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