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I loved this book, and I loved it because it was a meaty book filled with my favorite things: little midwest towns, tornados, three very various (and diverse) main characters, ghosts, grief, and regret. Fifty years after Mercer's infamous, deadly tornado, another tornado rolls through, waking the ghosts of those who died in the first storm. The ghosts become close companions to Callie -- currently losing her mother and so much of her stability to cancer; to Joshua -- coming out as gay, in a fat body, with a stepfather who won't accept him at all; and to Brenna -- struggling post-breakup to reconcile her Latina heritage with her current life with a single mother in a little city where she's one of a mere handful of people of eir voices are interwoven with the ghosts, which speak like a Greek e language is lush, imagery evocative, and the characters are all rich. This reminded me so much of Jenna Blum's The Stormchasers, and I can't support thinking that this book, while certainly will reach teen readers, also has tremendous crossover appeal for adult readers.
This gripping and atmospheric novel is astonishingly attractive and heartfelt. We Speak in Storms is a strong story about learning to allow go of the past and the pain and finding yourself in a globe constantly filled with tragedy. It questions what really happens after a little city tragedy and how one devastation can create it hard for anyone to move on and allow fty years ago, a deadly tornado tore through the town’s drive-in film theater and killed a lot of people, wiping out a complete generation. Now in show time, another tornado touches down in the same spot the drive-in film theater was, which not only leaves the living clearly shocked, but brings together three teenagers that run into a few of the Storm Spirits, the ghosts of those who died. And through this journey, this connection, each hero starts to understand the power of the past and how it can keep someone down if they don’t allow go of the things they can’t talie Lund is an extraordinary author, with gorgeous prose and attractive globe building. Lund brings readers a powerful and poignant debut. Anyone who reads We Speak in Storms can connect with one of the characters in some way; the main three characters are all relatable, but each in a various way. Brenna is learning how to navigate school now that she is back to being an outcast after her boyfriend breaks up with her. Joshua is learning to be himself in a city that is not too keen on acceptance. And Callie has to learn that you can’t change the inevitable and that you only have so much time on this Earth. The various stories intertwine with each other to make a stunning debut novel that will easily leave readers pondering on their ld in multiple point of views, We Speak in Storms will grip you and present you what people are like after a devastating aftermath that wiped out a whole generation. But We Speak in Storms doesn’t just address the storm, but also what we, as humans, have to do years after the devastation and while facing fresh and unforeseen obstacles. These depictions and scenarios feel so true and heartbreaking that it’s difficult not to feel something for these characters. The emotions and sorrow leap off each page as if it was the reader experiencing those emotions. And that right there, to me, is something I look for in any book I read: an emotional connection to share with the characters and the story. And Lund did a phenomenal job connecting it all.We Speak in Storms is a beautifully haunting yet realistic story. Natalie Lund has weaved an emotional tale of the living and the dead, and it’s a story I will recommend to everyone.
We Speak in Storms started off a small slow, but at some point, I was hooked and didn't wish to place it down. It follows three teenagers (one who is bullied because he's gay, one whose mom is dying of cancer, and one who struggles being one of the few persons of color in the community) in a little Midwest city as ghosts/spirits from victims of a tornado in 1961 visit them. It is a coming of age story that I'd think anyone who is in or went to high school would appreciate. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters (including the spirits!) and it was one of those books I was sad to see end. It was a tear-jerker but ultimately left me with a feeling of warmth and comfort. Lund writes well (particularly in the latest half to two-thirds of the book), and I particularly enjoyed how she portrayed the afterlife; it was comforting yet still mysterious (and avoids getting religious). I'd definitely recommend this book!
This book gives the old expression 'he didn't stand a ghost of a chance' a whole fresh meaning. It's also not an simple story to categorize. Yes, it's a ghost story, but it's also a love story, one about healing and certainly a coming of age story. All of these elements are masterfully blended to make a tale that's compelling and emotional. It's very satisfying, features a huge cast of very sympathetic characters and leaves the reader smiling, if not trying to hide a tear or two. I look forward to more from this author.
