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Ben in Baltimore

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  • The Bully Pulpit

  • Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
  • By: Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 36 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,404

Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes You Forget You Live in the 21st Century Good

  • By Cynthia on 01-11-14

Bully Good Book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-15

Would you listen to The Bully Pulpit again? Why?

Absolutely. This could (and should) be required reading for anyone wanting to develop historical research. Goodwin's narrative tied together thousands of quotes and excerpts, allowing the subjects of the book to practically come back to life and tell the story for themselves. I never felt she was injecting her personal commentary, but was instead showing the reader what events actually transpired and how things came to be. Comprehensive. Smart. Incredibly well researched. And the Edward Herrmann narration was a spot-on match for the voice such a well done book deserves.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bully Pulpit?

The most memorable moment for me was finding out that the item that ultimately drove a wedge between two such good friends and political allies came from little more than an innocent acknowledgment in a letter by Taft that Roosevelt was not the only person who helped Taft ascend to the Presidency. That such a small comment could lead a monumental ego to try to displace a sitting President and start a third party was astounding.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the juxtaposition between the Taft and Roosevelt scenes, where you were left understanding how deeply Taft loved his wife and how we was at heart a simple and kind man. By contrast, Teddy Roosevelt was such a cult of personality and strong leader that it's hard to believe he was a real person (he literally gave an hour and a half speech in Milwaukee AFTER getting shot by a would-be assassin in the chest). The two men ultimately complemented themselves, and I was very cheered when in their later years they reconciled their differences and became friends again.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The unbelievable true story of two men whose vision helped shaped the nation.

Any additional comments?

Perhaps the best credit I have ever spent on Audible.

  • Ghost Wars

  • The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
  • By: Steve Coll
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 26 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 958
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 954

The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan. With the publication of Ghost Wars, Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the secret efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Exceptional Accomplishment

  • By Joe on 11-08-13

Interesting, in-depth book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-11

This book offers a very in-depth look at U.S. involvement in Afghanistan prior to 9/11. The story comes across as factual and well-documented; I did not pick up any noticeable traces of a political ideology, just a well-reported story based on facts as presented by the author. The book is well read by Malcolm Hilgartner, to the extent that I would be more likely to purchase an audio book if he is the narrator. The technical production of the book is slightly lacking in a few spots where the audio stops abruptly and restarts, but overall it sounds good and I don't think anything is missed due to these small annoyances.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful