LISTENER

Katherine

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Our America

  • A Hispanic History of the United States
  • By: Felipe Fernández-Armesto
  • Narrated by: David DeSantos
  • Length: 18 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

An eminent scholar finds a new American history in the Hispanic past of our diverse nation. The United States is still typically conceived of as an offshoot of England, with our history unfolding east to west beginning with the first English settlers in Jamestown. This view overlooks the significance of America's Hispanic past. With the profile of the United States increasingly Hispanic, the importance of recovering the Hispanic dimension to our national story has never been greater. This absorbing narrative begins with the explorers and conquistadores who planted Spain's first colonies in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Southwest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A history of America from the West

  • By Marianne on 09-01-14

Important analysis

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

Reviewed: 02-21-18

I completely agree with the author's underlying thesis that the people of the United States need to recognize our Hispanic heritage in order to reconcile ourselves to the future. This is an important contribution to that effort, so I won't dwell on our minor points of disagreement. I was disappointed be David DeSantos' singsong narration, though, especially when he adopts a sort of Ricky Ricardo accent to quote the English translation of Spanish speakers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Power Broker

  • Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 66 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,071
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,851
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,861

Everywhere acknowledged as a modern American classic, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest books of the 20th century, The Power Broker is a galvanizing biography revealing not only the saga of one man's incredible accumulation of power, but the story of the shaping (and mis-shaping) of New York in the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AMAZING read

  • By jeff on 09-15-11

Endlessly fascinating

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

Reviewed: 02-28-15

This is a masterpiece: at once a brilliant biography; a primer on 20th century NY city and state politics; and an introduction to urban planning and traffic engineering. Caro offers a fascinating object lesson on the dangers of hero worship, and how much a democracy loses when the press falls down on the job. Robertson Dean's excellent narration kept my interest throughout this very long, but extremely rewarding, book.

  • The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

  • By: Gordon S. Wood
  • Narrated by: Peter Johnson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

Central to America's idea of itself is the character of Benjamin Franklin. We all know him, or think we do: In recent works and in our inherited conventional wisdom, he remains fixed in place as a genial polymath and self-improver who was so very American that he is known by us all as the first American.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My 3rd or 4th favorite history/biography book

  • By Tina on 12-31-11

Another fantastic book by Gordon S. Wood

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

Reviewed: 08-29-14

If I had to choose a favorite historian, it would be Gordon S. Wood. His scholarship is masterful, and he combines it with a lovely literary style that is very accessible to the general reader. This book on Benjamin Franklin - not a complete biography, but rather an exploration of how Franklin came to be the archetypal American - is a wonderful example. Read it to learn how Franklin's thinking about the British empire and and society, as well as the ancient aristocratic denigration of work, evolved into the uniquely American elevation of the "middling" classes that was readily apparent by the time of Alexis de Toqueville.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Paris 1919

  • Six Months That Changed the World
  • By: Margaret MacMillan
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 25 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 820
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 812

Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan's best-selling Paris 1919 is the story of six remarkable months that changed the world. At the close of WWI, between January and July of 1919, delegates from around the world converged on Paris under the auspices of peace. New countries were created, old empires were dissolved, and for six months, Paris was the center of the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent History

  • By Martin on 12-03-05

Illuminating history

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

Reviewed: 08-01-14

This is an excellent history of the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles, concluding what was then called the Great War. MacMillan's mastery of the details is impressive, and she weaves a fascinating tale. Of particular interest to the contemporary reader is the way she demonstrates how the high handed treatment by the Great Powers (Britain, France and the United States) of people in Africa, Asia and especially the Middle East has consequences we still face today. She also does an excellent job of dispelling many of the popular myths about the Treaty, especially that it made World War II inevitable: as she rightly points out in her Conclusion, although the Treaty itself had many failings - and proved to be an excellent propaganda tool for Hitler - WW II was the result of actions taken (and not taken) by nations and governments in the twenty years between 1919 and 1939.

  • The End of the Affair

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Colin Firth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,557
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,929
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,886

Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth ( The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Late to the Party...

  • By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17

Outstanding performance

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

Reviewed: 12-08-12

This audiobook is worth it for the performance alone. I would probably listen to Colin Firth read the telephone book. The story is a meditation on love, jealousy and obsession that, frankly, can seem rather dated. There's a good chance I wouldn't have bothered to finish this if I were reading it, but Firth's performance is spellbinding.

  • The Guns of August

  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,306
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,164

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pay attention!

  • By Chrissie on 07-11-13

History comes alive

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

Reviewed: 10-06-12

What did you love best about The Guns of August?

According to Robert K. Massie's excellent foreword, Barbara Tuchman described herself as a writer whose subject was history. Although she was certainly scholarly in her approach, and very well educated, she was not a professional historian. She was an outstanding writer, with the ability to make historical figures come alive on the page. Her work is very well served by John Lee's outstanding narration.