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John Adams Audiobook

John Adams

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2002

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 Recorded Books, All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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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  •  
    Susan 02-04-13
    Susan 02-04-13
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    "Overall - well worth the credit."

    I am not a history buff but, for various reasons, recently decided to read or listen to a book about each president, in chronological order. John Adams, like the book about George Washington I listened to, was quite a long book, and with good reason, there is a lot of subject matter to cover. McCullough did a good job covering all the basics, and then some, for a beginner such as myself. Likely because I was listening and not reading, there were times I felt a little confused and had to re-listen to clarify.
    I had a very difficult time adjusting to the narrator's style and nearly gave up a couple times but, eventually, I somehow got used to the many long pauses; hearing him swallow and breathe was a bit harder to ignore. I have not had this problem in the several other audiobooks I have listened to.
    Overall, I think the book is well worth the credit and the hours spent listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Martinsville, IN, United States 01-23-13
    Mark Martinsville, IN, United States 01-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Never Boring"
    Would you consider the audio edition of John Adams to be better than the print version?

    I had not read the print version but have ordered it so as to have a hard copy to review. There were many of Adams quotes I would like to reference to and a printed version will make this easy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Adams with out a doubt, with his wife running a close second. Such an interesting personality! To many people he came off almost repulsive, but his resolve and moral compass seemed almost super human. A true patriot.


    Which character – as performed by Nelson Runger – was your favorite?

    Mr Runger was excellent in his reading and I love the slightly extended pauses between paragraphs. Almost purposely letting you, for a second or two, digest the last line. As far as performance of characters, it didn't apply so much to a history book since there aren't that many direct quotes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not so much a moment but rather the true grit of this man that was put in to almost impossible situations that would make the best of us throw our hands up in disgust, and yet he held true to his principles with his head held high and forged on.


    Any additional comments?

    I will probably listen to this several times. It's that good. Not surprising though since it is one of David McCullough's

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TROY Whittier, CA, United States 01-21-13
    TROY Whittier, CA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Different point of view."
    What made the experience of listening to John Adams the most enjoyable?

    It provided a different point on view of the era before and after the revolutionary period of our country? Normally you get Washington's and Jefferson's.


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy history and like to understand our founding fathers you may enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary G Hatcher 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "One man among the giants of our nation's birth."
    Where does John Adams rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have found this book to be everything I had expected and more. It contains wonderful insights to not only John Adams, but all of the people in his life that guided our young nation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I think being able to listen to it over time allowed me to better grasp the deep and rich talents and experiences in Adams' life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margie Maryborough, Australia 12-18-12
    Margie Maryborough, Australia 12-18-12

    bella

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    "History made interesting"

    Listening to this audiobook has ignited my interest in history. I set myself a challenge to listen to something that I don't normally listen to. David McCullough has an ability to bring history to life. His extensive research and his clear and concise recount of events in the life of historical characters is profound. I have felt myself influenced by the character of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams. It is the gift of a great writer to allow the historical characters to speak for themselves and to present themselves as they were, to readers and listeners of today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Heather Riverton, Wyoming, United States 10-11-12
    Heather Riverton, Wyoming, United States 10-11-12
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    "On my list of most influential books"
    Any additional comments?

    I will have to re read this book every few years for the rest of my life. It changes me every time I read it. Will I ever get through it without crying when Adams and Jefferson die on the 4th of July? No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 10-09-12
    Michael 10-09-12

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

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    "When amateurs become world class leaders."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you are interested in politics, American Revolutionary history or John Adams this book is a must, but if you are just thinking of reading this because it won a prize or looks interesting don't.


    What three words best describe Nelson Runger’s voice?

    Accurate, annoying, and American.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Politics of the American Revolution


    Any additional comments?

    Good history, great writing, annoying narration, accurate story and interesting background. Can't wait now to watch the HBO Television series. To be fair, I am not that interested in American Revolutionary History but glad I listen to this book from a political point of view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Daniella Signal Mtn, TN, United States 09-24-12
    Daniella Signal Mtn, TN, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2012

    I love listening to audiobooks during my long drive to work and while I clean house. Historical fiction, Biography, History and novels with strong, well-written characters appeal to me most of all.

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    "excellent reading and beautifully written"
    Would you listen to John Adams again? Why?

    yes, to catch the details i missed...it is full of information.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John and Abigail -- too obvious? I love to read about a person who has integrity and sticks to his principles through everything


    Have you listened to any of Nelson Runger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, this is the first of his


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the image of george washington, john adams and thomas jefferson on the same platform during adams' inauguration was a striking one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    SANDRINE Mexico City, Mexico 08-13-12
    SANDRINE Mexico City, Mexico 08-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "More of our politicians should read this book!"
    What made the experience of listening to John Adams the most enjoyable?

    The wonderful life experience of great man


    What did you like best about this story?

    The parallel established with Thomas Jefferson.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The wonderful relation he shares with his wife, her support, his trust.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is a bit long for that, but I was captivated and dedicated every free moment to hearing it!


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful page of the making of the USA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 07-17-12
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 07-17-12 Member Since 2012
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    "History is so Interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to John Adams the most enjoyable?

    The narration, and detail of history.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of John Adams?

    His thoughts in later years about himself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any where he and his wife are in conversation alone together.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The political tumult of yesterday so much like today!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    11/3/14
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    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    2/17/16
    Overall
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    "Dayum"
    What made the experience of listening to John Adams the most enjoyable?

    Nelson Runger has a really pleasing rustic voice. Good for colonial American history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    John and Tom's Magical English Garden Tour '86


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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