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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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful