Quite simply, this was the most fascinating history I have ever read. I am grateful to David McCullough for his meticulous research and masterful writing. He has allowed me to personally know two of the nation's finest and most noble citizens, John and Abigail Adams.
I am also grateful to the narrator, Nelson Runger, whose voice fit the subject matter perfectly. It is clear he knew the book, the times and the characters inside and out.
"John Adams" is now on my ipod, my iphone and on my Kindle; it goes where I go and I intend to listen to it again and again.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading John Adams's insights and thoughts on art, literature, friendship, family, work ethic, history, the future, government, and politics. This book is extensively researched and well written. What a privilege to learn so much in such an entertaining way. I am recommending it enthusiastically to friends and strangers.
Please don't let the comments on the narrator's pauses keep you from listening. This is a long story that is told carefully, and occasionally story tellers pause and swallow. Although noticeable, I did not find it at all distracting.
I opted for the Listen to John Adams rather than to Watch John Adams on a Cable Network Pay Channel. This was far better. As a history buff I was thrilled to listen to all the ins and outs of the whole story. At times, as with all history I had to step back and do something else; however over all it was an enjoyable listen.
I don't consider myself a true history buff, but this work has awakened this in me. I understand more how a book wins the Pulitzer! I love the audio, and I also bought the book!
I revere all of the founding fathers, and I suppose I am on a quest to read about many of them, having just finished a book about George Washington, and having just started one on Thomas Jefferson. The thing I am finding interesting is how different each of these men were, yet they all had much in common. Many of them did not even like each other, but they were able to come together to establish the Constitution of the United States, one of the most inspired documents ever written, and who became the founders of the United States of America, the greatest country that has ever existed. What an amazing feat they accomplished.
I enjoy reading about the details of their lives, the struggles they faced, the heartbreak and the victories. John Adams had his share of all of these. I love the tone of his writings. They crack me up sometimes, but they are always eloquent. Years ago, our community theater presented the play "1776". I must say the authors of that play captured the essence of John Adams and the color of his writings very well. It was like reuniting with an old friend to read many of his words in this book. And I so admire the love affair he carried on for many years with his wife Abigail. I was heartbroken for him as I read about her death because she was truly his best friend and helpmeet.
All in all, he is a great example to us in so many ways. I wish there were more leaders like him around today. Lord knows we need them!
Lover of good ideas
David Mc Cullough has written an epic history about John Adams and the times in which he lived. This book, along with the others of Mr Mc Cullough, present us with a penatrating view into the life and times of our Founding Fathers. He provides insights, not only into their great achievements, but the character of the men who behind these sustained accomplishements. I came away from listening to this book, not only knowing more about the history of America, but the incredible sacrifices made by the men and women of that time, despite the great likelihood that their efforts would fail, and if they did, that they would be treated as traitors and be sent to the gallows. We are provided not only with their great achievements, but their struggles, political differences and at times brutal treatment of one another. That these men could behave in such fashion and yet still remain focused on their objective and somehow still remain friends or at least admirers, is a testament to their character. We should be greatful for their sacrifices and tenacity, without which we would not be living in the United States of America. If read only to be made aware of what makes up great character, it is worth every moment you listen. Add to that the understanding of the historical underpinnings of the founding of America, and you have a superior literary mastery piece.
Yes, the historical nuisances, subtle undertones, and interactions of our founding fathers were incredibly presented from a collection of diaries, letters, news articles, and of course the documents of the Constitutional Congress. Note: little to no minutes of early meetings were kept by congress.
As a historical book I am sure there are many that would compare (Trex - T. Roosevelt comes to mind) but when you realize how the information for this book was assembled and presented I no of none that compare.
First listen of this narrator. Key word: Narrator. Did not attmept a performance with multiple voices but rather an excellent reading with tone and inflection. Once or twice he varied the voice for a specific character but it was not necessary.
