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Brave Companions: Portraits in History

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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 bestselling author of Truman and John Adams, David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped 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 bestselling 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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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 bestselling author of Truman and John Adams, David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped 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 bestselling 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.

30 review for Brave Companions: Portraits in History

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    While most of this book is a set of biographical essays, there are a few chapters that are simply historical essays. So, it sort of feels like a set of essays that David McCullough put together from his writings over the years. There is no single theme holding the book together. Most of the essays are interesting; the book contains essays about Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Lindbergh, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and lesser-known people. Then the book wanders off into an essay about Washington, DC an While most of this book is a set of biographical essays, there are a few chapters that are simply historical essays. So, it sort of feels like a set of essays that David McCullough put together from his writings over the years. There is no single theme holding the book together. Most of the essays are interesting; the book contains essays about Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Lindbergh, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and lesser-known people. Then the book wanders off into an essay about Washington, DC and an essay about the US Senate of bygone years. Like other books that I've read by David McCullough, the book is enjoyable, but some of the essays simply didn't retain my interest. Perhaps my neutral attitude toward this book is guided by the fact that I listened to this book as an audiobook. The problem is that the author reads his own book, and his narration has no spark. And as he reads, his voice drifts off toward the end of each sentence, and becomes difficult to hear. I suggest reading the book instead of listening to it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rex Fuller