Just finished reading this gorgeous novel! Wow. The ending took my breath away. The whole novel is so atmospheric and the characters feel layered and true from the first chapters on. I loved it! I've already bought a few more copies to give to mates and donate to my local library.
This book was a bookclub pick for the month. It was a fast read that held my attention from begin to finish with a realistic setting and characters dealing with issues that face a lot of of our youth today. The twist was how their issues were resolved. Would like to revisit these characters in a few years!!
I loved this book very much. Amazing source for beginners, really takes you through the steps in a method that's simple to understand and manage you how show yourself in-front of huge audience. Book complimented the course well. Highly recommendable.
Stephen provides info on the things such as how to prepare, various presentation styles to choose from, right down to how to engage with the audience on a meaningful level, and even the speaker's inward state of terally everything a beginner needs in order to confidently face public speaking - and some valuable nuggets thrown in for experienced speakers too.
A amazing book on how to speak in public. I have always been a touch shy on doing public speaking and wonder how I can improve it. This book offers a lot of useful info on how to overcome public speaking shyness as you prepare better presentations.
Stephen provides info on the things such as how to prepare, various presentation styles to choose from, right down to how to engage with the audience on a meaningful level, and even the speaker's inward state of terally everything a beginner needs in order to confidently face public speaking - and some valuable nuggets thrown in for experienced speakers too.
This is a amazing book, filled to the brim with public speaking knowledge. it starts off a small slow but as you read further you'll realize that the early content is so important. the author successfully presents so much info about public speaking so quickly and with such few words. I never once felt like my time was being wasted . I appreciate the organization into short, digestible sections that are efficient and come together to create public speaking really simple.
I did have fun it because I am in a fresh chapter of my life.When someone asked me to give a conference about my life - the first part - I felt not only honored but also really appreciated. And this book helped me to prepare as if I were about to talk to the whole world, and this has no price.
This was an absolute android game changer, and i’m not someone that’s looking to trump the president when it comes to standing in front of a podium slandering people. But I was looking to end public awkwardness and glide through conversations with social dominance. What I have learned is how to command respect & capture the attention of my friends, strangers, the barista, and even my cute coworker. This book is overflowing with value and was worth every moment of my tune & money.
Peter's style and expertise of public speaking, debate, and general conversation is incredibly captivating. When you add in the understanding that he overcame a speech impediment to become the Massachusetts State Champion, it's all but certain you have something to learn from er's tactics are straightforward yet unconventional. I would guarantee this book can help you with leveling up your public speaking abilities, leading to an overall boost in not only confidence but performance in your career, education, or entrepreneurial journey.
Before reading this book, I was constantly stuttering when giving speeches, presentations, and during competitions. The "um's" and "ah's" were almost nonstop, and no matter how hard I practiced, a lot of problems wouldn't go away. After I read the book and practiced using Andrei's techniques, my scores during competitions skyrocketed and I was able to capture the reader more effectively. The public speaking triad is one of the ideas that I never thought about until I read this book, and now I create it vital to give attention to everyone and speak in a manner that connects everyone. This book is very well written and digestible, and even after reading a couple of pages, you could go and create noticable changes to your speeches. I totally recommend this book to people trying to better their public speaking ability or even seasoned speakers who wish to polish up!
Amazing read filled with dozens of step by step techniques. I can actually use each and every one of the techniques in the book: they aren’t abstract pieces of vague tip that do more to confuse/distract me than support me. I’ll preview two of my favorite techniques. The first: what the author calls “refresher phrases.” These are a type of transition that I now know (thanks to the book) I can use to instantly grab my audience’s attention. I won’t tell you exactly what they are but I’m so glad I learned about them. My second favorite technique (which is more of a strategy): “the public speaking triad.” This one concept created public speaking / presentations / even meetings so simple. I now have a clear understanding of exactly what I have to do when speaking or presenting because of this concept. Amazing book overall - recommended for anyone who wants to succeed in business or who wants to know highly sophisticated and effective public speaking tricks.
I am much more confident speaking in front of an audience today than ever before I read this. Some of my favorite things from inside are 1). The proper mental frame section, 2). The entire body language chapter, and 3). breaking rapport tonality from the 5th chapter. The writing was simple to follow. I found a little number of grammar mistakes but they were very few and far between. Recommended for anyone who wants to speak well in meetings, presentations, etc.