Adam's writing back to his wife after they voted on the Declaration of Independence exclaiming how this day will be celebrated forever with great pageantry and celebration. Yes July 2nd will be forever remembered. Turns out he was off by two days and the day John Hancock signed (July 4th) was the one remembered. (Spoiler: All the rest signed in August).
Also the death of Adams and Jefferson on July 4th's 50th anniversary
Some interesting backroom election "fixing" as well. One good point by Adams. Do no pay congress and President, they should be able to save a bit for a few years of service and than return to their occupation. I guess he saw the danger of the career politican.
This Pulitzer Prize winning biography by David McCullough has become a classic work. John Adams is one of the most interesting and, before this book was published, one of the least known of the Founding Fathers. Born to a farmer in Braintree, Massachusetts Adams went to Harvard and then studied law. He became a respected attorney in the Boston area. He met and married the brilliant Abigail Smith he proceeded to and they produced four children who lived to maturity. From there his career took off. He defended the British soldiers who fired on a mob. He served in both Continental Congresses. He served on the diplomatic mission to France. While in Europe he helped to secure loans from Dutch bankers to keep the American Revolution going. He served on the peace commission. He was named the first ambassador to Great Britain. Returning home he become the first Vice-President and the second President of the United States.
McCullough bring out the brilliant and irascible character of Adams. Adams was brilliant. In fact he was one of the most brilliant men of his age. A man of passionate and fiery temper he often rubbed people the wrong way. He was well known as one of the great orators of his time. His speeches on behalf of Independence helped to lead the way to the Declaration of Independence. As brilliant as he was as a thinker and a speaker he always seemed to have a hard time getting his thoughts on to paper. He tended to write material that was long and rambling. He also never seemed to grasp that other people were not as well read as himself, nor were they capable of understanding some of the subtleties of his thought. A thoroughly practical man he seemed to not understand that he lived in a day of rhetoric and idealism.
The period that Adams lived in and helped to define was a complex period. New ideas were coming together that would change the world forever. So many things that we take for granted, the idea of individual rights, freedom of speech, even freedom of thought, were not accepted as the norm. In fact many believed that a society founded on such ideas was considered dangerous and unlikely to succeed.
As alway, McCullough’s prose is masterful. He has the writer’s gift of making complex issues come alive and seem easy to understand. So many scenes remain with you. You can see the rage of the mob and the fear of the British soldiers as they fire on the crowd at the Boston Massacre. You feel the cramped and stuffy conditions of the Congress as it debates the idea of independence. Most of all you get to know the characters. You get to know, and love the irascible Adams. You get to know his brilliant wife, Abigail, who was the great love of his life. So many other people come out. You feel the friendship that he had with Thomas Jefferson. You feel the pain that he felt when Jefferson chose party ideology over friendship. The pain that his children, except for his oldest son John Quincy, brought to him is heartbreaking. If you have never read this book you should do so. It is a brilliant work of history, and a wonderful work of literature.
A very interesting and accurate account of an amazing man. Slow and mediocre narration but easy to ignore with such engaging stories.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
There are just a few books that are so amazing to me that I dread trying to review them. This book was so rewarding for me( as you might gleam from my understated headline) that I really lack the verbiage and surly the subtlety ( lol) to do it justice.
The love story between Adams and his amazing wife is in itself more than enough for a great book..Adams personal and professional struggles and sacrifices for his warily conceived country is in itself more than enough for a great book. And his torturous friendship and correspondence with Jefferson is in itself more than enough for a great book, and naturally great books have been written on each of these areas, but here in this one book, they are all here together in one wondrously researched and written story.
John Adams was my first David McCullough book. I found his writing style so refreshingly clear, humanistic, scrupiosly researched and uniquely readable that I wasted no time purchasing all the rest of his works from Audible. While I enjoyed everything else he wrote,and have reread them all, The great bridge is a stand out that I would recommend be your next McCullough read, if you haven't read it already.