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G. Wylie

New York, NY
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 14
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  • 125
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  • The Hemingses of Monticello

  • An American Family
  • By: Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 30 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 533
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 365
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 363

This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings's siblings, who shared a father with Jefferson's wife, Martha.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worried at first

  • By Phillip on 12-13-08

Disappointment

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-09

I had high hopes for this book, but they were quickly doused in a torrent of verbiage. There is good information contained in this book, but it could be conveyed in perhaps a quarter of the space. The remaining 3/4 is at best speculative and at worst pointless.

I didn't manage to read it to the end -- despite my best intentions of doing so. After a long, detailed section devoted to the many well-known differences between love for a child (in this case, daughter) and love for a partner (in this case, Sally Hemmings), I found that listening to nothing was a better use of my time.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, Fort Sumter to Perryville

  • By: Shelby Foote
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 42 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,474

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume 1 begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days Battles, and Antietam, but so are the smaller ones: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, and Monitor versus Merrimac.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the great literary achievements of all time

  • By Judd Bagley on 01-09-09

Fantastic

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-09

This 3-volume set is really fantastic. Foote recounts a huge number of facts about the civil war, providing important context (e.g., the political ramifications of events), and manages to keep it interesting throughout. This is a very long haul, and there were many times when I wished that Foote was less good at his craft so that I could put this series down and move on, but I wanted to know what happened. I highly recommend this series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • A Voyage Long and Strange

  • Rediscovering the New World
  • By: Tony Horwitz
  • Narrated by: John H. Mayer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz makes an unsettling discovery. A history buff since early childhood, expensively educated at university - a history major, no less! - he's reached middle age with a third-grader's grasp of early America. In fact, he's mislaid more than a century of American history, the period separating Columbus' landing in 1492 from the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Just Not For Me

  • By Sara on 10-25-15

Good history

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-09

This book fills in a portion of history that I had known very little about. It's well researched and well written. It even has an important moral at the end. I'd recommend it to anyone.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • 1776

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: David McCullough
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,858
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,028

In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Front Seat on History

  • By Mark on 10-22-05

exceptional

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-09

This is an exceptional book, and left me wishing that McCullough had not confined himself to just this one year.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful