I would recommend this to a complete history buff. But for someone like me, not really. After having listened to all of Dan Carlings hardcore history this one seems a bit lame. Its a very well researched book but as a story it is a bit boring. The story is told using the same language they used in writing in John Adams time and I feel like I am reading one of those history books from the 50's we had in High School. To me its a bit of a lost opportunity.
Old school, strong, flat.
Not really. This is the first book from Audible that i did not finish.
I read this book because I'm a history buff, I loved this book because it reinvigorated some dieing patriotism. For being a biography the author did an incredible job of making John Adams story relevant, its engaging and a great look at the birth of America. My favorite part of the book is the story about the Adams and Jefferson friendship that was nearly torn apart by partisan politics. Living in a time of crippling partisanship, name calling, and slander it was interesting to see that things really are not so different then from now.
Yes, this book was very entertaining as well as informative. It was well researched and narrated as well.
I liked the amount of detail that was presented about John Adams and the tribulations of the birth of our nation.
I liked Nelson's portrayal of Abigail Adams.
I laughed at certain parts as well as teared up with pride and admiration at others especially when thinking about the unselfish acts of some in the service of our nation.
This book is really only for someone who already thinks that Adams built our country, the pyramids and the hanging gardens of Babylon single-handedly, affects the tides and causes the planets to revolve around the sun. I expect any biographer to become enamored with his subject, but McCullough goes too far. Every thing Adams does has a ridiculously positive spin, and McCullough suggests that Adams was the driver of every major effort undertaken in his lifetime. All others who may be considered rivals, Jefferson in particular, are belittled and have negative characteristics associated with them.
Given how loose McCullough was with the facts and motivations of the players, even accurate portrayals of events are hard for me to believe because I know that most of the rest is exaggerated or made up. So, no, I wouldn't read another book by McCullough, even though I've heard that some have very good reviews.
McCullough sayings things like: "Adams was without a doubt the hardest worker in the congress.", "Nobody cared more for the cause of freedom than Adams.", "Adams was the most respected..." Those aren't exact quotes, but pretty much every paragraph has him saying something like that. There's way too many overly positive opinions of Adams by the author that are written as if they are fact.
The narrator's voice was too Midwestern, and highly pitched overall, and ESPECIALLY when supposedly quoting Adams's own words -- one notch below chipmunk voice IMHO. The narrator certainly made no mistakes -- just the wrong tone and pitch for John Adams.
The writing was interestingly organized,despite a lot of detail to track for a listeners. I loved the development of JA's character and the inclusion of Abigail (of course) and others less well known from history such as Benjamin Rush.
I have not read the written version of this book and thus cannot compare it with the audio version. However, the audio version allowed me to paint two rooms while enjoying a great book.
A book this size needs to be consumed in pieces.
History can best be understood through biographies of great men. This audio was an enjoyable look into the life of one of this countries founding fathers.
No, not better, but a wonderful adjunct
Almost any other by the same author. It is wonderful the way he brings life and breath to historical figures without putting them on a pedestal or demonizing them. All the humanity,all the joys, all the grief that made them who they were and how they helped shape the world we know.
The death of Abigail
For those who rather have made up plots, or reality tv versions of the human story, this is not for you. This is real life. I love the detail of this biography. I am better able to understand our mutual history and appreciate what shaped MY world. If you love this country, or even if you think it could be better, or if you think it can help the world be better, here is an "Owner's Manual" for citizenship. The lives of those who dared to reach to something better, even at great personal risk.
I love to learn and share whatever excellence I discover in the process
Epic biography. Brilliantly crafted. Among the best biographies I have ever read.
See the DVD of this as well. It is on a par with the book, if not better.
I really like David McCullough and I expected this to be an historical work, but it just seemed to go on and on with too many details. Took me weeks to get through it.
I would have enjoyed it much more if were read by the author. (e.g. 1776)
The narration only added to the slow movement of the book.The narrator paused frequently and made annoying noises that were distracting.
It already has.
I love books about history but this one was not a favorite. I doubt I would try to get through it ever again.