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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant much needed great power view of US policy, 22 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Untold History of the United States (Paperback)
I came to this book having watched the 10 hour excellent documentary series of the same title. I wasn't sure what to expect from such a relatively long book, however I found it a rivetting read, difficult to put down with many interesting moments such as at the views expressed, the retelling of many familar events from a new perspective or in greater detail, and some new information that filled in gaps in my knowledge. The book is told in 14 fairly long chapters and a long introduction that is essential to read to understand the view taken and how the narrative is constructed. The narrative is laced with many interesting facts and quotes, noting the sources and the position or job title of those whose views are being given. The narrative is basically chronological in order though it does contextualise some subjects in the light of recent events, in particular the recent financial crisis and so called war on terror. However much of the narrative stays based in each time period and gradually unfolds through each presidency noting in detail much to do with defence and foreign policy of the US government, though not exclusively, and their development down through the years. A structure which runs in parrallel with the documentary series. However the book is far more detailed and goes into greater depth on many of its subjects and is rather more academic than the somewhat breathless emotive and moralising documentary. I recommend the book as essential reading to anyone with a interest in world history from 1900 onwards. Some grounding in history of the period would help and possibly knowledge of more orthodox views as a balance not just to the views but a contextualisation of events. Certainly it would not just add balance but an interesting perspective on just where that orthodoxy comes from. Otherwise this book is definitely worth a read with its agenda setting views and knowledge rewarding informative narrative that can't be ignored.
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