Dangerous Games

  • by Margaret MacMillan
  • Narrated by Barbara Caruso
  • 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The winner of many prestigious awards for her scholarship, historian Margaret MacMillan is also the New York Times best-selling author of Paris 1919. In Dangerous Games, she illustrates how history should never be presented as a series of facts, but instead as a framing device for understanding the past. As professional 21st-century historians cede the literary field to the popular amateur, history and its meanings become muddled - especially in the punditocracy championed by modern media. Copious amounts of cherry-picked facts and manufactured heroes are used to create a narrative rather than give any insight into past events. MacMillan offers an antidote to this by providing the necessary tools to help interpret history in constructive ways.

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What the Critics Say

"This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the importance of correctly understanding the past." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What Bad Narration!

The book itself is interesting, though somewhat obvious. I was drawn to it by a good review in the New York TImes, which made it seem more provocative than it turns out to be. The author, a Canadian, belabors a very good point - that history is used to justify many actions, some good and some not so good, and that history is a malleable thing. The book is prone to redundancy - it would be a better New Yorker article than a book. But I didn't stop listening to it, and in this day and age is a useful reminder of the use and abuse of 'history'.
However, nothing good can be said of the inept producer of this reading. Who is to blame? The producer, the director, the engineer or the narrator? Clearly there was no quality control step taken by any of them - sentences are split oddly, emphasis misplaced, words pronounced oddly and proper names and places poorly spliced into the text. I found listening to be a thoroughly annoying experience. If you are a fussy person, you may wish to avoid anything produced by this team, including this book.

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- Andrew

A New Approach to the Study of History

Although I do not completely agree with author's thesis on the use of history by public personalities, it made me think about the subject of history and its uses to formulate public opinion and policies. Sometimes, it is used for positive formulations, but many times, it used to set policies that are not true to the "real history" of the subject. It more than worth the time to listen to it. I am sure that there will more questions than there are answer to the subject. But is that not the job of an historian in the long run.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-23-2009
  • Publisher: Recorded Books