|# of Units:||5 CDs|
|Length:||9 hours, 30 minutes|
|Tell Your Friends:|
Very insightful book. The voice of the narrator made it difficult to follow at some points, but the content was so interesting that I overlooked that matter. Gore Vidal provides some useful insight into the early history of the United States which speaks to many of the issues and challenges our government is facing in contemporary times. It is too bad that more of our contemporary leaders are not better versed in the history of those early days, and that they are not better versed in the very important insights from the Federalist Papers that shed light on the the original thinking of the nation's founding fathers.
I agree with the other reviewers that Gore Vidal does entirely too much editorializing. He continually compares some 18th century situations to the politics of today. Also, he makes some hefty accusations (Hamilton was Agent Number 7 for the British.) I would love to see his documentation.
The reviewers who say that there is a lot of Bush bashing in this book must be hyper sensitive about any criticism of one of the worst presidents America has ever had. There is also no whining in this book either. However, it is poorly organized, and the author jumps between time periods way too often. There's also not many useful facts in this book either. The author even sounds a bit snobby and sometimes I found myself wondering how this book even got published. There are much better books than this one, so I think you'd be better off listening to something else - wish I did.
Gore Vidal, in his recent history, Inventing a Nation, Washington,Adams, Jefferson, does something everyone talks about but fails to prove: he shows us how history if unlistened to will repeat itself. His insights are cross referenced with today's mess in our national political scene. The revelations are frightening. Clearly the founding fathers feared exactly what the present administration embodies: the running roughshod over the balances intended in the three branches of government. Executive power has now reached a level which borders on that of a monarch, a situation the framers of our constitution tried valiantly to avoid but did not. Vidal ties the present mess in Washington to the fears and causes which drove Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to lead this small group of malcontents called Americans to rebel against the unreasonable, self-serving rule of England. Read it: you will be frightened!
This book does a poor job of jumping back and forth between historical and current events without drawing direct connections. If this were, perhaps, a complete history of the US then one could see the connections or a history of one specific topic (say ... foreign affairs with France) then it might work. I also found the author's liberal leaning, at times, too much to take. There are some unfounded leaps of logic. The jumps and leaps detracted from what may have been an outstanding book.
Best about this book is it will likely expand your vocabulary. The author provides a variety of keen historical insights but also jumps back and forth between history and current events, trying to draw parallels, which interrupts the flow. Good, but not as good as some other books that cover these topics.
I would like to give this book a minus 5. If you are a whinney liberal you will propably love this book. It does more Bush bashing than giving the history. If you want a very liberal biased book that speends much of the book engaging in 21st century liberal gooblydy gook - you'll love it. However if you are conservative, you will want to vomit before the first disc is done.
The droning voice of the narrator combined with the circuitous storytelling...I gave up! Sorry I can't recommend this one.
Gore Vidal is the author of many bestselling novels including Julian, Burr, Myra Breckinridge, and Lincoln. He lives in Italy.