This is a amazing book for those who struggle with anxiety when it comes to public speaking. The author eases the reader with an abundance of info at a level that anyone is able to comprehend. When reading the book, your time doesn't feel wasted or that the book drags on. It is full of useful hints and tricks and has helped me a ton with presentations and campaign speeches. Each section is straight to the point and has so much info that everyone could benefit by reading it.
This book will change your speaking completely. I used to be a horrific public speaker I would stammer and shake. I dreaded doing any form of public speaking. Then I was recommended this book by a mate and my speaking was completely transformed. The methods offered in the book are extremely practical and create it simple to follow. It's an perfect read and it has reformed my speaking to the point where now I have fun public speaking and people love to see me do it!
This book was amazing. It was clear, engaging, simple to read, and gave more than enough info and multiple approaches to truly support me become a better speaker. For the price, I got a wealth of information, and was well worth the money. The gift content was also extremely helpful and place me over the edge on this purchase. Overall, a amazing book, that will truly support you become a better speaker. I have noticed a difference in my speaking, and you will too!
I didn't think I'd be so gripped by this book but the author captures the pains and troubles of daily high school life with such honesty and emotion that I couldn't support recognize half the characters from my own high school days. There's Rachel, the ex best mate who's had a personality transplant over the summer... Heather, the temporary mate who's only waiting to be snapped up my a cooler clique... and, of course, the protagonist who doesn't quite fit in e beauty of this novel is that it could have survived alone without the much more sinister story behind it. But, that said, it also served as a very sad and moving voice for rape victims, particularly the vast amounts who feel at fault or scared or embarrassed by what happened. It was a quick, simple teen read but it's also the kind that plays on your mind repeatedly after finishing it.I hope my review has been helpful to you. It encourages me to continue writing and updating my reviews. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than satisfied to respond if I can be of help.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is an age-appropriate novel for teens with believable characters and situations. It focuses on a 9th grade girl who suddenly finds herself without mates after an incident that occurred at a high school party. As time goes on, she becomes more and more isolated from her peers and finds her only outlet to be through her art. As she begins to heal, with the support of her Art teacher and some new, trustworthy friends, she finds strength in her own voice and realizes the importance of speaking up.I'm not sure if the author intended for this book to be used in the classroom, but, either way, teachers everywhere are thankful for Laurie Halse Anderson! It is written to be read, absorbed, and discussed. The carefully chosen words are place together in ways that are easily relatable to teens everywhere. The hardships the characters face, as well as how they act and react to situations, mirror those you would see in a typical American high school. In addition to the audiobook, I also purchased a few copies of the paperback to add to our classroom library. The paperback contains an interview with the author, as well as discussion questions at the end of the book.I felt the narration by Mandy Siegfried was great! She did the book justice. Her performance created me feel like I was watching the happenings unfold before my eyes. Whether you listen to or read this book, the time you place in will be worth it.I rate this book a 5/5 stars. I feel it is an important, all too common, issue that teens are faced with as they enter (and continue through) high school. It would be a amazing addition to a classroom library, an after school book club, or a girls' group (although boys would also benefit from reading it). It is carefully written and narrated so that the language and happenings are real, but not offensive. It teaches necessary life lessons that, unless experieced, couldn't be learned otherwise. It is a ank you for reading my review. I hope it was helpful. :-)
Speak is a book I had to read for school, it is not something I would have chosen to read on my own. With that being said I would give the book four stars. I think that it encourages people to speak up for themselves. I think that Laurie Anderson does a amazing job at pulling the reader into the mind of Melinda Sordinon and by getting pulled into Melinda’s mind hooked me, I did not wish to place the book down. Melinda is freshman in high school that experienced a horrific happening that nobody deserves to go through but so a lot of people have experienced. Not only is she trying to deal with what happened to her but she is trying to survive being the outcast of high school. I think that Melinda will support others who have experienced such a terrifying happening obtain closer. I think it will also support others who have not experience such an happening see how bullying can create matters worse or just place oneself in that outcast’s shoes. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school or older.
