In order to explain a complicated subject the teacher has to be very very well versed in the subject to explain it clearly, and John Kricher is clear without being condescending.
Professor Kricher touches lightly, but intelligently on the history of dinosaur hunters and their Museum directors, the earth's geological timeline and which dinosaurs existed in which era, and the anatomy of the subgroups of dinosaurs. If the man did not go deeply into each topic, it is because it would have taken several semesters of intensive course work to just to scrape the top of the geology, comparative anatomy, and the social history of the people who originally found and named the prehistoric bones. I enjoy listening to scholars who obviously enjoy their subject. I recommend this work to anyone interested in geology and history, not just dinosaurs.
This book is not only a very good review of some of the most turbulent eras in United States history, it is told from the view of someone both intelligent and honorable. This is not just the personal view of his biographer, but a view found in the written words of those he worked for and with. From the Civil War to the Spanish American War and beyond this man worked for the best interest of the United States as he saw it. He was not perfect, he held the views of his education and his friends including Henry Adams, (yes he of the acerbic Adams clan). This man lost a personal friend at the Battle of Gettysburg, and still was horrified decades later at the thousands dead in a battle which occurred outside of the borders of the United States. Following Hays life gives a personal view of some of the most formative times in American history.
This book actually gave me an understanding of some actions the American government took in the early nineteen hundreds that are still have reverberations all these decades later. It begins slowly like most biographies, but give it time, it is well worth it.
Oddly enough, the question of whether Harper Lee or her sister Alice contributed to this book can be argued without a genuine resolution. They are elderly, but not all elderly people are incompetent. The question can be; could this author have gathered her stories about the sisters without ever having spoken with them, and she pretty much could have. Which does not say she didn't speak to them, about the article she wrote about encouraging everyone in Chicago to read the same book at the same time, To Kill a Mockingbird. Although this is a an interesting, well written discussion about the woman who wrote to Kill a Mockingbird and her hometown, there is nothing new here. The book is well written, interesting, if you are new to Harper Lee's history, but if Harper Lee says she did not agree or contribute to a book, there is every reason to believe her.
Like Jimmy Carter as a president or not, like his style of writing or not, this is something that those of us who profess to be Christians, or at least decent human beings should read or listen to. It is easy for people in the west to view women's rights as equal work for equal pay. Not to dismiss this, but in large parts of the world women's the rights women need are the right to equal food, shelter, and safety from pain at the hands of people who profess to act in the name of the God they worship. This is probably why the people who want to control the other half of their population do not want those being controlled to learn to read.
Misinterpreting (or even lying about) the words of holy books was probably practiced since the books were scrolls. So this book is not a diatribe against a religion, it is an indictment of people who hurt other people for their own benefit and justify it by saying but I am just following the holy world. Even though scholars reading the same holy word are saying "no your are not". Somehow none of this discussion is making its way to the poor people who are being raped and starved, etc.
We as Americans and as part of the western civilization are very careful to respect cultures different from our own. But in American states and cities, if a person treated an animal the way the human beings are being treated in the countries noted in Jimmy Carter's book, the offending person would be prosecuted. Even in the most conservative of states.
I don't pretend to have answers, but personally I can't just not look at this ugliness because I am not smart enough to fix it. But as a practical matter, Americans are really stubborn about fixing things once the whole nation decides there is a problem. So as a speck of the American population I am admitting this is a problem, with the knowledge that the western world will find a way to do redress it. Because the people who have convinced themselves that starving and torturing people not only gives them benefits and pleasure, it is a holy duty and are not going to change a thing.
Former President Carter's narration and writing style are so famous that it does not need discussion. But I think he does a good job with this one.
Narrators matter and it is rare for me to buy an audiobook that I already own, and enjoy just to hear another perspective in the way it is read. But this book lends itself to the two pretty much different voices. Sledge wrote this book about his combat experience in his maturity. I think like many veterans of war, especially ground combat. some distance, in terms of years, often decades, is required to tell the story. But E. B. Sledge lived it and survived it, and not just physically, as a young man.
