©2008 Laton McCartney; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
We can complain a lot about present day government corruption, but until you read this book you have no idea how bad it can get. The story almost sounds like a novel - except it's true. And if you thought OJ's trial had a strange result (not guilty in the criminal trial, liable in the civil), Teapot Dome easily tops that. The Interior Secretary, Albert Fall, was convicted of taking a bribe from an oil man who, in a separate trial, was acquitted of bribing Fall. Fall really was a fall guy. (I'm not giving anything away here -- the characters make the story here, not the legal verdicts).
The narration is very good. The only quibble I have is that the narrator sometimes sounded as if he were going a bit too fast. A great listen.
This book is both well-narrated & well-written. A fine slice-of-history piece that makes you feel as if you are living in the teens & 20s (I mean 1910-1925 or so), puts you into the political game of the time (where corruption was a much more accepted part of politics, frankly, than is the case today), and uses the Teapot Dome affair & the Harding presidency as the crux of the story. I would recommend this to anyone interested in American history, not just those after knowledge about long-ago scandals.
While the book is very detailed, it is not overly so. It needs this detail to tell the story, and it is the detail that moves the story along.
Fans of history of political and business fraud, corruption and scandal are well rewarded here. It blows my mind that this was the way things were run in top echelons of USA government so recently. There is a rich history here, as well, of the development of the west (and foreign affairs with Mexico) as regards commercial development of mineral resources. We would do well to keep an eye on the disposition of our publicly-owned land and mineral assets in this country: the huge payouts make it a natural breeding ground for political corruption.
This book might have been better in written form or with prior knowledge of the principals. I had to backtrack several times & research the case to keep the pieces together. Not bad for someone with no prior knowledge about the scandal. Otherwise great.
Narrator was average as was the writing. I really didnt get much more from these 10 hours that I couldnt have gotten from reading the wikipedia write up of Teapot Dome and the players.
This is a great book, before starting it I thought had I idea what Teapot was, but I had no idea it was this big. Forget the last 30 years of scandal / corruption, these guys knew how to cheat the people. It is almost funny what these men almost pulled off.
We are forced to hear about trivia concerning rumors at the convention, etc. Was all the real information destroyed following Harding's death? The message could have been shortened to 1/4 the length of this rambling dissertation.
You Couldn't make this stuff up. This beats the shenanigans of JR Ewing from the Dallas TV show fame.
Oil companies controlling the government and profiting from govn't largesse? Nah! Never could happen!
A great listen
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