My son picked this book out of a choice of 4 to read for his language arts class. I don’t normally read the same books that he does but when the permission slip came home stating there was “Mature Content” in this book I thought I had better read it also so we could discuss the happenings in the book.I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for these reasons.1.) I enjoyed the book overall. I feel the notice in this book is unbelievable for teens.2.) The book was interesting enough to hold me wondering what was going to happen so I didn’t place the book down, however I felt like the book never really came to a climax. I was a small disappointed about the lead up to “IT” and then finding it wasn’t as shocking as I thought or hoped it would ese aren’t poor qualities of the book, just my opinions. I wasn’t entirely sure what the book was about when I started reading it so maybe that led to my is book is perfectly written for teens therefore was probably a small young for ever, I would recommend this book to young adults and parents to read together. This could be a amazing method to begin a conversation with your teens about sexual appropriateness.
To me, this book isn't just about one girl's struggle with assault. It's about the war she wars within herself every single day, which I know was the writers goal, to portray a girl in high school battling with depression so badly that it has caused her to withdraw into herself and it takes an entire year for her to work up that courage to speak up about what happened to her. As a victim of assault myself, I completely understand her struggle. I went through a related fight, And it wasn't until I stumbled upon this book in my school library, that I started to work up the nerve to talk about what happened to me. I went through my struggle for years before I spoke up, and even now my parents still don't know. I'm 31 years old, and I'm still not courageous enough to tell them, but I have gotten past it, and this book sort of helped me do that. It's definitely a book worth reading.
I purchased this for my 16 year-old granddaughter after reading the summary and other reviews. I was disappointed when she said she had read it a year prior but thrilled when she said it is such a amazing book that she was reading it again. She told me admires the hero in the book and can relate to the very real dynamic and judgement in high school. The book is a amazing choice for teenagers and adults as well. I will be reading it next.
Simple to read. I love the descriptions of high school life; so realistic. The story is written from the perspective of a high school girl. Laurie gets into the thoughts of teenagers. She sees their globe as they see it and describes it as if she were a student as well. Her treatment of rape: superior. It wasn't something the reader would expect (unless you've read the reviews); probably intentional on the part of the author because rape is not necessarily on the radar of a marginalized high school girl. Very captivating story.
My 9th grader brought this book home after it was assigned in her English class. It sounded beautiful amazing so I ordered it on my Kindle. It's a very well written story about a sensitive topic and it opens up the door to speak to your kid (again) about dating violence and date rape specifically. It also gives parents an opportunity to say again, if you obtain raped, even if you were in the wrong put and shouldn't have been there, it is not your fault. It is the fault of the perpetrator. It's also amazing to have someone else say it since your child is probably tired of hearing you say it! It reinforces what we say to our kids, "make sure you tell me immediately because I'm always going to be there for you". The book showed the victim's sense of humor, which was the thing that first got my attention, and I was so glad to see her as an overcomer. Fast, simple read. I had never read this author before but I'll definately add her to my prefered list of authors.
This book tells and awesome story that is believable and often relatable. I see bits of Melinda in a lot of people I know that are her age, and it's awesome how well her story is told. Her commentaries on schools and their inhabitants are often very true. Overall, one of the best books I've ever read!
My freshman son was reading this in school. At his teacher's suggestion, I bought a copy so that I could know what he was reading and be able to talk to him about some of the adult themes. Amazing book! Even though is is a mature book for 14-year-olds it is also an appropriate book. The themes are presented realistically and thoughtfully. It is obvious that the writer has a pulse on her audience. My kid and I both thought that this was a amazing read.
I want Amazon had more of her melody available for download. She takes classic melody and makes it new. This was a piece that she wrote, and it I'm sure it will be a classic 100 years from now. I've been trying to obtain an autographed image of her for years now, so if you read this Vanessa, please stop ignoring my fan mail.
