I have now read the first three volumes of the Oxford Series on U.S. History and this is the best of the three. Howe does an excellent job of explaining all of the drastic political changes that occurred during this period, particularly after 1828. This work may change your thinking about Presidents Jackson, Van Buren, Tyler and Polk. Most revealing is how Polk lied the nation into the Mexican War and how he deliberately hampered generals Taylor and Scott (both Whigs) because he saw them as potential presidential candidates in 1848. Even though, Polk had pledged to serve only one term, he wanted to keep the presidency for the Democrats. He even sabotaged his own treaty representative, Nicholas Trist.
He tends to go over the same topic too many times. It's fine to learn about utopian communities but I didn't need to hear about 10 of them with only minor differences
No too tedious
Good analysys but often difficult to follow
This is a wonderfully written history that deserves a better reading. I actually gave up and bought the paperback. The problem may not be the reader himself, but the editing -- his voice sounds speeded up, and the sound quality is choppy and uneven. It's too distracting to follow the story.
This is the fourth of the Oxford History of the United States books I've read or listened to. The content is very good history, but not quite as engaging or dramatic as "The Glorious Cause" or "Battle Cry of Freedom". While the Reader is passably good, what is very annoying is that, when the Reader had to go back and redo a sentence, I'm presuming at some other time, the audio recording quality or settings was not consistent with the original. Tone, balance and volume are all different, creating a patchwork quilt of sound settings in the final product. It takes significant effort to ignore the constantly changing audio and concentrate on the content.
Better audio engineering.
I'm listening to this during an election season and it's so very heartening to hear how outlandishly our country behaved in this era. A remarkable book in its scope and dimension of portrayal of every facet of American life. All the usual stuff: presidents, wars, scandals - they're all here in great depiction, but learn also about culture, entertainment, religion, sex, class structure, and the deepening throb of the national inflamation around slavery.
One caveat to listeners, and it didn't inhibit my enjoyment but it's VERY obvious where the book was mixed in post-edit where for brief sections it almost sounds like a different reader. You'll notice it, too, but if you enjoy U.S. history this is a wonderful experience.
This book is another outstanding contribution in the great Oxford series on American history. It takes a period that is normally treated only in passing and presents it with so much richness of story and insight that the narrative seems to overflow with life and meaning. From technological transformations, such as the telegraph, to a rich an compelling assessment of Andrew Jackson; from the fertile Second Great Awakening to war with Mexico; from Indian wars to early women's rights initiatives--this book is interesting in the stories it tells and impressive in its overall intellectual structure. One minor quibble is that the pace of narration seems sometimes to be too fast, not lingering quite long enough to let one point sink in before charging forward with the story. But the book provides a rich and rewarding insight into a formative era of American history, and I am about to listen to it again.
Terrible narration or terrible writing? I can't tell.
Fass who did the previous volume: Empire of Liberty.
Revealing the nature origin of the current political madness
No...reader needs time to absorb its meaning
Get enlightened...and heartbroken
I listen to books while I walk my dog, turning even the dreariest rain and cold into a wonderful escape.
If you don't know a lot about this period in American history and are looking for a book that covers the broad landscape and key characters, this book is a good choice. It's not riveting, but it's not boring either, and it gets the job done.
i have not
no - far too long for that!
its good to have quality history books like this for audinble