Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2002In 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 Recorded Books, All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
"Brilliant...a winner." (Publishers Weekly)
"McCullough writes to be heard as well as read." (AudioFile)
The story and writing were great! For the most part the narration was good too, but there were times when the narrator's mouth sounded so dry you could hear the crackling of a mouth in serious need of hydration or a break. Kind of grossed me out a couple of times!
This is an excellent historical piece. It not only captures a great deal of history but also gives great insight into the man John Adams. For those who complain about the silent gaps and the breaths of the narrator I can only say : really?
excellent book to grow your knowledge of the founding of America. the author paints a very vivid picture of Adams role in forming what this country was founded on.
I rated the book 5 stars because it was fantastic. I finished the book and felt as if a friend had passed on, and I was remembering him fondly. I rated the narration 1 star because it was awful. There were constant audible lip licking, breaths, and awkward pauses. It was very distracting.
This was wonderful in every way. I believe we tend to think of people from Adams' period as dry and distant; it's hard to think of them in modern terms with emotions as we experience them. This, however, humanizes Adams like no other book I've read has done of the time. You feel like you knew him when it's over. Some of this can be attributed to the reading, which was equally as good. Highly recommended.
The book reads like poetry while telling a vivid story of the birth of our nation through the love affair of letters between John Adams, his wife Abigail and other notable personalities of the that time.
"A great life that kept me listening"
Having enjoyed listening to Benjamin Franklin’s biography (by Walter Isaacson) I chose this book to get a different slant on the birth of America as an independent country. John Adams wasn’t as colourful a character as the polymath Franklin, but he probably had a greater influence on the creation of the USA as one of the key men in writing the Declaration of Independence and in formulating the Constitution. An example, like Franklin, of a man from humble beginnings achieving greatness through his intelligence, hard work and courage. Adams dedicated his life to his country, but one has also to give much praise to Abigail, his devoted wife, who endured long absences by Adams as he travelled in Europe negotiating with the British, French and Dutch governments to try and bring peace and prosperity to his country.
While the book illustrates the epic history of the birth of a nation, it is enriched by the personal side of Adams’ life and his relationships with his family as well as with the famous people of his time. I’m often struck by the fact that the personalities and relationships among the main players quite often have a pivotal role in the direction of history. Much of the detail of these relationships is furnished by the copious amount of letters that have survived. I wonder will biographies of the future have this rich source of personal information with so much communication now being done by ephemeral e-mails and texts?
On tends to learn history at school from the point of view of ones own country so it it's educational to hear about the American War of Independence from the other side.
Though a long book the story is engaging and the narration excellent.
Nelson Runger has a really pleasing rustic voice. Good for colonial American history.
John Adams. What a great person to write a readable story about. He's unbelievably prolific in his writing and straight-forwardly opinionated on every topic.
John and Tom's Magical English Garden Tour '86
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