Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Purpose of the Past

The Purpose of the Past:
Reflections on the Uses of History

by Gordon S. Wood
8 cassettes

Ok, I give up. I’ve made it through about 3 cassettes and I just can’t take it anymore! I thought this book would be very interesting, but alas, it is just about putting me to sleep on the way to and from work.

The book is a collection of essay-length book reviews of non-fiction history books written by Wood over the past 20 years for Publishers Weekly and The New York Review of Books. As I understand it, his goal is to show how history can be used and misused by historians. Sounds like it could be interesting, right? I mean, as a blogger, I LIVE for book reviews! And I love non-fiction and history books so, for me, this should be a match made in heaven. Not so much.

The biggest problem for me is that I found it all incredibly boring. Wood gives in depth analysis of the books he’s reviewing, critiques the authors methods, explains opposing schools of historical thought, and cites numerous examples of supporting or contradicting evidence. Most of the time I was completely lost. And bored. As with (almost) all my audio books, this one came from the library ... and back it will go as soon as possible.

It has been about a year since I’ve had to abandon a book and now I’m doing it twice in a month (more about the other one coming soon).


Anonymous said...

Well, at least you didn't buy it! Did you know more accidents are caused by falling asleep at the wheel than anything else?

Alyce said...

Sorry it didn't work for you. I haven't had that happen with an audio book yet, but I know it's bound to happen at some point. Good luck finding you next audio book!

MoxieMamaKC said...

I've always had a problem with audio books. I don't know why, but it's hard for me to really get engaged in the story. Unfortunately, history books can be a bit dry, which is a shame because usually the events they are talking about were pretty exciting...

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

The book sounds interesting but the title sound really dry.

I haven't yet been able to get into audiobooks. Something about the stilted narration in some of them just puts me off. I will give it anther try in the spring when it gets warmer and I start walking to work again.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear it didn't work for you.

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