    Haven’t read much by McCullough. Seems just a hair pretentious, like all liberal historians (I majored in history). But never mind all that. This is really good. It’s like having coffee with maybe the most fascinating collection of people you could pick. Just look who is here: Alexander von Humboldt, geographer, naturalist, surveyor, and much more, an “academy unto himself.” When visiting Jefferson in the White House to describe his, the first, explorations of South America, Humboldt flummoxed hi Haven’t read much by McCullough. Seems just a hair pretentious, like all liberal historians (I majored in history). But never mind all that. This is really good. It’s like having coffee with maybe the most fascinating collection of people you could pick. Just look who is here: Alexander von Humboldt, geographer, naturalist, surveyor, and much more, an “academy unto himself.” When visiting Jefferson in the White House to describe his, the first, explorations of South America, Humboldt flummoxed his listeners – but not Jefferson himself – by slipping unknowingly from English to German to French and Spanish. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who Lincoln called “the little woman who made this big war.” She knew her share of tragedy and wrote a great deal more than Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Frederic Remington who put “the West” in our mind’s eye. Teddy Roosevelt in his Medora, North Dakota, incarnation. Louis Agassiz, the Harvard professor who made vast institutional and scientific contributions to zoology, geology, and elsewhere, rooted in his admonition to his students to “look at your fish.” Pioneering pilots Charles and Anne Lindbergh, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Beryl Markham. Harry Caudill, the Kentucky lawyer who made strip mining an issue. Dame Miriam Rothschild (yes, of those Rothschilds) who earned international recognition for her study of fleas, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and collected paintings by schizophrenics. The men who made the Brooklyn Bridge, its designer John A. Roebling, and his son Washington Roebling who erected it. They invented technologies and tools to do it, and put up the longest bridge in the world at the time and, perhaps still, the most beautiful. Conrad Richter, the author who brought the American frontier to the readership of the world. David Plowden, gifted photographer of vanishing industrial and agricultural America. In the introduction, McCullough tells us he found these people much more alike than he imagined before collecting his essays about them into a book. I won’t spoil the fun of discovering just how they were alike or what the significance of that is. However, McCullough also included two speeches at the end, one extolling travel and the other history that drive his main thoughts home.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    In McCullough's introduction he explains that to him history is not just what someone has accomplished, it is also how they lived, the things that made them come alive as he certainly does in this book. He takes little known characters, or characters we do know but may not know these particular facts and he brings them alive for the reader. Humboldt, whose journey was overshadowed by Lewis and Clark's but rivaled their in his contributions to the study of glaciers and ice floes, skeletons and so In McCullough's introduction he explains that to him history is not just what someone has accomplished, it is also how they lived, the things that made them come alive as he certainly does in this book. He takes little known characters, or characters we do know but may not know these particular facts and he brings them alive for the reader. Humboldt, whose journey was overshadowed by Lewis and Clark's but rivaled their in his contributions to the study of glaciers and ice floes, skeletons and so many others of the natural sciences. Agassiz, who started the first museum of Zoology and whose wife, after his death, became a founder of Radcliffe College and was their first president. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was extremely poor until she started writing and than spent more than she earned by buying into various ventures with the hope of improving someones lot in life. Teddy Roosevelt, who fell in love with the Badlands, the start of his natural park and though many found his fascination with the Wild West a little tiresome to the point that when William McKinley died, "Mark Hanna is said to have exclaimed , Now Look! That damn cowboy is president." So much more, the painter Remington, the men who built the Panama Bridge, who death toll would only be rivaled years later when the Panama canal was built. The builders of the Brooklyn Bridge, whose architects had an average age of only 31. So much more and all so interesting. Little tidbits about their marriages, their personal lives, their children and the times in history they were alive. Conrad Richter, who was a personal friend of his is also poignantly portrayed and now I want to read a copy of his novel, "Lady", which is McCullough's favorite. He makes history accessible, he brings it alive.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Less than 300 pages in length, this is a collection of Mr. McCullough’s shorter works — magazine articles, lectures, etc. It paints vivid portraits of a wide variety of people — some famous, others rather obscure, but all fascinating. It was just enough to whet my appetite to learn more about these people. Over the course of reading this book, I jotted down the titles of 22 other books I’d like to read. The section I found most interesting was entitled “Pioneers.” It included an article about th Less than 300 pages in length, this is a collection of Mr. McCullough’s shorter works — magazine articles, lectures, etc. It paints vivid portraits of a wide variety of people — some famous, others rather obscure, but all fascinating. It was just enough to whet my appetite to learn more about these people. Over the course of reading this book, I jotted down the titles of 22 other books I’d like to read. The section I found most interesting was entitled “Pioneers.” It included an article about the building of the Panama Railroad — yes, railroad. As in, before the canal. Forty-seven and a half miles of track, and 170 bridges of more than 12 feet in length. Next was an article about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I had no idea how interesting pneumatic caissons were! This was followed by a lovely vignette about the man who discovered and helped to preserve the thousands of intricate hand-drawn plans for the Brooklyn Bridge. The section closed with an intriguing look at the aviation pioneers of the 1920s, many of whom were also prolific writers. I’d read and loved many of the works of pioneer aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery, but was inspired to look up some of the others. There’s something for everyone in this collection: science, photography, architecture, history, exploration, ecology. All written in David McCullough’s spare, ringing style, these portraits of people and places will spark the imagination and make you want to read more. ***** If you appreciated this review, check out my blog at pagesandmargins.wordpress.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    This book of biographical sketches seems analogous to the Bonus material on DVDs. I don't know if this is true, but it feels like getting "extra" information that couldn't be included in the hefty tomes he had written. While listening, it was fun to match up the subjects with McCullough books I've already read. He brings life to people who lived long ago; they become familiar and knowable. Books, music, art, historical locations were all referenced. I am tempted to get the print edition from the This book of biographical sketches seems analogous to the Bonus material on DVDs. I don't know if this is true, but it feels like getting "extra" information that couldn't be included in the hefty tomes he had written. While listening, it was fun to match up the subjects with McCullough books I've already read. He brings life to people who lived long ago; they become familiar and knowable. Books, music, art, historical locations were all referenced. I am tempted to get the print edition from the library in order to follow up on these. Alas, my TBR list is already a tall and looming mountain.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    McCullough is one of my favorite writers of history, and as an audio addict, I'm so glad this has finally been recorded. I confess McCullough is not my favorite narrator; Edward Herrmann did such a masterful job with McCullough's books, but with Herrmann gone, I'm willing to settle for the author. Listening to him read these essays on famous (and sometimes not so) people in history is like sitting down with a favorite professor and listening to him share his best stories. Companionable, thoughtf McCullough is one of my favorite writers of history, and as an audio addict, I'm so glad this has finally been recorded. I confess McCullough is not my favorite narrator; Edward Herrmann did such a masterful job with McCullough's books, but with Herrmann gone, I'm willing to settle for the author. Listening to him read these essays on famous (and sometimes not so) people in history is like sitting down with a favorite professor and listening to him share his best stories. Companionable, thoughtful, inspirational. What I like best about McCullough is the way he integrates people, landscapes, events, and ideas to tell such accessible stories. He creates a true sense of time and place, you-are-there, I guess. He even talks about how he found his profession. For fans of Simon Winchester, who also reads his own books (The Men Who United the States is an especially good match thematically), and John McPhee, who is another master of profiling personalities to add another dimension to discussions of events and ideas.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is a compilation of previously published essays by McCullough. Many of them are short biographical sketches of various people, some famous, some more obscure. The rest are about a variety of historical events and places. I listened to the audio version which was a pleasure because it is narrated by the author. Each of the chapters is 30 minutes to 1 hour. Chapter 1 - Profile of Alexander von Humboldt, the German naturalist, scientist and explorer who journied through South America in the la This is a compilation of previously published essays by McCullough. Many of them are short biographical sketches of various people, some famous, some more obscure. The rest are about a variety of historical events and places. I listened to the audio version which was a pleasure because it is narrated by the author. Each of the chapters is 30 minutes to 1 hour. Chapter 1 - Profile of Alexander von Humboldt, the German naturalist, scientist and explorer who journied through South America in the late 1700s Chapter 2 - Profile of Louis Agassiz, Swiss naturalist who studied fish and founded the study of glaciology Chapter 3 - Biography of Harriet Beacher Stowe Chapter 4 - Story about the Marquis de Mores, Teddy Roosevelt, and Medora, North Dakota in the late 1800s Chapter 5 - Biography of Frederic Remington - American painter, sculptor and writer who lived in the late 1800's and is known for his paintings of the American West Chapter 6 - The story of the building of the Panama Railroad in the 1850s Chapter 7 - The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge & profile of Washington Roebling Chapter 8 - The discovery in the 1960s of the original architectural drawings of the Brooklyn Bridge Chapter 9 - Pioneers in Early Aviation: Beryl Markham, Charles & Anne Lindburgh, Antoine de Saint-Exupery Chapter 10 - Profile of American author Conrad Richter Chapter 11 - Story about attorney and environmental activist Harry Caudill who brought awareness to strip-mining in Letcher County, Kentucky Chapter 12 - Profile of Miriam Rothchild, a British entomologist and botanist known for her research on fleas Chapter 13 - Profile of American photographer David Plowden who is known for his documentary photos of Small Town America Chapter 14 - Nostalgic reminiscences and history about Washington DC Chapter 15 - Written in 1986, this is a summary of the many changes around the world that had occurred over the last 50 years Chapter 16 - College Commencement address Chapter 17 - A call to historians to research and write more about the history of Congress and past members of Congress