George Wilson does a terrific job of telling this story as an adult explaining what happened, in the voice of someone who not only survived, but is strong enough to remember and acknowledge the ordinary people who accomplished remarkable things, good, bad, and horrific. The drama comes from the written word, and Sledge does not add many flourishes. The stated facts of what he saw and experienced do not need them.
Marc Vietor reads in the voice of the young man experiencing the fatigue, terror and even humor, of the ground combat soldier in the Pacific of World War II. It is good to remember that Sledge and his fellow marines were very young. In another time they would have been deciding what they would do when they grew up. In that time they were just trying to stay alive to grow up.
I am glad I indulged myself and bought both books.
Like a previous reviewer noted, everything here has been reported before. The bare bones in this book are exactly as recorded in the Manchester, and Robert Caro's books. Then we come to the things I like least. Opinions, surrounded by question marks, qualifiers such as probably, ALMOST certainly, make good gossip, and lousy history. I like history better than gossip, therefore I really didn't like this book. I don't care if the relationship between JFK's widow and his brother was more than a man taking care of his dead brother's family or not. I am irritated that something might be possible, something else might be probable, and things someone said to someone else are presented as fact. The author has a good deal of contempt for the reader.
I am disappointed in myself for not paying more attention to previous reviews. I bought this because I wanted something to listen to on a long and boring drive, familiar enough that it didn't require full attention, and interesting enough to keep me awake. Well it was irritating enough that I stopped it and put in Winston Churchill's biography by William Manchester.
Dick Hill is a marvelous narrator. No matter how different his jobs are from each other he produces a perfect performance for each.
There is nothing polite that I would like to say.
This book is laugh out loud good. I know this because I found my wife laughing so hard she was trying to wipe her eyes with one hand and support herself on the kitchen counter with the other. I saved her by removing her earbud. Although I am not the science fiction fanatic that she is, even I got the joke. So if you've noticed that the guys in the red shirts are more likely to bite the dust, in the oldest most favorite SF show around, at least more likely than the guy in the gold shirts, then you may enjoy this book too.
When the new crew member understands how his new ship works. There is no way to do a plot summary of this story as well as John Scalzi tells it.
Yes, and Will Wheaton is always good, whether he is reading a smart sarcastic young men, or straight drama, or non-fiction.
Nope, this book is consistently sarcastic, ironic and still interesting.
Mr. Patterson writes great stories, but history requires that all facts be acknowledged, not sorted through and cherry picked to support a theory. But the first clue that this is fiction, not history is the opening sentences. Putting words and thoughts into the mouths of people who have been if not dust, then very dusty since before the birth of Christ is the mark of a good story teller, not a historian. Especially since the man speaking is at the end of his reign and must contemplate making his son his co-regent. He is in Mr. Patterson's version avoiding this unpalatable thought, by thinking of spending time with one of his harem. Are we asked to believe the ancient Egyptians invented viagra as well as the first calendar? In a recent article in the Economist we are told that the most recent examination of poor Tut, by physicians and anthropologist reveals the hole in his skull is a result of mummification, that his DNA reveals inbreeding to the point of weakening him physically, that he was ill from a virulent form of malaria and that he probably died from complications of a broken leg. A light overview of ancient Egypt, if not quite as blood thirsty, but still fascinating is Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs. by Barbara Mertz. She also wrote Red Land Black Land a look at ancient Egyptians who were not royal. Ms. Mertz talks lightly about learning to read forms of ancient writing including hieroglyphys while getting her doctorate at the University of Chicago. Although her book is much older, her conclusion about poor King Tut's demise matches the most recent scientific studies. Mr. Patterson's book is a fun read, but should be moved into historical fiction.
Like many people who enjoy the Anita Blake series, I keep hoping that the strong woman in the first books, who fights even if she can't win, just because she refuses to quit, will come back. The choice of this narrator seems to dash that hope. This person has a lovely sweet voice. This voice would be perfect for a regency romance heroine, not for a character who crushes giant snakes, cuts fingers from a man who tortured her friends, and deals with grisly murders as a police consultant. I am afraid this choice of narrator means we now have a new lead character. But hey, hope springs eternal.
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