영어 회화앱 유목민으로서 적어도 저한테는 그 리얼클래스랑 케이크보다 훨씬 효과적인 것 같아요. 설명은 딱 필요한것만 알차게 하셔서 제가 직접 입벌려서 연습해볼 기회가 짧은 시간 안에 더 많아서 그런 것 같아요. 어플도 깔끔하게 잘만들어서 오로지 스피킹에만 집중할 수있는 인터페이스(?)가 마음에 들고, 컨텐츠도 깔끔하게 크게 크게 보여주니까 좋습니다. 무엇보다 강의 마지막에 배운걸 갑자기 물어보는 게 있는것 같은데 그때 느끼는 당황스러움이 배운내용을 더 기억에 잘 남도록 하는 것 같습니다. 저는 곧 영어 인터뷰가 있어 시작하게 되었는데 그때쯤 되면 비즈니스 과정도 있겠죠? 기대하겠습니다.
I sometimes feel that books maintaining a four star rating are often skipped by Amazon shoppers, as if four stars were the fresh three stars. I can't in all conscience give this book five stars, because I think that should be saved for real masterworks of history, and this isn't one. What it is is a very interesting, if a trifle dry, acc of what I guess is best described as the middle years of the Roman Empire--after the founding but before the ough it's simple to draw parallels to modern day shenanigans, to his credit author Mike Duncan for the most part lets the historical narrative speak for itself without opining much. He has a knack for inserting entertaining and insightful quotations at just the right moments. He manages to create things like the passing of an ancient law on land distribution genuinely suspenseful. And the time period itself hasn't been done to death (in fact he says that's why he picked it to write about). What I appreciated most, though, is that we aren't treated to graphic accounts of people being hacked to death in battles, a current literary trend. Duncan writes more about the workings of the Roman government and the people and circumstances that shaped laws and traditions that still resonate in consequence right down to our day. This book would be perfectly appropriate for a teen, or even preteen (it will have to be a intelligent preteen. Which of course your own is, naturally. Dumb people don't research books on Ancient Rome!).Flaws? Not many. It is as mentioned a small dry, which to me is not really a downside. If I'm reading right before bed I don't wish anything too electrifying because then I can't sleep. More of a issue (and what keeps this from being five stars) is that the figures in this book have long Latin names that sometimes sound alike and Duncan doesn't always do the best job differentiating them from one another. I also would have appreciated a graph in the beginning outlining the differences between the quaestors, praetors, consuls, etc. in both the scope and power of the different jobs. He does go over it, but you basically have to memorize the order and job info to understand the subsequent goings-on. A easy-to-refer-to chart would have been nice.Other than that, not a poor job at all and a fun read, for the right mind. A powerful fours stars and rating overall:GRADE: B+
After finishing the History of Rome podcast two years ago I have been craving more info in a medium as well crafted as Michael Duncan's perspective. This books fits into a niche time-period for a lot of who yearn for more info about the late republic, if you've enjoyed Duncan's previous works (History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts) you will be duly delighted by this work.Unfortunately despite the amazing content, there exist several quality control issues with the English rendition. Some words (such as ethnically and technically) have an "Ú" rather than the expected "hn" interjected into the spelling of the word. I've attached a few images to clarify the issue. Hopefully this problem will be corrected with future releases, so others won't dismiss the content based on the lack of QA. I would love to give this book five stars based on the content, but seeing 4 errors within ~50 pages puts a damper on an otherwise gem.
