Let this be the one. You will not regret the the time, nor the credit spent on this sweeping retelling of the life and times of John (and Abigail, who is worth the price of admission alone!) Adams. Wow.
Loved this book greatly. This is the 3rd founding father biography I've gone through. It is my favorite so far. It's long but trust that your effort and persistence will be well rewarded.
Story content outstanding. Noisy reader a problem. I will never listen to Nelson Runger read again.
Noises including lip smacking and heavy breathing
In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.
In this monumental, meticulous work by David McCullough, John Adams is intimately revealed as a passionate, visionary, bullheaded patriot, sometimes arrogant, and at times gullible when others conspired against him, which was often. He was as responsible as any, and more than most, in propelling the difficult birth of a great nation against all odds.
The portrayals in this book can be surprising. In contrast to historical images of bold and thoughtful men working together, there were constant clashes of egos and competing personal agendas among the founding fathers. They were mortals—the irascible and sometimes indolent Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and many more. Hamilton, especially, was a treacherous and self-aggrandizing man whose vicious and false public accusations cost Adams his reelection and ultimately ended Hamilton’s own career. The revered Thomas Jefferson comes off as something quite different from his reputation: a vain, mercurial, spendthrift, self-centered man who can be a trusted friend one day and a scheming, duplicitous betrayer the next. The architects of America comprised a cast of heroes and scoundrels. Many were both.
For those who worry about modern digital messaging consuming too much of our time, have no fear. It was rampant 250 years ago, via quill and ink, when people wrote endless letters and kept daily journals in elaborate prose, rife with literary and scriptural quotations, describing and debating the issues and events of the day. It was oddly formal. Abigail Adams addressed her beloved husband in letters as “My dearest friend.” Any educated person must have written millions of words in a lifetime. It’s difficult to imagine how they had time to do anything else. Parsing them must have been a colossal task for David McCullough, but it creates a history that would otherwise be far from complete.
There are fascinating insights here into 18th century politics. For example, presidential candidates in those earliest years took no part in the campaign, staying home for months and waiting to see what the outcome would be.
Although McCullough himself is also a fine narrator, Nelson Runger does a superb job through all thirty hours.
Adams and Jefferson, in particular, were often at odds and sometimes didn't communicate for decades. But their lives at last converged once more in the years of their retirements, when they carried on a memorable exchange of correspondence on every conceivable subject. And in one of history’s stunning coincidences, both men died in their homes on July 4, 1826, precisely the 50th anniversary of the independence of the nation they had worked so brilliantly to create.
One of the true Founding Fathers for American independence and a man of unswerving love for his family. McCullough seemed to capture the complexities of this founder and honored him with a balanced panorama of this unyielding man. Though Adams never fired a shot during the war for independence, it is uncanny what posterity enjoys because of his passion for liberty and knowledge of law & principled practice. A true statesman! History truly underplays the contributions made by Adams, and his entire family. Riveting!!!
Addicted to reading traditional books. Overwhelmed by backlog of books to read. If it's early Americana then I want it.
There is a unique characteristic in McCullough books, in that they are loaded with information yet are never boring. I really wanted to hear McCullough's signature voice, but it was good nonetheless.
I enjoyed getting into the life of John Adams. Other books are great for an overview, but this book really dug into the life, thoughts, and actions of Adams.
some authors can write history in a compelling and fascinating story, but this was more typical of the history I read in high school, with often quotations that did not add to the story and narratted in a likewise dull manner. timeline skips around from other characters in the period, which would normally add to the story but made me think "this sounds like the story I read on George Washington all over again". One would think early american history could be a facinating story but maybe it's just dull.
There is a reason McCullough is described as a “master of the art of narrative history". Through his story telling and use of the letters written between John and Abigail Adams, I came to love these characters. It was a very exciting time in American history and one that comes to life through McCullough's penmanship and the outstanding narration by Nelson Runger.
John and Abigail Adams - what profoundly good and thoughtful people they were. On the other hand I now have very different feelings for Jefferson because of the insights into his character and documented letters.
I laughed and cried as these characters took on a life that I felt I was a part of.
I could go on and on, but why not let the book speak for itself? It is the best bio I have ever read, and it's about one of the greatest (yet rather under-appreciated) early patriots of our country. Without John Adams, there might never have been a United States of America, and our country would certainly not have the balanced form of government we enjoy. The fact that ours is one of the few democracies to stand the test of time is due in large part to the ethics and efforts of John Adams. The narration by Nelson Runger is excellent. All in all, this is a stellar biography.