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The Glory and the Dream Audiobook

The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932 - 1972

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Publisher's Summary

This great time capsule of a book captures the abundant popular history of the United States from 1932 to 1972. It encompasses politics, military history, economics, the lively arts, science, fashion, fads, social change, sexual mores, communications, graffiti...everything and anything indigenous that can be captured in print.

The Glory and the Dream chronicles the progress of life in the United States, from the time William Manchester and his generation reached the beginning of awareness in the desperate summer of '32 to President Nixon's Second Inaugural Address and the opening scenes of Watergate. Masterfully compressing four crowded decades of our history, Manchester relives the epic, significant, or just memorable events that befell the generation of Americans whose lives pivoted between the America before and the America after the Second World War.

©1974 William Manchester; (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (264 )
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4.4 (177 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rebecca FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, United States 10-16-10
    Rebecca FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, United States 10-16-10 Member Since 2009
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    "So Incredibly interesting!"

    Unbiased History Lesson! Stuff you've forgotten from those Jr. High & HS lesson, recapped here. Fabulous to look back at the lives and times of leaders in years gone by. Hours and hours of interesting stories. Makes you wish, you could've lived 100 years ago to see all the amazing things that have happened over time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nokidding 07-14-10
    nokidding 07-14-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent book, horrible audio quality."

    An excellent book, unfortunately the audio quality is so poor it is very difficult to make sense of several chapters. I have informed Audible twice over the past year and re-downloaded an only slightly improved version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Bruno 12-04-08
    Jamie Bruno 12-04-08
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    "Incredibly frustrating recording of a masterpiece"

    William Manchester has written a wonderful, 40-year epic history of the United States, very dense with details that you can easily visualize. The narrator of this audiobook speaks very fast, perhaps trying to fit all 1300 pages into a predetermined recording space. Because of the rapid-fire information that's coming at you, you have to pay attention to what's being said even more than usual; so when the numerous skips and other technical problems occur, the experience becomes incredibly frustrating. Especially since the skips obscure information that the listener needs in order to understand the context of what comes next. Personally, I wish I had never bought this recording.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne PETERSHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 09-08-15
    Marianne PETERSHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 09-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "compelling"
    If you could sum up The Glory and the Dream in three words, what would they be?

    This book is unturnoffable.
    It is a gripping reminder of a period of our history that is very relevant to today


    What other book might you compare The Glory and the Dream to and why?

    Any Barbara Tuchman, which from me is high praise from me


    What about Jeff Riggenbach’s performance did you like?

    It was ok, not the best reader, but serviceable


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    fascinating


    Any additional comments?

    Really good

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 04-04-15
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 04-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A Classic"

    I enjoyed this book more than any I've listened to in ages. I wish the book had gone on another 57 hours. Years ago I read most of it and still have my old paperback. It came in handy when I wanted to follow along or when I wanted to quote something for friends. I was born in 1948 so I remember lots of the events from the later parts of the book. Manchester gave me new insights to those events.
    I don't think anyone can read aloud as fast as this reader. His reading must have been sped up some. It took a little getting used to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted New York, NY, United States 06-11-14
    Ted New York, NY, United States 06-11-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Breezy, enjoyable popular history--if a bit biased"

    Giving Manchester his due, this book is remarkably listenable and compelling, and Jeff Riggenbach reads it superbly; it's clear he's the perfect match for the author. As a result, just as a good book is hard to put down, I found this audiobook is awfully hard to switch off.

    Yet it frequently left me feeling annoyed... And its flaws and omissions are not confined to the many places where the audio skips (as mentioned by other commenters); in fact, those skips seem relatively minor annoyances, when you consider how many hours of good listening you get for just one credit. For me, the bigger annoyances are those of Manchester's biases and emphasis.

