Brave Companions: Portraits in History Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Alexander von Humboldt to Charles and Anne Lindbergh, these are stories of people of great vision and daring whose achievements continue to inspire us today, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.
The best-selling author of Truman and John Adams, David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped the course of history or changed how we see the world but whose stories express much that is timeless about the human condition.
Here are Alexander von Humboldt, whose epic explorations of South America surpassed the Lewis and Clark expedition; Harriet Beecher Stowe, "the little woman who made the big war”; Frederic Remington; the extraordinary Louis Agassiz of Harvard; Charles and Anne Lindbergh and their fellow long-distance pilots Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Beryl Markham; Harry Caudill, the Kentucky lawyer who awakened the nation to the tragedy of Appalachia; and David Plowden, a present-day photographer of vanishing America.
Different as they are from each other, McCullough's subjects have in common a rare vitality and sense of purpose. These are brave companions: to each other, to David McCullough, and to the reader, for with rare storytelling ability McCullough brings us into the times they knew and their very uncommon lives.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 19 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 29, 2015|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #16,357 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#116 in Historical Biographies (Audible Books & Originals)
#474 in United States History (Audible Books & Originals)
#700 in United States Biographies
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These are all brave companions, ‘the best of companions.’
Not all were as successful as they aimed to be: ‘Humboldt never reached the summit of Chimborazo. Agassiz’s star faded. Washington Roebling endured the painful effects of his work on the Brooklyn Bridge for the rest of his days. Harry Caudill did not live to see an end to strip mining or poverty in Kentucky. Yet … these are all success stories.’
As the author says, history is chiefly about life. And so he tells of the lives of the ‘unfathomable forces’ in history that make great individuals. Are the forces events, single personalities, a person’s character, or the collective activities of a group?
I liked the chapter on British naturalist Miriam Rothschild (1908-2005), whose specialty was fleas, especially bird fleas. But she also contributed knowledge on anatomy, chemistry, entomology, pharmacology, neurophysiology, zoology, marine biology, and botany. She was the first person to install seat belts in a motor car, and tried, unsuccessfully, to have the idea patented. Miriam was also, secretly, involved in the Enigma Project at Bletchley Park trying to decipher German code during the war. For all of that, living to 96 years of age, she describes herself as a farmer.
McCullough includes a range of historical people and their impact on the world in diverse fields. What do they have in common? Their common traits include engagement, commitment, enthusiasm, focus, concentrated effort, energy, stamina, and the belief that everything in life is interesting. The key is attitude, McCullough says. This fascinating book proves it.