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    3.5 stars. Had some stories I really liked and others That didn’t grab me. My favorites: Washington on the Potomac, Remington, Cross the Blue Mountain, and the American Adventure of Louis Agassiz.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Okay, confession time: this is the fist McCullough I've read. His books have been recommended to me dozens of times (especially John Adams), but I have always had this aversion to "popular" historians. There are certain popular historians that I just distrust--they have published too much to have done much of the work themselves--or to really dive into the material. McCullough does not appear to be one of those "popular" historians. This book is a collection of essays, first published in 1991. The Okay, confession time: this is the fist McCullough I've read. His books have been recommended to me dozens of times (especially John Adams), but I have always had this aversion to "popular" historians. There are certain popular historians that I just distrust--they have published too much to have done much of the work themselves--or to really dive into the material. McCullough does not appear to be one of those "popular" historians. This book is a collection of essays, first published in 1991. The majority of the essays are brief, biographical sketches of some fascinating people--some of whom I had never heard of, many of whom don't follow into my usual categories of historical interest. But each essay was wonderful. He introduced me to some people I would love to know more about, such as Miriam Rothschild. He told the jaw-dropping story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the railroad line across Panama (before the canal). I loved his writing style--he doesn't get bogged down in details like so many historians, but somehow senses exactly what we the reader need to know in order to understand. Highly recommended. I may even tackle John Adams one of these days.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harry Lane

    Originally published as magazine articles, the vignettes in this book are of mixed quality. Some of them are as good as anything McCullough has written, which is very good indeed. Others not quite up to that high standard.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    As always, the master historian reads his own work. He is wonderful to listen to. He reminds me of the old-fashioned patriotism that my father had. There was a sense of decency to it, not just a love of country but what the country stood for. Now we seem to be consumed by a hatred of government that can only be self-destructive. This book is a collection of magazine articles and essays that cover a wide range of people and places across the country. He deals with the negative as well as the posi As always, the master historian reads his own work. He is wonderful to listen to. He reminds me of the old-fashioned patriotism that my father had. There was a sense of decency to it, not just a love of country but what the country stood for. Now we seem to be consumed by a hatred of government that can only be self-destructive. This book is a collection of magazine articles and essays that cover a wide range of people and places across the country. He deals with the negative as well as the positive with any person. There is Alexander Humboldt whose exploration of South America surpassed the Lewis and Clark expedition. Incredible journeys. Harriet Beecher Stowe known as the "little woman who made the big war." The western painter Frederic Remington whose racist comments are a disgrace. The great scientist Louis Agassiz of Harvard. His famous teaching method was to tell a student to "look at your fish." They would study that fish until they came up with that proverbial light bulb in the brain. At the end though, Agassiz failed to understand evolution. Religion blinded him. So his life ended in failure. He discusses the pilots Charles and Ann Lindbergh, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and Beryl Markham. Harry Caudill was the Kentucky lawyer who awakened the country to the tragedy of Appalachia. Now we are going back to destroying our regulations and thinking that will somehow save us. David Plowden photographed a vanishing America. McCullough interviewed a man at the Library of Congress who met Stalin and Roosevelt. When he apologizes for asking too many questions that must have been asked many times before, the man says, "No sir, Mr. McCullough. You are the first one to ask." He has a lunch with a famous editor talking about the Vietnam Wall. The woman has never heard of Antietam where 23,000 men died in one day. So the author bemoans the lack of historical knowledge.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Hiebner