    As it happens, I read this book around fifteen or twenty years ago. At the time, I loved it. As in his multivolume Churchill biography and the assorted magazine essays I'm familiar with, Manchester had an amazing gift for lively, brisk, readable, colorful popular history spiced with memorable quotes and well-chosen details (all of which probably set him apart from his fellow academics). Subsequently, however, I've read a good deal more twentieth-century U.S. history, and Manchester's biases in this book -- his left-of-center politics, rather uncritical adulation of unions, slightly sentimental affection for working stiffs, scorn for businessmen and disdain for Republicans (whom he tends to caricature), worship of FDR, and penchant for breezy generalizations about the American people and their opinions, from bobby-soxers to G.I.'s -- seemed more glaring this time around, and more irritating. I sometimes felt as if I were listening to a sort of scholarly Joe Biden (and that's not a good thing) or a medley of Time magazine essays (also not a good thing).

    I was also irritated by the very chapters I remember devouring with the greatest pleasure the first time around: those that focus on World War II. Any book that encompasses this much history is bound to be a bit superficial, but Manchester's treatment of many key aspects of the war seems almost inexcusably hasty. The Fall of France, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz are barely alluded to (though for some reason Julie Andrews receives three mentions); the Battle of Midway -- one of the most crucial events of the war, and easily one of the most dramatic -- is described in two or three paragraphs, and somewhat confusingly at that. (His much lengthier coverage of Pearl Harbor is also a little confusing, though still gripping.) Because Manchester himself fought in the Pacific, we get plenty of that side of the war, plus a very skillful account of the Manhattan Project and the dropping of the bombs. But D-Day, Omaha Beach and all, gets -- astonishingly -- just a few sentences; so does the Battle of the Bulge (which is personally disappointing, since my father fought in it); Market Garden isn't even mentioned; and yet the intricacies of Franklin Roosevelt's medical history, the various worrisome signs of his failing health, his behavior at his final public appearances, the feelings of his doctors and various colleagues and relatives, the minute-by-minute events leading up to his death, the memories of various people as to what they were doing when they learned of it, the exact wording of the news flashes, the minutiae of his funeral and its press coverage -- all are treated in endless, almost microscopic detail.

    In sum, Manchester was a wonderfully gifted writer, and his talent makes anything he chooses to talk about in this breezy, colorful, lively narrative fairly enjoyable. But in the end you're likely to come away with a somewhat distorted picture.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anonymous 10-30-11
    anonymous 10-30-11
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    "The next best thing to living through 1933-1973"

    There isn't much I can add to what other reviewers have already said but I still had to share my enthusiasm for what may be the best history I've read/heard of the 20th century. There are all the major developments but also minor stories that might seem anecdotal but are often representative of the ethos of the time they describe. My remembered consciousness only begins in the 1980s but I imagine that these are all the things people of those times sat around the kitchen table or the workplace water cooler talking about. The sound quality isn't very good with many glitches throughout and long stretches of distortions in chapters 15 and 26. The material was so spectacularily good though that the sound problems didn't appreciably detract from my enjoyment. Highly, highly recommended! 57 1/2 hours might seem long but at the end I just found myself wanting another 50 hours. I just wish there were a similar a-book covering the following 40 year stretch to the present.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darby Markham, Ontario, Canada 02-24-17
    Darby Markham, Ontario, Canada 02-24-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent book, audio has considerable glitches."

    This is a great book and a great performance but unfortunately throughout the files, there are glitches and skips. I thought it was maybe a bad download on my end but I see other reviews mentioning it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew S. Breza 08-08-16 Member Since 2014
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    "An amazing book"

    I never thought a 1,600 page book could be such a joy to experience, but The Glory and the Dream offers a tight brilliant narrative that makes it hard to stop listening. As other reviewers have noted, there are occasional skips, but they should not stop you from experiencing this American classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Professor JP 07-22-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Quite the Tour D Force!"

    I loved the book; born in the 80's, I gained great insight into my parents' and grandparents' lives, their struggles and joys. I feel like I understand them much better, especially my reserved grandparents.

    it took me months to finish the book, in the meantime I finished many other books (including Moby Dick). For me, it was a great book to go while on a long jog or in the garden. It doesn't require 100% of your attention, making it a great activity book. I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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