A fascinating and exhaustively-researched narrative on the lives and accomplishments of three men – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Theodore Roosevelt, and Roald Amundsen – whose leadership, vision, decisions and drive propelled them to complete two historically “bold undertakings” each, in total completing six projects of global and persistent impact.
Audacious goals indeed.
Focusing on the exploits of the three men, the authors manage to strike a tone as entertaining as it is informative – leaving this reader with a head-brimming with incredibly interesting historical stories centering on breath-taking cataclysmic change, along with the personalities, forces, focus and skillsets that needed to align, (in a time, place and historical context), to allow for its successful creation.
With a single-mindedness that can also be seen to be somewhat disturbing, (which I found to be particularly true for Roosevelt, but also present in the revelations surrounding each of the men), it’s clear that the compunction to drive change at this level may also be seen to tinker with one’s moral compass. (If you share the mindset of this reader, in that the ends do not definitively always justify the means).
Without giving too much away (you will need to read this beautifully-detailed book to find out more), the people and projects discussed include:
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel – (1820 and beyond) an engineer, of remarkable insight, whose passion and skill led to the development of the modern passenger railway system, as well as the first tunnel engineered under a free flowing river (the Thames).
- Theodore Roosevelt – (1901 and beyond) – the force behind the final successful bid to construct the Panama Canal as well as the foundation for the US National Park and Forest systems and National Bird, Wildlife and Game Preserves.
(Note to reader: The Wildlife and Game preserves were undoubtedly a commendable achievement, even though, unfortunately, Roosevelt, an avid hunter, may have had less than admirable motives underpinning his interest in this area).
- Ronald Amundsen – (1897 and beyond) a Norwegian explorer, whose fascination with polar exploration from a young age sparked his accomplishments as the first human to reach the South Pole (1911-1912) as well as his successful hunt for the Northwest Passage.
My stop today on the @RandomTTours #blogtour for #AudaciousGoals by @BradBorkan and @DavidHirzel
A great big thank you to the author(s) and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.