    McCullough wrote about people and events he encountered researching his other great books. Some of these people are personal companions he has met. He points out the influences people have on others and history. I did like his chapter on W.D.C. and the books about it. He said the books you read in the next ten years will be the most important of your life, so Read On!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Interesting mix of essays on various Americans and on their great achievements. From the construction of the Panama Railway to the Brooklyn Bridge, to photographing the America that is vanishing. McCullough culled through decades of essays to compile this book. Some were more interesting to me than others- but all of the essays made me think about how far the imagination can take us.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Oh if you love history you need to read this book!. It is read by David McCulough and is wonderful. I an amazing at all his stories of such incredible people. I loved getting to know their part in our world. Check out his bucket list at the end.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barry Flanders

    Really liked this collection of articles about some people who made a difference in America. Great colorful details and intriguing history. Uplifting and positive, overall. McCullough adds to our national culture in immeasurable ways.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This was a re-read for me . David McCullough has a great knack for finding topics and people that are off a lot of people's radar but can convey the story of not only the person, but their amazing accomplishments that often go unheralded in modern times. My favorite story has to be the journey through the Illinois countryside with famous photographer David Plowden and the way he sees the simplicity of the small American town as the basis for many of his best photos. The building of the Brooklyn Br This was a re-read for me . David McCullough has a great knack for finding topics and people that are off a lot of people's radar but can convey the story of not only the person, but their amazing accomplishments that often go unheralded in modern times. My favorite story has to be the journey through the Illinois countryside with famous photographer David Plowden and the way he sees the simplicity of the small American town as the basis for many of his best photos. The building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the lives of John and his son Washington Roebling are fascinating accounts and show how detailed the plans and miraculous the building of the bridge truly was. His love for Washington D.C comes through clearly in the end as well and if there ever was someone born to do their work it is definitely Mr McCullough. He has a very strong ability to make historical figures come to life and even topics that one would find dull can seem that much more fascinating when told by the right author. This is mainly a collection of short essays and articles written by him over the years and the variety of subjects from Theodore Roosevelt to Harriet Beecher Stowe to Miriam Rothschild will give the reader some great insight into brilliant people, some of whom history has not told the full and amazing story about. Great read

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Kittel

    Hungry for some summertime-length history vignettes? A snack-sized variety of characters and events easily devoured in your beach chair? Search no more. This is the book for you. I especially loved reading about the building of the Brooklynn bridge, during which I learned that there was a President called Chester Arthur (public school education?). My hat is off to Emily Roebling, who managed the whole shebang while her husband had a nervous breakdown. Emily was the first brave soul to cross the Hungry for some summertime-length history vignettes? A snack-sized variety of characters and events easily devoured in your beach chair? Search no more. This is the book for you. I especially loved reading about the building of the Brooklynn bridge, during which I learned that there was a President called Chester Arthur (public school education?). My hat is off to Emily Roebling, who managed the whole shebang while her husband had a nervous breakdown. Emily was the first brave soul to cross the bridge in her carriage for the grand opening, carrying a rooster as a symbol of victory. Who knew? I nearly wept when I read that 10,000 copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin sold within the first week of publication and 1.5 million within the first year. And this before the internet even! Breathe. And I was pleased to meet Miriam Rothschild who catalogued fleas, discovered that the monarch butterfly protects itself by drawing poison from milkweed, and said, "If I had one wish for my children, I would wish that they were interested in natural history, because I think there you get a spiritual well-being that you can get no other way." And I agree. Read a chapter or two, then go catch hermit crabs with your kids.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quinones

