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Peter Stephens

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Between Past and Future audiobook cover art

Just stunning

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

Reviewed: 02-26-18

Arendt – not a philosopher but a political theorist – is the philosophers’ supporter and friend. She takes in centuries of philosophy – and history and literature, concerning which she’s also no slouch – and explains how the philosophers call and answer one another over time and space. I would be as good at understanding these communications as I would be at decrypting whale talk. She may touch on current events – she may write a book on German and Soviet totalitarianism and another on Eichmann – but all of her books, topical or otherwise, synthesize theory and history and speak to our present political predicament better than do our own commentators. I've read four of her books so far, and this one is the most well written (and that's saying something). Arendt is a real prose stylist. Each chapter covers a different aspect of modern life. All is related to politics, however. The preface is one of the best I've ever read. The voice is perfect. I can follow the argument, amazingly enough, without stopping and reading. I do like having both the print and the Audible versions, though, because of all of the annotations the print version is getting.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

American Revolutions audiobook cover art

Best book on the American Revolution that I have read

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

Reviewed: 11-16-16

I finally got around to reading McCullough's 1776, and I read this book next. The contrast between the two books is striking. 1776 deals almost exclusively with the two Georges – King George III and George Washington. Despite the year, there is only a short reference to the vote for independence on July 2 and the Declaration of Independence of July 4. It's all military history. By contrast, Taylor's book goes into the Revolutionary War in the context of other revolutionary movements in America. He certainly takes no sides; everyone comes out rather beaten up in the book – the Patriots, the British, and the Loyalists. I gave the narrator only four stars because all of the Southerners he quoted, be they Virginians or Georgians, had Mississippi accents.he also consistently miss pronounce Monticello.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

Bound Away audiobook cover art

Good mix of historiography and facts

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

Reviewed: 10-11-14

Any additional comments?

Fisher offers a well-supported thesis on the effect of the westward movement on the development of an open society in America. The book mixes theory, historical social trends, and lots of interesting stories. It skips back and forth in time as it moves from topic to topic, but it never seems jarring. I learned a great deal about Virginia's influence on other, younger settlements. My only qualm is the narrator's incorrect pronunciations of some Virginia cities and counties, such as the City of Staunton, Botetourt County, and Loudoun County. Other than that, a first-rate reading of a first-class book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful