I rated this book a 4 because it is an important topic for any Christ-follower. I liked Tim Keller's Counterfeit Gods more than this book, but found reading this one a good refresher. I have never read an Idleman book before, but would easily do so in the future as I agree with his theological conclusions.
I did not love the narrator and I didn't think the audiobook was as clean as it could be. For example, I do not know why they felt it necessary to cite the citations while the narrator read the footnotes. I don't think the reader can memorize a web address and drive a car at the same time. At least this listener cannot!
Overall, this was an important read. It challenged me and I would recommend it to those in my church.
For starters I have read a lot of Doris Kearns Goodwin, but this is the first book I have listened to. To that end, I am starting to wonder if I should have READ this book as opposed to listening to it. Like her other books, I think it is very well researched. I think the issues I have with it are because of my tastes, which is what my ranking stems from. Here are some examples of aspects of the book that I do not like:
- Too much information about McClure's magazine. If the book ended with TR's presidency, this wouldn't have been an issue. But as the book winds down (finally!), and the story shifts to the rift between TR and Taft, I wonder if the long sections on the press were really necessary? I believe they were to the early part of the story, which is probably why the editor left them in the title.
- Given this, however, I feel like this is really two books in one. Book 1 was really about how TR used the press to move American opinion to his progressive agenda. Book 2 is about the relationship between TR and Taft. Their rift, split, and the start of a new party leading to the election of Wilson.
Overall, this is a very good work. I can't say that enough. It just isn't my favorite DKG work. For me, it falls down to fourth:
1) No Ordinary Time
2) Team of Rivals (more like 1A to the above)
3) Wait Till Next Year (*I'm a baseball fan, otherwise B.P. would fall in here)
4) Bully Pulpit
I think Tim O'Brien is a talented writer and this is an intriguing book. I listen to most audio books while I am driving so this was a little hard to follow with how much he jumps around. It got easier a few hours into it however. My ranking has to do more with my taste than anything else. So while it isn't my favorite war-time book, I do appreciate it.
Bryan Cranston was absolutely sensational. Truth be told, he was the reason I picked up the book in the first place. His ability to change voices for the different characters adds to the audio version. Well done Walter, you deserve an Audie for this one!
If you enjoyed "Outliers" you should probably read this book as well. Malcolm Gladwell makes the reader want to sip coffee and discuss his conclusions with a bunch of their friends. This book is compelling because it makes one think. Experientially it makes sense that too much of a good thing (money) can become a bad thing. Most of us also know people who have overcome the deaths of their parents at an early age, or perhaps some other tragic event, and have still become resounding successes. So taking that into consideration, Gladwell's points seem obvious. But are they? Do we really expect the supposive underdog to win? Or can we even see the advantages they have from their more apparent disadvantages? The answer for me is often no, which is why I enjoyed the book.
This is easily the best audio book I have heard in a quite a while. Edward Herrmann is sensational, the story is breath taking, and I couldn't stop listening. Best story I have read since Unbroken.
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