    Building the 47-mile Panama Railroad (the world's first intercontinental railroad) cost the lives of probably 6000 men, who succumbed to malaria, or depression from the utter hell it was to build something of that sort through a jungle without surveying equipment, or machines of any kind. David McCullough is taken with these kinds of endeavors in this great book of stories about achievement in history, mostly American history. He also writes about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, another achi Building the 47-mile Panama Railroad (the world's first intercontinental railroad) cost the lives of probably 6000 men, who succumbed to malaria, or depression from the utter hell it was to build something of that sort through a jungle without surveying equipment, or machines of any kind. David McCullough is taken with these kinds of endeavors in this great book of stories about achievement in history, mostly American history. He also writes about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, another achievement with a heavy human toll. One of his best chapters is about the engineer who in the 1970s or so discovered the drawings of each part of the bridge, each tool, each. The book is a series of vignettes of this kind, but McCullough is also aware that, as heroic as these kinds of endeavors were in their time, in our era they can be equally toxic. He writes, for example, about Harry Caudill, from eastern Kentucky, a gadfly against the strip mining that has mangled and taken away so much of that country. This is my kind of history - the kind that finds the stories, the epic adventure and tells it with the drama and personal detail that it needs.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    The inscription inside the front cover is from Po to me on my 23rd birthday, and Po says she wants to read it when I'm done. Well, apparently it took me 12 years, but I am finally done. And Po, you should most definitely read it! What I wouldn't give to pull up a stuffed chair next to a fireplace and listen to McCullough all night long. Each chapter is a profile of a person or event, and they are brilliant, every one; the more obscure or long forgotten the subject, the better. The handful of las The inscription inside the front cover is from Po to me on my 23rd birthday, and Po says she wants to read it when I'm done. Well, apparently it took me 12 years, but I am finally done. And Po, you should most definitely read it! What I wouldn't give to pull up a stuffed chair next to a fireplace and listen to McCullough all night long. Each chapter is a profile of a person or event, and they are brilliant, every one; the more obscure or long forgotten the subject, the better. The handful of last chapters - essays and commencement addresses - are stunning and inspiring - history is important! that so many influential, pivotal, American lives lie completely forgotten is lamentable! the reading of good books is the marrow of life! seemingly ordinary lives may be more extraordinary, heroic even, than you ever imagined. My next life will devoted to trying to be David McCullough. As an aside, boards will be over in less than a month now, and I can start reading (for pleasure) again!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Poiema

    A little different than most of McCulloch's titles, this one is a collection of essays on various American greats. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the naturalist Loius Agassiz, and the astute observation that his brilliance was tarnished when he siphoned his energy in a fruitless effort to discredit Charles Darwin. Agassiz's contributions to science were large, but could have been even greater if he had stuck to being a naturalist rather than trying to be an apologist. Thoughtful insights.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Verona

    This was not a favorite book of David McCullough's, although I really enjoy hearing his voice narrate his books. Some of the stories were quite interesting, but some of the people I didn't know or care to know about. David McCullough really has a sense of history and a love of books which he shares and I feel that coming through. I feel I have gained knowledge and good things when I read his writings even though they may not be my favorite.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This earlier book from one of my favorite authors did not disappoint. "What history is chiefly about is life and while there are indeed great, often unfathomable forces in history before which even the most exceptional of individuals seem insignificant, the wonder is how often events turn on a single personality or the quality called character. " This book will introduce you to some incredible people.

  23. 5 out of 5

    S2 Mc

    Enjoyed reading it. Good chapter on Washington, D.C., re-kindling an interest in exploring further, despite the many days spent there over the years. Also a good commencement address given at Middlebury College in 1986 near the end of the book, and some insight on how McCullough came to his career writing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marva

    McCullough writes with clarity about interesting people in this book. Each chapter is about a different person in history and can be easily read at one sitting. It's only 232 pages. I learned a lot about many interesting people I never even knew before.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Huntington

    A friend loaned me this book. Written in 1992, it is a compilation of short stories about relatively obscure men and women who made an indelible mark on the history of our country. McCullough's story telling of these individuals is both educational and enjoyable. A very fun read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Fagnani

    Overall, an interesting book. However, only some of the stories appealed to me, in particular that piece on the Panama Railroad and the Brooklyn Bridge. Some of the pieces were somewhat boring, pedantic and preachy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Galdamez

    Review to come.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Spectre

    This book should be the required American History Textbook for every high school in the country! If David McCullough can not convince you to be a lifetime reader and student, you are truly a lost cause.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenalyn

    One of the best books I've read this year. Thank you Pamela for the recommendation! And that is why I go to book club. I think his personal comments were even better than the chapters about "brave companions". The West Virginia chapter got boring and went too long.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wright

    I love McCullough. This collection of interesting, less conspicuous people, places, things, and events truly excites one to read more and more! My To-read list just grew.

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