The memoirs (all three parts) increased my respect for Grant, who emerges in his memoirs as a man of exceptional honesty, intelligence, and genuine concern for his fellow humans. It makes me feel good about my country to learn how much Grant despised slavery while he always shows respect where respect is due, even for his opponents. As for the reading, it was well done, but somehow I missed the tone of Grant's own voice. I guess I would like an Illinois voice (being a fellow Illinoisian) or even a Mark Twain voice rather than the very cultivated voice of this reader.
While I appreciate the importance of the topic, 27 hours of almost undigested and poorly organized material tend to bury the subject in a landslide of accounts of misundertandings and misdeeds through the years of this seemingly eternal struggle. The book also seemed to be never ending (the fallacy of imitative form?) Both my husband and I, though very interested in the subject, gave up after Part I. The audio version also suffers from a narrator who seems to be disinterested in the material he is reading, perhaps understandable considering the great length of the work.
Frankly I enjoyed the movie (seen after I listened to the book) more; how many races can one hear described in detail without losing interest? For once, I think an abridged version would have been an improvement for listeners, if not readers. jg
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