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John Adams | [David McCullough]

John Adams

With the sweep and vitality of a great novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough presents the enthralling story of John Adams. This is history on a grand scale - an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Read by History Channel host Edward Herrmann!
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Publisher's Summary

In this powerful, epic biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution. Adams thought, wrote, and spoke out for the "Great Cause" come what might; he traveled far and wide in all seasons and often at extreme risk; he rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; he was rightly celebrated for his integrity, and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and his marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the most moving love stories in American history.

Much about Adams' life will come as a surprise to many. His rocky relationship with friend and eventual archrival Thomas Jefferson, his courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits few would have dared and that few listeners will ever forget.

McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale - an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

©2001 David McCullough; (P)2001 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Non-Fiction (abridged), 2002
  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Biography or Autobiography, 2002

"The portrait that emerges is altogether fascinating." (Amazon.com)
"Brilliant...a winner." (Publishers Weekly)
"McCullough writes to be heard as well as read." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Jonathon Pyles 01-25-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "Overall wonderful account of Adams' life"

    This book was quite well written and enjoyable to listen to. Adams was truly a remarkable man. I only have two criticisms of the book. First, when it comes to Adams' presidential term, the coverage seems a little thin. Perhaps this first criticism is related to my second--that the author seems to always try to paint Adams in a sympathetic light(and there were some negative things in Adams' presidency, particularly the Alien and Sedition Acts). Adams was remarkable in many ways, but I feel that to truly understand who he was it is important to look not only at his strengths, but also his shortcomings. To see Adams from another point of view and fill in some historical gaps, I recommend reading or listening to some other historical accounts focused on other founding figures, such as Jefferson and Washington. But I should emphasize that this biography is rich in many details of Adams' life--not only his political life, but his personal as well. In particular, the book does a wonderful job of drawing from Adams' private letters, as well as those of his wife and friends.

    As far as the audio reading goes, the reader does a wonderful job. My only disappointment was that there are a few short sections where a female voice comes in and summarizes a section of the book--I assume that this is part of the abridgment, but it was a little annoying. Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Peart 11-19-03
    N. Peart 11-19-03 Listener Since 2003
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    REVIEWS
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    "Inspiring!"

    It's wonderful to read biographies of such great people! Listening to this book helped me understand how important a figure John Adams was in the founding of our country. It also helped me understand how important divine providence was to Adams and the other founders. I would recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan Alameda, CA, USA 09-08-03
    Ethan Alameda, CA, USA 09-08-03
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    "Slow going"

    I thought this book was OK, but it sort of took the view that everything J.A. did was great. That made the book rather bland. Nonetheless I do not regret buying it because I was glad to find out more about an important person in American history and about the revolutionary period. I learned about not only Adams, but Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin too.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Glenwood, IA, USA 04-28-03
    Keith Glenwood, IA, USA 04-28-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "We stand on the shoulders of giants."

    McCollough's masterpiece illustrates the humility, sacrifice and virtue of this giant of a person who helped shape our nation. A superb account of a fascinating family in a fascinating time. The most productive 10 hours of my life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA 03-31-03
    Michele Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA 03-31-03
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    "Incredible Person"

    What a fantastic insight into one of our more ignored presidents. He surely contributed tremendously to the construction of our country's value system. A wonderful book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 02-15-03
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 02-15-03 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "more like a history of the United States"

    This is a facinating account of the role that John Adams played in the founding and early development of the United States. Listening to this book provided new insight into the reasons behind the development of elements of the US, ranging from the Bill Of Rights to the influences the founding fathers had on one another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chas Catonsville, MD, USA 04-02-04
    Chas Catonsville, MD, USA 04-02-04
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    10
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    "Good Topic, TERRIBLE Reading"

    Instead of paying respect to the depth and complexity of McCullogh's research and writing, Edward Herrmann sounds like he's reading a children's book to stupid people. The reading is also so slow that it could have been completed in 2/3rds the time had any preparation gone into the recording. Virtually unbearable.

    6 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 04-12-08
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 04-12-08
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    "Well Done!"

    No question why the author is so well respected by so many people. I missed the television series on John Adams and found several people talking about it and didn't want to be left out. Not wanting to listen through the 19 hours of the full version, I was very pleased with the abridged edition and didn't feel like it was left out at any point. Water cooler discussion will be much easier now!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Richmond, VA, USA 08-25-04
    John Richmond, VA, USA 08-25-04
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    "John Adams was a great man"

    This is one of the best written books that I have read. The author takes so many quotes from John Adams, his wife,Jefferson, and many others to truly get inside the thoughts of our founding fathers. It refreshed much of what I had forgotten about American history.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse 05-14-03
    Jesse 05-14-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "John Adams"

    Astounding insight into the life and times of a great man, his wife and family. His views as well as those of the other principals. Interplay of our founders. The framework of Colonial and the early times of our country as relating to the delays in transport and communication. Historically superior without the slugishness of history text. I'm better for having heard it.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful

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