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The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932 - 1972 Audible – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 57 hours and 25 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: June 13, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B5T8E2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
William Manchester bookends this sprawling, epic US history with two protests in the heart of Washington. He opens in 1930 at the rise of the Great Depression, with veterans across from the White House coldly shunned by President Herbert Hoover when asking for advance relief from the Great Depression, then brutally attacked by troops and national guardsmen led by Douglas MacArthur. He concludes with President Richard Nixon's second inaugural in 1973 at Watergate's rising, Vietnam demonstrators audible blocks away amidst calls for national unity and self-reliance.

In between, across 1300 pages, (excluding index and exhaustive bibliography) "The Glory and the Dream" chronicles the American Century's meatiest, most eventful years (1932-72). Manchester details a diary for and about what he called the "swing generation" but whom ex-NBC-TV anchorman Tom Brokaw (who cited Manchester as an influence) christened "the Greatest Generation."

These men and women endured and thrived through what, against Manchester's narrative, seemed (except for the relatively tranquil late 1950s) a non-stop whirlwind of hardship. Painting in broad strokes by economic numbers Manchester reveals compelling pictures of the Depression, bank and crop failures, Franklin Roosevelt's election and the New Deal, World War II, and the Korean and Cold Wars. He also includes near month by month chronicles and analysis on America's roots and involvement in the Vietnam War and Watergate, which takes up most of the book's final third. And of course, he addresses the still-shocking days of rage, murder, and decaying social fabric in the late 1960s.

Manchester's storytelling is expertly paced, foreshadowing careers of 20th century icons like Nixon, JFK, Marilyn Monroe and even the Edsel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone fortunate enough to read the first few chapters of this terrific work by William Manchester will no longer wonder why he is considered one of the finest historians writing about the 20th century. From the opening description of the tensions in Washington in the early 1930s with the conflict over the so-called "bonus marchers" to the ending essay on the removal of Richard Nixon from the Presidency in disgrace in 1974, there simply isn't a dull page in the book. As for anyone who hasn't experienced this author and his superb prose style, there is no time to waste!
This truly is a masterful and magisterial historical narrative of the period of time from the onset of the Depression to the climax of the Watergate scandal; all the color and detail one would want from a work purporting to cover such a momentous time span in our recent national melodrama is here in spades. His prose style is at once both erudite and immensely readable, and he always seems conversational even when discussing matters that are delicate or controversial. Whether discussing the momentous details of FDR's "New Deal", the daring and cunning of the Japanese in carrying out the attack on Pearl Harbor, the sad and sorrowful political potshots taken by scurrilous swine like Joe McCarthy during the House Un-American Activities Committee or the quizzically vengeful approach taken by insiders during the Nixon years, Manchester consistently steers us knowingly and safely through the rocks and shoals of domestic history, avoiding veering into the controversial reefs and coral that can rip us to shreds with partisan political revisionism and politically-correct views.
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By A Customer on May 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a history teacher and historian who has read and previewed hundreds of history titles, I can say without resevation that "The Glory and the Dream" ranks up among the top 5 history books I have ever read. Covering a span of time when America went through so much upheavel and doubt, patriotism and arrogance, Manchester weaves a tale of American life that leaves nothing out. Focusing on the four themes of history (social, political, domestic, foreign) he manages to bring together all of the personalities, events, disasters, fears, and triumphs that have made America what she is today. At over 1300 pages, it is a massive volume but one that grabs the reader from the very start with its chapters on the Great Depression and the rise of FDR. From there Manchester takes the reader on a wonderful trip through time as he covers World War II, The Cold War, Truman, Ike, the 50's, 60's, sex, music, Vietnam, art, entertainment, and everything else that went on during the 50 year time span the book covers. I was sad that the book had to end, but found myself reading it again in less than four months, reliving the journey again and finding out new things that I had missed before. If you love American history then this book is an absolute must for your library. For those who lived through the history of which Manchester writes, it will stir memories. For those too young to remember that far back, it will give you a wonderfully frank account of your nation and its 20th century heritage. Read this book, you will not be disappointed.
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