One of the best audiobooks I have listened to. May be a little slow at first, but this builds an entire history of the rise of islamic fundamentalism from the 1940s on. In particular, the final chapters track closely the rise of Al Quada and make for fascinating listening. The amount of research/interviews the author must have done is almost incomprehensible, as he brings the reader right into meetings/conversations that occurred in the most isolated countries in the world. A truly phenomenol comprehensive review, that keeps building and getting better throughout.
This is by far the best book in the entire oxford history series, and i have listened to them all. Very fast paced, fluid, it reads like you are listening to a novel/story about the war. The writing is incredible, meticulously drawing attention to the ironies of circumstance and decisions that drove our history. An incredible quick read. The first 1/3 of the book is a great summary of the 1950s and the decisions that lead up to the war. The author paints a great picture of each of the actors on this stage. The battles are extremely well described in succinct enough fashion to keep the story moving without sacrificing detail. All I can say is this is sort of a book form of Ken Burns in that the individual stories are so moving and the story so fast moving that it reads like a novel, not like so many history books.
The bad news...the narration is awful. I listened to this on 2x speed on my iPod or this would have been unbearable. Even then there are like 3 second pauses sometimes between sentences. Fortunately, the reader is so slow that on 2x speed, it actually sounds pretty decent.
well up there.
This was on my list to read for a long time given the excellent review, but thought I was not that interested in this period, however, this was an outstanding read. There were just a few sections that were a little slow, mostly to do with religious revivalism, however, overall this filled in so many knowledge gaps in a very interesting way. We think our world is changing to quickly, it is interesting to think that other generations felt very similarly about their own times. In addition, this really sets the stage for an understanding of the Civil war period and American history in general. One of the stronger sections of the Oxford Hisotry series. Well worth the read.
Good addition to the oxford series, but one of the lesser components in my opinion. Parts were slow, and hard to follow many of the battles or descriptions.
fascinating for the most part
This was on my to read list for a long time given the excellent reviews but never thought i would be that interested in this period of history, but this is an outstanding (one of the best) additions to the Oxford History series. The author really brings this period in history to life and he filled in critical deficits in my understanding of american history. There were just a few sections, mostly to do with religious revivalism, that i thought were too long and rather boring, but for the most part really well written, interesting, and well performed.
i have downloaded a ton of kennedy books recently. This was interesting because it is not just about him but about the influence the kennedy presidency has had over the last 50 years. I thought it was very interesting although parts were a little superficial.
the other issue i had is that i think he gives too much credit to conspiracy theories. about the middle ⅓ of the book is about the assassination. He basically goes through one theory after another saying there is nothing to support it (or even worse), but then always leaves the window open by saying but it has not been totally discounted. Well shouldn't it be on the proponent of the theory to provide some substantive evidence that this is plausible?? To say well there is no evidence that supports it but it could be true or some variant could be true gives the reader the wrong ideas.
Oterhwise well worth the read.
all i can say is the logic in this book is unassailable. extremely thorough, obviously opinionated and "one sided", but hard to argue against.
Interesting...it certainly must be amazing to have had such an experience and the writing is good, but some of the chapters make me cringe. I did find the questions about religion very interesting and thought provoking (that the afterlife is essentially areligious). But this is a women who turned down any conventional medical treatment for a treatable disease, then received chemotherapy and was cured. The medically related topics made me cringe (as a physician).
I thought this was going to have some insight on new research in the field. This is nothing new. most of the research was done decades ago and amount to the fact that with training in some circumstances, the brain can learn to do new things. This is not surprising. I guess i expected to much. I thought this was going to be about the brain's ability to regenerate itself.
some interesting insights
Overall an interesting book but not really fair. it makes it sound like being extroverted is to have no substance and shallow. I appreciate some of the insight and parts of the book are really interesting, but this present all the "science" from one direction. As a fairly introverted person, i have to say it interesting how the perception of introverts is described and how society does seem to prize being extroverted, but that does not mean the introverted people are the only ones who have something of substance to offer. There was a chapter on how introverted people can become extroverted in certain areas that are passionate about that i thought was very interesting. Overall a good read, somewhat through provoking, but not a book that makes you think "I will think about this topic totally differently from now on.".
Wow, this book was unbelievable. My parents lived through WWII in Europe, but nothing I have read or heard compares to this to capture the utter evil that enveloped Europe, the amazing human spirit that let's people survive the most unbelievable circumstances, or the effect of the war on Europe.
It is easy to think of 6 million killed as a number and be numb. This book humanizes the suffering and effect on people in a way I have never experienced. Unbelievable experience to listen too. And the performance was amazing.
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