Few first-time writers of narrative history can claim to have endured a more rigorous boot camp than Mike Duncan. Duncan made the near-legendary podcast, “The History of Rome.” In some 150 episodes, he took his listeners through the history of the Eternal City, from its origins in murky myth through to the fall of the Western Empire. (He’s since followed that triumph with the still more ambitious, “Revolutions,” an ongoing narration of modern interlocking revolutionary movements, from the English Civil Battle forward). The same tools that kept millions of listeners riveted to his audio work likewise serve to create “The Storm Before the Storm” such a ose familiar with Roman history will search no surprises here, just an perfect narration of happenings already well-tread. All the usual characters (The Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, Cinna, etc.) are just where you’d expect to search them, their strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies on full display. Where Duncan succeeds is in the weave of the narrative, all delivered with his excellent, dry humor and eye for detail. That said, those unfamiliar with the history will likewise search the story highly accessible, which is a feat. Duncan seamlessly incorporates the important background information, without letting it bog down his narrative. All and all, an impressive success.I only have one caveat. Duncan wisely avoids the seductive pitfall of trying to link the ancient history to modern events. These parallels are plain enough to see. A history should aim for a quality of timelessness rather than being bound to a particular moment. While that is all well and good, Duncan doesn’t create enough of an effort to fully offer a thesis of his own about the why of the Republic’s slide into chaos. Of course, the a lot of causes (increased income inequality, swelling urban poverty, failure of unwritten political norms) vein the narrative. However, I found myself wishing Duncan offered a more definitive analysis of these trends. Which factors were cause and which effect? Does he feel any were more or less decisive? Duncan remains fairly silent on such questions. Of course, this is a NARRATIVE history, but even the best of that genre (think Gibbon), don’t shy away from such authorial analysis. Indeed, it is just that argument which makes those works great. Historians don’t merely exist to tell their readers of the past; they are meant to elucidate it as well. Thucydides famously wrote, “Most people, in fact, will not take the problem in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.” This work could’ve used a dose more of “truth,” even if just an introduction and conclusion. But as storytelling, it succeeds admirably.
Ignoring the ubiquitous and distracting misprint, I largely enjoyed the work. Duncan's narrative style is engaging and provides the reader with much of the historical facts and context without dryly intoning it. In particular, the recounting of the Gracchi, and Sulla's tomfoolery were definite high times the narrative gets lost in the recounting of the political actors. As we follow careers from the legions to consul, only to have the individual die and the globe move on, without adding much to the greater far the weakest points of the book come towards the end as Duncan's narrative becomes increasingly fragmented and clearly rushed with the end itself coming rather abruptly and with small synthesis.I am not entirely sure what the author intended for me to take away from the read. While some would praise a historical work of nonfiction for not overanalyzing or moralizing-at times I was left feeling as though segments of the book had been surgically removed. While we are given fact and context, small is given in the ways of original analysis or e history itself is highly relevant and the dilemma posed by the devolving mos maiorum leaves the reader with much to chew l in all I think the greatest thing I can praise this book for is reigniting my curiosity and encouraging me to dive further into Roman and classical history, a topic that a lot of authors are unable to bring to life and one which Duncan has a clear passion for.
The late Roman Republic is one of the most studied and most familiar periods of history. Even the average American - famously ignorant of history - could probably tell you what happened to Julius Caesar or the name of Cleopatra's lover (thanks in no little part to Shakespeare's plays). But there's surprisingly small attention paid to the period before Caesar, the happenings that set the scene for the fall of the Republic. Mike Duncan, host of the perfect History of Rome Podcast, takes a stab, writing the first book focused exclusively on the period 130-80 BC I have seen. It's a intelligent move, not just for a first-time author trying to create a name for himself, but also because it will introduce readers to an necessary part of Rome's Duncan argues in the introduction, the 50 years between 130-80 BC helped set the scene for the collapse of the Republic. Domestically, the polarization between conservatives (optimates) and populists (populares) prevented the Republic from undertaking important reforms. The Gracchi brothers, two senators who attempted to push redistributive land reform, were ultimately murdered for their efforts. Duncan then chronicles the rising tensions on the Italian peninsula as Italians became increasingly forceful in their demands for citizenship. The Senate eventually caved and granted Italians citizenship (but tried to dilute their voting rights through gerrymandering). Meanwhile, Rome faced a dozens of threats on its periphery from tribes and former client states, including in Numidia and Gaul. Roman diplomacy and military force finally quelled these threats after years of fighting. However, Rome was then wracked by civil battle as two of its top generals, Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, fought for the right to lead Rome's armies east versus King Mithridates of Pontus. The Senate had appointed Sulla, but the popularly elected Tribune maneuvered to obtain Marius - darling of the populares - appointed instead. Sulla marched his troops on Rome, declared himself dictator, and, after years of civil war, attempted to reform Roman law to enshrine the position of the optimates.Just as in his podcast, Duncan's