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Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critical Integrity, 31 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided (Hardcover)
I have just completed A World on Fire, Amanda Foreman's staggering achievement which has been compared to both Gone With The Wind and War and Peace by serious and eminent reviewers. Although I had read and admired Ms Foreman's previous book, Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, I was half prepared to be disappointed based upon the high expectations I had following these and the other accolades she had already received. But no - to the contrary, over 5 glorious days I was swept away by the simple beauty of Ms Foreman's prose and her page turning story telling skills...She tackled one of the most forensically scrutinised subjects in history, the American Civil War and yet somehow she mined fresh and fascinating new perspectives. Her scope is vast and the historical sweep is global yet her book remains intimate and hugely entertaining!
Words like masterpiece, tour de force and magnificent are applied far too easily these days but it is without hesitation that I readily apply them now to Ms Foreman's latest book. Do not be daunted by its length...It is indeed as most reviewers have already declared, a towering achievement and a truly great read!
I have entitled my review "Critical Integrity" for a reason. Anyone who has actually completed a book ( published or not) knows so well that the lonely often selfish and endless journey is riddled with emotion, conflict, guilt, elation, disappointment and sleepless nights....It is never an easy journey. It may be thrilling and indeed in many ways it can be rewarding... Certainly it is always challenging....but it is never easy...
Published writers like all others in the hazardous arena of public opinion rightly face scrutiny of their work... Indeed the internet has empowered us all with the ability to express a personal view...However, when reading the Amazon Readers Reviews of A World on Fire it struck me that a tiny minority appear to have used this awesome tool to simply take cheap shots at Ms. Foreman's fine work...Readers have a moral obligation to authors and other readers alike to write their personal reviews with integrity. It is gratifying however to see that the overwhelming majority of Amazon Reviewers share my opinion that Amanda Foreman's A World on Fire is MAGNIFICENT!
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