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chris

ratings
19
REVIEWS
6
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  • The Eastern Front 1914-1917

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Norman Stone
    • Narrated By John Telfer
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    A groundbreaking historical study, Norman Stone's The Eastern Front 1914-1917 was the very first authoritative account of the Russian Front in the First World War to be published in the West. In this now-classic history he dispels the myths surrounding a still relatively little-known aspect of the war, showing how inefficiency rather than economic shortage led to Russia's desperate privations and eventual retreat.

    He also interprets the connection between the war and the chaos that followed, arguing that although fighting had almost ceased by the end of 1916, Russia was still in turmoil.

    Jean says: "A military history"
    "Very detailed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. It's very dry. It's well researched to be sure, but very statistical. He, like many history writers, uses French phrases without a translation. Parts are very good. I like the details about the battles. Especially the Romanian front, which has received very little coverage. I just think for the most part, it's far too general: "this division attacked this division at this place. The Russians had x amount of men, x amount of heavy guns, x amount of light guns.....etc" these are all important facts to be sure, but first hand accounts would go a long way to making a better story.


    What aspect of John Telfer’s performance would you have changed?

    He repeatedly says "thousand million" as opposed to "billion". He is British and perhaps that's the normal way there. If so, then it's fine, but it makes me cringe every time I hear it. Other than that- he's a fine narrator.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would love to see a documentary focusing on the eastern front in World War I


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barksdale's Charge: The True High Tide of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Phillip Thomas Tucker
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Barksdale’s Charge describes the exact moment when the Confederacy reached its zenith, and the soldiers of the Northern states just barely succeeded in retaining their perfect Union.

    chris says: "Disappointed"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you ever listen to anything by Phillip Thomas Tucker again?

    I doubt it.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The ability to "read the book" while working...I do like Grover Gardner as a narrator and have many books read by him.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Barksdale's Charge?

    I would've cut a lot actually. First I'd point out that the author is contradicting himself in the main premise of the book as well as facts. An example of fact, he mentions the fact (multiple times) that the Mississippi brigade was defeated at Malvern Hill and also at Fredericksburg (during the Chancellorsville campaign), both previous to Gettysburg. However he says, also multiple times that the Mississippi brigade was undefeated when they got to Gettysburg.


    Any additional comments?

    The author did a great deal of research and I liked the detail and first hand accounts of the book, but I didn't like he writing style. His main theory is that the Mississippi brigades charge should be "the real high water mark." But when I finished the book I felt he actually disproved his theory. He says basically of Pickett's Charge that they did get to cemetery ridge, did break the union line, but couldn't maintain their position and had to withdraw. That's true, however he keeps mentioning how close Barksdale was to the ridge and if they got there the south would win a crushing victory at Gettysburg and win the war. However he doesn't seem to take into account, seriously if at all, that the brigade would basically be out of ammunition, without support, in the middle of the union lines with union reinforcements on the way. Had it gotten to the ridge, wouldn't it seem to be reasonable to assume that what happened to Armistead could happen to Barksdale? He seems to believe that the Mississippi Brigade stepping foot on Cemetery Ridge alone would win the war for the Confederacy. I just had a problem with that.

    If you had family in the Mississippi brigade then this would be a definite book to read as you can maybe get some idea of exactly what your ancestor saw through the first hand accounts. If you're interested in Gettysburg, then you could get the book by Sears or, my personal favorite, Witness to Gettysburg. I would advise against this otherwise however. He contradicts himself too often and is very repetitive with points and phrases that had me wanting to delete it before finishing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By William C. Davis
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    This book paints a vivid picture of Jefferson Davis as a multifaceted, often charismatic man who mirrored the turbulent times in which he lived and who stood solidly for the South that he loved. Ranging over the complete span of his long life, it shows him as a hardworking Mississippi planter, a compassionate slave owner, a hero of the Mexican War, and an able secretary of war under Franklin Pierce. But it is on the years of the Civil War and Davis’s controversial performance as president of the Confederacy that the book focuses.

    Christopher says: "A very good look at a misunderstood man"
    "Overall, pretty good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, Jefferson Davis is a man I knew about, through books on the Civil War and the Mexican war. This however was entirely about his lifetime and went into very good detail about it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I don't think the narrator detracted from the book, but the editing did. There are obvious breaks in the flow and several times it seems that the stop the recording when he's in the middle of a word or sentence and then start the next track without editing out the cut off word/sentence.


    Was Jefferson Davis worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    It is a very good biography. It's thorough, without being dry. While Davis is obviously the central figure of the book, it shows him for the person he was without being partisan. It's objective, which is important to me. I like the rhythm of the book which is very in depth at points, but it doesn't get boring. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in Jefferson Davis, the Civil War, American History or just trying to learn something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Stoye
    • Narrated By Robert Feifar
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The siege of Vienna in 1683 was one of the turning points in European history. So great was its impact that countries normally jealous and hostile sank their differences to throw back the armies of Islam and their savage Tartar allies.The consequences of defeat were momentous: The Ottomans lost half of their European territories, which led to the final collapse of their empire, and the Habsburgs turned their attention from France and the Rhine frontier to the rich pickings of the Balkans.

    breese johnson says: "Send in the CAVALRY!"
    "A partial review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Stoye and/or Robert Feifar?

    I would.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator isn't bad, but for Gods sake, the man can't for the life of him say the word "cavalry". It sounds ridiculous I know, but he constantly says "calvary" and it started off ok, then I started to wince every time and now I just get mad. Why didn't anyone tell him? Other than that he's not a bad narrator at all and I would listen to more of his books so long as they don't involve cavalry...


    Could you see The Siege of Vienna being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It should be, but it won't.


    Any additional comments?

    The first half is very very dry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter the Great: His Life and World

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (292)

    This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.

    Susan says: "detailed history"
    "Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Peter the Great again? Why?

    Yes. It's a cool story


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Czar Peter. He was extraordinary.


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    He has a lisp that is difficult to get over.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No- it's like 40+ hours long...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Crusades

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Zoë Oldenbourg
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    With subtlety and exceptional sensitivity, historian Zoë Oldenbourg analyzes the complicated tangle of currents and ideas that motivated the Crusades. As Oldenbourg describes them, the Crusades were not simply a religious phenomenon, nor were they motivated by pure aggression. They were the result of a religious climate that led people of all walks of life to leave their homes and follow the unattainable ideal of heaven on earth.

    Lt. William Calley says: "She does justice to history"
    "Very detailed, but most of the time very dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Zoë Oldenbourg and/or Nadia May?

    Depending on the subject matter


    Would you recommend The Crusades to your friends? Why or why not?

    Most of my friends aren't interested in history the way I am, but assuming I had some who were I would probably do so, but make sure to tell them that most of the book is very dry.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Nadia May?

    Yeah, I guess.


    Did The Crusades inspire you to do anything?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The book is very long which is good. It's very detailed. The descriptions of the battles are great. It could have been better. Maybe better imagery and a bit shorter. The last chapter went back over everything which isn't a bad idea, but just seemed to drag on. I'm glad I got it. It taught me a lot but for those who aren't really interested in this time, this isn't the book for you at all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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