I found the story well researched and told by Joseph Ellis. I was almost disappointed when it ended. The narrator, Nelson Runger, has a pleasant voice and appropriate energy. His swallowing is a disappointing distraction and one that should have been prevented. I enjoyed the book and the narration, just not the recording
Audible listener for MANY years. I love mysteries and spy novels, biographies, historical fiction, and many other things in between.
I love the subject and I've seen the author speak and was impressed, but this book reads much more like a textbook than a story. Not bad, as long as you are anticipating this style - I was expecting something more along the lines of John Adams (which I loved). There were WAY too many "salient" points.
A "Must Listen" for everyone who was ever inundated with the idea that the Founding Fathers are just a bunch of dead white men. This book illustrates that they are alive in every aspect of our daily lives. Dirty politics, greed, lust, passion, slander, murder, thievery; it is all here on the road to Independency!
I am mystified that this book doesn't have a higher rating. Perhaps it's a factor of expectations; for the book is not pure history, but more a discussion of interesting events, really looking at the facts and dissecting the motives and hidden agendas that accompany many stories told by the founding fathers themselves. Having just finished 5 biographies of the founding fathers, the stories were fresh in my mind, making these discussions very interesting and offering a fresh perspective to the pivotal events of the time. Had I listened to this book before reading the other detailed biographies, my experience may have been very different.
For those with an interest and basic knowledge of early American history, I definitely recommend this book. The follow-up to this book, American Creation, is perhaps even better than this. I really like the approach taken by Ellis, even if I don't agree with all his arguments. He presents a fascinating discussion and thorough analysis of many notable historical moments. His style is compelling, thought-provoking and well-balanced. The overall effect of his writing style truly brings history to life. I know sounds cliché, but it is absolutely true.
The narration is excellent. The perfect match for the style of the book.
As an enourmous fan of audible's unabridged Churchill biography I emphasise that the flaws are with this audiobook and not the genre.
The topic should be fascinating but instead the tales are needlessly empurpled and not allowed to stand on their own. The narrator exacerbates the problem with long, deliberate pauses between the many clauses of this didactic prose.
Sadly, this book is a sleeping aid instead of an educational escape.
A previous reviewer said this book starts off slow, but is worth reading. Although I normally enjoy history and biography, I found this book so boring that I stopped midway through the Alexander Hamilton portion and have had no desire to hear any more of it--unusual, because I almost always finish a book once I start it. The narration is good, and there are interesting bits, but once it bogged down, it's hard for me to work up any enthusiasm about finishing it.
I was really looking forward to this selection, unfortantely it did not hold my interest.
I found the subject matter interesting and the author was apparently well educated in the topic. Much of the information was interesting.
My dislike lies in the presentation. I found it dull and extremely verbose. The forward alone was close to a hour long. I think the subject could have been covered just as well in a shorter format. I felt the author was more interested in impressing me with his vast knowledge on the subject than he was in educating me about the relationships between the Founding Brothers.
I was really looking forward to this book and was sadly disappointed. It took a while for me to catch on to what it was that made this so dull. Finally I figured it out: the author made his point early on, and then went on to make the same point over and over and over. It felt as if someone, perhaps the publiser, was pushing for more bulk and the chapters were stretched out with repetetive fluff. I am a vetern of many audio books and this is the first one I just stopped listening to!