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Politicians, Folk Heroes, and the exploration of the west Review by bookczuk
Short biographies of some of the people who either settled the American west, or created the policies that shaped it. I hadn't noticed until today that the subtitle is 'Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion. I expect much of my dissatisfaction (not with the writing, but with the personae explored, had to do with those that were villainous rather than heroic. The men the author wrote about were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman, David Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, Winfield Scott, Kit Carson, Nicholas Trist, and John Quincy Adams. In general, it was the politicians I liked the least (the exception being David Crockett, because though he had a stint in Washington, he was at heart very different from the politicians of the day.) I developed my own system of keeping track.
Most Disappointing: Thomas Jefferson
Won my heart completely: Johnny Appleseed
Best loser: David Crockett
I didn't know that: Sam Houston
Of interest to a Urology Nurse: James K Polk
All that and illiterate, too: Kit Carson
The book was interesting -- probably had it not been an audio book, I might have skim read, even with my love of history, but I did learn a lot about our interactions with Mexico and the discovery/exploration/annexing of the west. And then, next up, there was the Civil War.
I received this book via the kind auspices of LibraryThing Early Readers program, and the audio book publisher, Highbridge.
(Posted on 12/8/12)
Lions of the West Review by BALC
This review is not about Robert Morgan’s actual book, Lions of the West, it is a critique of the audio adaptation of his book. This is because the audio version was so distracting, I could not listen to it in its entirety.
Translating a written work into verbal form is a difficult task. One can take a great book and ruin it with an incompatible narration. Alternatively, an average book can be transformed by a creative reading. It is further complicated by preferred listening styles. Bearing this in mind, I found David Drummond’s interpretation of Morgan’s novel, Lions of the West, impossible to listen to. This is due to my dislike of Drummond’s reading style, which I am not comfortable with. He narrates the book as if he is reading it at you versus to you. He speaks with tight, staccato-like bursts of information. There is no fluctuation in his tone. It sounds as if he is issuing commands to the reader. I tried many, many times to get past Drummond’s technique and simply hear the book. I could not. Therefore, I am unable to make a true assessment of Morgan’s, Lions of the West.
(Posted on 6/20/12)
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