This is a great succinct narrative of American history, going into depth on events and individuals when appropriate. The author mixes historical fact with broader interpretive analysis, drawing out the inspirations and motives for different parties and major figures. The author frequently notes points of historical contention (at some points specifically addressing Zinn's American history book), and usually provides arguments for his statements. (Although there is some truth to the claim these are not always deeply proven... but that would put the length and scope of this book far beyond what it's meant to be; a sweeping factually accurate historical narrative mixed with interpretive guidance)
My main point in writing this review is to ask more from audiobook production. The reader's voice is great, very easy on the ears, with appropriate emphases. However it's embarrassing how many words have been mispronounced... especially in a story with so much Spanish and French history, it's unacceptable to not do a basic search for common pronunciations. This small preparation would have made a good audiobook *great*
Every history book is biased. I appreciate when an author is up front about their liberalism or conservatism. This is honest. When an author claims that there is no bias, that is dangerous, because that author expects you to take everything they say as factually true; even when there are other sides to an issue. The author writes from his point of view because he believes that his point of view is right (that is what point of view means, after all). He is up front about it, so it does not detract from the book. The book is clear, full of great facts and is a smooth and easy listen. If you listen to it you will enjoy the experience and gain a wealth of knowledge regarding the chronology of the United States.
This is a terrific history book. The authors clearly went to great effort to provide an accurate historical account of our great nation, and without the typical propaganda (either left or right). Still, the reader of this book was absolutely AWFUL! So sad to see such a historical masterpiece go down in audio flames.
Great book. Learned oceans of ideas. Reader really not bad but the producer (the real idiot) told him to read quotes in his conceived idea of the regional or foreign accent of the person quoted. Ordinarily, this would have killed the experience but the book is so damn good, was able to suffer thru this embarrassment. Must realize the alternative is to actually have to read this 4 inch thick book in the traditional sense. Time for a redo of the speaker with a new producer - read it strait up - no cutesy-pie accents please.
Bachelor Chef and Mathematician. I don't bother with books shorter than 20 hours, not worth the effort.
After enduring American History classes in high school and college I have finally found a history text that is accurate. After reading many of the biographies and books written throughout the history of America I can finally say that this is actually unbiased and true.
From Columbus through the last administration, this is an accurate version of American History.
This should be the text for our schools and not the propaganda they are being taught.
I am being dishonest giving any stars to this book, as I didn't finish it, so ignore that part of the review.
I am a liberal, but a moderate and agree with the authors that, more times than not, history is taught with a relatively negative spin, though I counter their claims as to how much. I was interested in hearing the other side of the story.
The I listened the the authors' amazingly one-sided introduction. While they claim that liberal teachers are biased, they show themselves to e exactly the same, just on the other side of the coin. If you are a neo-con or a religious right-ist, then you'll sop it up.
However, if, like me, you were looking for maybe versions more tweaked to the center, then you will be sorely disappointed at the one-minded drivel spewing here.
I don't normally write reviews, but this book makes me feel I need to, so that others don't waste their time like I did. I got this because I'm generally interested in our history. I liked the book thru the first section. I saw that they were actually talking about some of the influence God and Christianity had in our founding. I was excited about this. Then they came to Washington and his faith, where they took the position that he was a Deist. I know this to be false from the writing of Washington's step-daughter, who wrote, "You may as well question his Patriotism as question his faith in Christ." After this hole I had to stop because where else might the writers try to push their agenda and not tell the real truth.
First of all, I like the narrator. He has been on a few of the last 20 audiobooks I've purchased and I think he does a great job.
I like this book very much. When it comes to American history, I feel that you choose whether you want the anti-american or pro-american history book. I chose this book because I want to hear a pro-American history, but feel it gives a very balanced overview of our country's history. It is a long book, but the content and the narrator made it all more than tolerable... even enjoyable.
While I believe this book has good intentions, as a history, it is lacking. People willing to spend this much time with a book would be better served by reading shorter histories that are more period specific. This book touches on many issues but never gives enough detail on any of them to be fully satisfying. Several of the biographies (eg. John Adams) or period histories (eg. What Hath God Wrought) are very interesting and readable and leave you feeling like you have really learned something when they are completed.