writing is clear, accessible, and even sometimes funny. This is a complicated period of Roman history, but Duncan provides enough background for readers to follow along. It might have been helpful to have included a dramatis personae listing all of the major players, but Duncan does enough to distinguish the different Latin names from each e problems Rome dealt with during this period - class conflict, populism, gerrymandering, inequality, polarization, breaking political norms - should be familiar to Americans in the 2010s. Duncan himself notes the commonalities in the introduction to this book, but I actually thought that comparison would have been more effective in an epilogue, after the reader had gained a better understanding of the Roman history. This type of historical comparison could have been really interesting, but as is it just seems more like a method to catch the reader's attention than a sustained analysis. Likewise, Duncan does provide an effective summary of how the issues of 130-80 BC ultimately led to the collapse of the Republic, but he never quite provides a definitive analysis of why Rome took such a turn for the worse during this period. He mentions a few possible reasons, such as the failure of land reform, but I would have liked a more succinct finitely recommended for readers interested in Roman history.[Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review]
Rome's history was always eventful, but as to the fabric of the Republic and its institutions, it hummed along on cruise control for a few centuries, then things got interesting, and then it all went smash. This book is the history of the "interesting" years that set the scene for the final destruction of the Republic and rise of the Empire. It starts with the revolutionary Gracchi brothers, proceeds to Gaius Marius, and ends with the dictatorship of is book is not written by a tenured historian but by a podcaster who specializes in Roman history. Mike Duncan is one of a lot of serious amateurs who produce a very creditable job. He is in the company of the History of the English Language podcast, or the Bell Beaker blogger, folks who might as well have a PhD in the field in that they have done about as much work as a pro, and devoted as much thought. It doesn't look like a mashup of his podcasts, but a retelling based on that research. Perhaps it makes his prose a bit more narrative and less dry than an academic, but he does discuss the motivations and larger picture in addition to telling a smashing story.Duncan clearly leans heavily on the basic sources. Most of the facts of the history are sourced to different Roman authors, although he lets the reader know when said author is just propagandizing. (Interestingly, this book covers the same period as the famous Masters of Rome series of historical novels by Colleen McCullough. There are a lot of little scenes that I assumed McCullough invented. I see a lot of of them in this history, but with citations to the original authors.) The book also has a decent l in all, this book is a satisfying prequel to any of the a lot of fine histories of Caesar, the civil wars, and the rise of Augustus.
Mike Duncan presents an overshadowed but nonetheless critical time period of Roman history. His book captures the period just preceding the era filled with the more popular names, eg Pompey the Amazing and of Julius Caesar. This period though is filled with its own colourful cast of characters, including seven time consul Gaius Marius, Sulla, Cinna, and Jugurtha. It is also complete with power struggles, assassinations, and civil wars. The themes will also sound familiar...pandering to the masses, entrenched bureaucrats and foreigners tarnishing the of the chief values of the book is Duncan's demonstration of the importance of political principles. He shows the pivotal happenings of the Grachhi brothers and how once the act of violence was accepted, it was only a matter of time until more sinister individuals seized on this principle and escalated the use of violence to achieve their goals. Everyone always wants to know how ancient Rome compares to modern America and this is the idea that is still just as relevant now as it was then, and will still end in the inevitable catastrophic results. When reason and debate are out as means of discourse, there is nothing left but brute force and if unchallenged, it is only a matter of time until the most ruthless gangs seize e book is highly entertaining and a definite for any ancient history fan.p.s. I assume readers are familiar with his podcast, The History of Rome, but if you are not, definitely go download and listen to it. It's unparalleled.
I found this a vivid recounting of a period with which I have long been familiar. I gained some fresh insight into a few key players, like Aemilianus and the Metelli and Cinna and Crassus Orator. I have been enjoying listening to the audiobook over the latest few days.But I was absolutely shocked at the end, when Duncan offered no attempt at a synthesis of the period as a whole. I agree that this material is incredibly topical, but how are we to generalize to the show when Duncan does not even attempt to draw any general principles? Perhaps the most frustrating moment in the book is when Duncan says that Sulla misdiagnosed the issue with the Republic...and then does not provide his own diagnosis, other than a tip at the excessive power of the senate. That in itself is an interesting thought that I do not follow and would love to hear more about.He has offered more perspective than this in the course of his unbelievable podcasts, which I recommend highly. And in this book he offers holistic perspectives on several major characters. And I will buy his next book in both hardcover and audio...but with the hopes that he will be more ambitious next time and offer more commentary.Another reviewer commented that the book reads episodically, and that was my experience with the audiobook. No single chapter felt incomplete, just the book as a whole. I have bumped up my original score to reflect my experience of the separate pieces of the book, taken apart from the w, could everyone go to Colleen McCullough's First Man in Rome and click the button about wanting to read it in kindle? I really wish to reread that series now, but I just cannot lug those things around anymore!
