Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Mornings on Horseback – David McCullough – Audio Book

May 21, 2007

Mornings on Horseback – David McCullough : Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback is the brilliant biography fof the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it is the story of a remarkable little boy – seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma – and his struggle to manhood.

His father – the first Theodore Roosevelt, “Greatheart, ” – is a figure of unbounded energy, enormously attractive and selfless, a god in the eyes of his small, frail namesake. His mother – Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt – is a Southerner and celebrated beauty.

ornings on Horseback spans seventeen years – from 1869 when little “Teedie” is ten, to 1886 when he returns from the West a “real life cowboy'” to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and begin anew, a grown man, whole in body and spirit.

This is a tale about family love and family loyalty… about courtship, childbirth and death, athers and sons… about gutter politics and the tumultuous Republican Convention of 1884, about grizzly bears, grief and courage, and “blessed” mornings on horseback at Oyster Bay or beneath the limitless skies of the Badlands.

David McCullough write about history in a very easy way to read. History becomes a subject into which it is easy to plunge. What is remarkable in this book, let alone the politic’s part, is how far David McCullough goes to make us understand the events of the early life of Theodore Roosevelt, events which forged his destiny and let him become the President we all know about.


No Room for Error – John T Carney and Benjamin F Schemmer – Audio Book

April 18, 2007

No Room for Error – John T Carney and Benjamin F Schemmer : When the U.S. Air Force decided to create an elite “special tactics” team in the late 1970s to work with special-operations forces, John T. Carney was the man they turned to. Since then Carney and the U.S. Air Force Special Tactics units have circled the world on clandestine missions.

They have combated terrorists nd overthrown dangerous dictators. They have suffered eighteen times the casualty rate of America’s conventional forces. But they have gotten the job done.

Now that he is retired, Colonel Carney finally explains what goes on in a special-operations forces. Very instructive – an real eye opener and must read / must listen book / audio book!

The Family – Mario Puzo – Audio Book

March 22, 2007

The Family – Mario Puzo : Mario Puzo first answered that question in his landmark bestseller The Godfather, with the creation of the Corleones. Now, thirty years later, Puzo enriches us all with his ultimate vision of the subject: the story of the greatest crime family
in Italian history — the Borgias.

In The Family, this singular novelist transports his readers back to fifteenth-century Rome, and reveals to us the extravagance and intrigue of the Vatican as surely as he once revealed the secrets of the Mafia. At the story’s center is Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, a man whose lustful appetites were matched only by his consuming love of family. Surrounding him are his extraordinary children: simple, unloved Jofre; irascible, heartless Juan; beautiful, strong-willed Lucrezia; and passionate warrior Cesare, Machiavelli’s friend and inspiration. Their stories constitute a symphony of human emotion and behavior, from pride to romance to jealousy to betrayal and murderous rage.

As breathless as the Godfather but how colourful ! We really are plunged in the 15th Century and we realised how ruthless this family was !

Elizabeth – David Starkey – Audio Book

March 4, 2007

Elizabeth – David Starkey : An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man’s world, passionately sexual yet she said a virgin, Elizabeth I was to be famed as England’s most successful ruler. This absorbing new book, by concentrating on the early years from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558, shows how her experiences of danger and adventure formed her remarkable character and shaped her opinions and beliefs.

For in her youth she had experienced every vicissitude of fortune and every extreme
of condition. She had been Princess and inheritrix of England then bastardized and
disinherited. At sixteen she was the head of a great princely household. Not much later
she was an accused traitor on the verge of execution in the Tower. Among all this, she had been taught the most advanced curriculum of the day. But it was her lessons in the school of life that mattered more and that taught her humanity.

We all have in mind a rather cruel queen, schrewd and emotionless. Having listened to
this audio book a light change of opinion appears because a very strong will and an
outstanding character is needed to survive all this.