Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Very good history, but flawed because it's too long and not tightly edited
on January 2, 2014
I enjoyed the history that escapes from the endless minutiae. I'm continually surprised by how much I don't know about the 1850s to the 1920s in the US, so that was a nice aspect of the book. However, the level of detail is crushing in many cases. Moreover, elements that have been explained once before are often explained again (and sometimes yet again). I think that Mr. Chernow could have used stronger editor. 300 pages could have been shaved from the book which would have made it stronger and probably more widely read, as well.
I've not read anything else by Ron Chernow, so I was not sure what to expect. If this is typical, I probably won't read anything else by him, either. Though I doubt he'd be very upset about that. =8-)