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By Mortimer on 05-23-15
This is a worthwhile listen... with qualifications
I can't see why anyone would pillory this book. It is well-written, but you have to approach it with some understanding.
First, I had to slow the speed down on this one. It listens like a speed-through, as if I was cramming for a history exam. If it is slowed down to .5, it is much more in the realm of a narration, and you can take in what is being said rather than focus on each word to make sure you get it.
Second, the book is written (I assume, since I don't have the book) more as a doctoral dissertation than a popular text. It was published by a university press, which by definition means it is going have an academic tone. This is by comparison with the work of an author like David McCullogh or David Hackett Fischer, who bring the personal experience of participants into the narrative. Their books are more toward an account of what happened and less of an analysis, although they do some of that as well.
Th advantage of the academic approach is that an author is able to deliver a lot more perspective as a more distant view of the history. For example, in a very concise segment of the chapter on 1775-1783, Black explains a view of the revolution from Europe, which was constantly in turmoil at that time. Why didn't Britain ally with other European countries to distract France from aiding the North American revolutionaries? This approach to the fight for North American is used throughout, so I learned many, many things that were not known to me previously.
Admittedly, I do love history, so I enjoy this approach. I rarely read fiction at all. So, someone who reads (or listens to) only an occasional historical narrative should probably stay away from this.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By GEORGE on 03-04-15
A Mistake on my Part!!!
I did not know you could use the word geopolitical so many time in every sentence. This is not a book I determined I wanted to read after listening for about an hour!! Time to do my library a favor and send this book to the great cyber garbage truck in the sky!!!!!!!!!!!!
6 of 11 people found this review helpful