An excellent and totally painless way to gain some insight to the history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries by examining the lives of two of that periods' most fascinating people. The book was comprehensive but not mired in too much detail. The narration was superb. I have often wondered at the larger-than-life images and reputation of each of these men, and this book manages to strip away the “superman” aura and still leave you with an appreciation of two of the most influential men of the 20th century. Highly recommend.
Somewhere among the rants about how horrible the Soviet Union was (is) and how great the US is (was?) was a germ of an idea that would have been a good book had the author spent more time on it and forgotten the political agenda. I am not suggesting that the old soviet union was some paradise, but neither do I think the US (as much as I love it) is perfect, and I'm reminded of glass houses and throwing stones. I suspect even those with extreme right wing politics won't find much enjoyment in this book however. The characters are one dimensional, the plot is thin (at best) and once it is finally over, you left wondering why you bothered. I do not recommend.
Develop the characters and the plot and forget the political screed.
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