steadfastness in the camps and fight for regaining the capability of living normally after the war, are highly admirable. It is a very recommendable book - be ready to learn about an individual looking from many different angles and discovering an immensely remarkable man. If there would be a rating for the protagonist, it would surely be 5 stars at least.
This audiobook is breathtaking in many respects. It is not only the story of an almost unbelievable scuba diving adventure but also the account of development and transformation of personalities who deserve the highest respect. It is the report of a fascinating piece of naval history as well as the gripping tale of friendship and dedication to a goal against all odds. In me it strikes many chords since I scuba dive, am very interested in WW 2 history and know of the U boat war from first hand conversations with a 1st officer on a German U boat of WW 2. But even if this is all remote to you it is an investment of 15 hours of your life you will definitely not regret. This is a MUST buy - don't skip it for the fact that 2 credits are needed. John Chatterton and Richie Kohler are true heroes, the writing is superb and the narrator rounds it all off to a rating of (more than ) triple 5 stars.
A book about war does not have to be either military history or record of human experiences but can be a combination of both if skillfully written for the knowledge and heart sections. This book is a very good example for this. It would not be the right book for somebody beginning to learn about World War II but if good overall knowledge of the war is given, the book provides deep insights into this very special theater of war in Europe. Even though I have read many, many books about the war I have found quite a bit of facts which were completely new to me. The individual histories of the fliers going through this ordeal are told with great tact, respect and without nationalism - just as it has to be. Highly recommended.
After reading and listening to "The Winds of War" I knew I would love "War and Remembrance" but the achievements of Wouk as a dramatist and historian in this sequel are significantly surpassing the first part. Not only are characters and scenes masterly presented but is the entire saga from the fist minute to the end consistent and captivating. I have never heard a more artistic and enjoyable narrating as the one by Kevin Pariseau. Only a person deeply enjoying his work is able to achieve such an outstanding performance. Kevin is coloring the entire story - just listen to part 4, chapter 5 @ 25:43 where he reads the scene on the airbase in Greenland - comedy pure. Pariseau manages all emotions, sings (and I guess dances) and he is also amazing when compassion and silent tones are required. I read and heard a lot about WW II history but can even recommend "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" to learn about this global disaster - better than a lot of history books. All in all a revelation - nothing more, nothing less.
Contrary to the rule, I firstly want to extend my deepest appreciation to the narrator of this book. Kevin Pariseau performs marvelously and brings the book to life with colors and atmosphere coming close to pictures. He not only attaches well chosen timbre to the characters but even excels in singing - I see images by his reading. It is plainly outstanding. The story is - at least for me - extremely interesting and reveals a great deal of wartime in Europe. The characters are carefully developed and the alternation of political and private events and settings is very entertaining and consistent. I could hardly stop listening and recommend this book whole heartedly.
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