This is a amazing book because:1. It is informative and has a fair amount of details, but not an overwhelming amount.2. At times, the writing has some wit and isn't 5 stars because:1. The aforementioned wit and humor is not that often. The book generally is beautiful dry. I felt the writing was lacking, and I was reading a college term paper. That probably comes across as a bit harsher than my intent.2. It is hard to hold track of all the various positions and their roles. As another reviewer mentioned, a diagram or chart in the front of the book serving as a reference tutorial would have been helpful.3. The maps were not very useful either. There were countless locations the author mentioned that were not on the map, while with maybe 1-2 exceptions, the locations that WERE marked on the map of Italy did not come up at all in the writing. It was a bit frustrating.Overall, a solid read that educated me quite a bit on the late Roman Republic, but it was far from flawless.
"The final win over Carthage in the Punic Battles led to rising economic inequality, dislocation of traditional ways of life, increasing political polarization, the breakdown of unspoken rules of political conduct, the privatization of the military, rampant corruption, endemic social and ethnic prejudice, wars over citizenship and voting rights, ongoing military quagmires, the introduction of violence as a political tool, and a set of elites so obsessed with their own privileges that they refused to reform the system in time to save it."Duncan makes no references to our current administration but the parallels are obvious… at least to me. Seven years ago the wealth of 388 billionaires equaled the wealth of the poorest half of humanity. Now it only takes five billionaires. Large companies like Snap, Fb and Alphabet are virtual dictatorships.Duncan’s Storm Before the Storm studies that critical generation before the rise of Caesar. It has much to teach us. I was immediately reminded of Ben Franklin’s admonition regarding what form of government the Constitutional Convention came up with: “A republic, if you can hold it,” he said. Both Franklin and Duncan remind us that democracies are fragile. If we continue to move corporate governance to a democratic-free location the consequences are predictable. Dictatorship, or something close, will rough actions such as refusing to muster for military service, electing tribunes who guarded versus patrician abuse, and by setting up sanctuaries, plebeians gained a true voice in governing Rome and checked the power of the Senate, which was largely organized around client-patron networks. Unfortunately, by the end of the Punic Wars, consuls, tribunes and even Assemblies no longer checked the authority of the strong aristocratic Senate but, instead, extended its powers.Duncan weaves a complex but interesting tale of republican soil breeding tyrants. Our current President boasted he could “shoot somebody and not lose voters.” Sulla read his report on the Mithridatic Battle to the Roman Senate while soldiers slaughtered 6,000 prisoners within earshot. Thankfully, we haven’t reached that scene but the underlying notice seems similar; opponents will be treated he rose to power, Sulla flaunted traditional rules of loyalty and etiquette to victory fame. His followers paid more attention to what could be done, rather than what should be done. He thought he was restoring the Senate to its former glory but senatorial domination had been a latest development. Making Rome amazing again should not have meant restoring an oligarchy. Sulla failed to learn from nomic inequality, polarization and ruthless ambition led to the end of peaceful power transitions in Rome and to the end of the Republic. As Franklin implied, we need to do more than hope it doesn’t happen here. We need to work to hold our nce corporations wield such influence, especially after what could be termed the storm before the storm for America in the form of Citizens United, maintaining some semblance of democracy within corporate governance is equally important.
I have used a lot of applications for improving my speaking, but this one has stolen my heart. so, I have got the confidence that i would score in the coming attempt. once I obtain the score, i would be the happiest person in the world. To be frank, the next attempt is my 9 one and I have not scored 7 in speaking ever.