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)
I picked this book up in an attempt to get a better understanding of the founding fathers and the American Revolution. I would highly recommend this book.
The vast scope of McCullough's intensive research helps to flesh out the personality and demeanor of this great founding father and many of the people who touched his life, from his ever-faithful wife Abigail to Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Franklin to George Washington to his son and later president, John Quincy. If you want to understand the political underpinnings that shaped the creation of our nation, this book is a must read.
At first I was a little disappointed that McCullough, himself an accomplished narrator who documentarian Ken Burns has often used, did not read his own book, but Nelson Runger was a more than capable substitute. With nearly 30 hours to get through, having a performer who reads with exceptional clarity is a must, and Runger's smooth tone is easy on the ears and gives a voice to Adams' words that greatly does them justice.
At nearly 30 hours in length, I should hope not, but I did find myself listening for 3 to 4 hours at a time while driving, and the story was both entertaining for long sessions and still easy to follow when I listened in smaller chunks.
Better than any text book concerning the founding of our country. It's a shame more people do not take the time for this excellent book, as it provides a whole new appreciation for the incredible feats it took to create one of the world's greatest republics.
The life of John Adams is truly inspiring from beginning to end. He left an incredible legacy. He was certainly not perfect, as no one is, but his life and work is an attestation to the immense commitment necessary to form a new country. As for the accuracy of the book, I have not researched whether David's telling is perfectly accurate, and I don't plan to. I will trust that he was accurate in his description of the life of John Adams.
A wonderful glimpse into the life of one of our founding fathers. I had seen the miniseries and found it so interesting, I wanted to delve into the book. I enjoyed it immensely.
With his practical faith in His Creator and his fortitude, I feel a kinship with Mr Adams. I hope one day to have a discourse with him in the courts of heaven.
I have had an interest in American history for the last 20 years of my life. I have always appreciated and admired the founders of our great country, but David McCullough brought this mere appreciation to love. He brings me back to John Adams day. Nelson Runger was wonderful to listen to. I highly recommend!
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