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John Adams | [David McCullough]

John Adams

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.
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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

4.4 (1908 )
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4.4 (855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Curtis Parma, ID, United States 02-21-10
    Curtis Parma, ID, United States 02-21-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    "Entertaining--Keeps Your Attention"

    This was a very good audio book that kept my attention for the entire 30+ hours. I thought the narrator was good and did not notice any of the complaints that were addressed in the other reviews. I read 1776 by McCullough and this was just as good or better. This is definately worth the two credits.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Conklin, NY, United States 07-19-09
    John Conklin, NY, United States 07-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome!! No one does it better!"

    Listening to American history from David McCullough's perspective is like hearing it from ones grandfather or trusted friend. I often find myself sitting in my car in the garage for long periods of time - after I have arrived home, not wanting to "put the book down". As far as I am concerned DM is the finest American historian of our age! Fair and without agenda this is the way it is supposed to be written.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Divide, CO, United States 10-20-08
    Thomas Divide, CO, United States 10-20-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wish I could know the man personally"

    For as long as the book is, it was done before I knew it. However, as the book came to a close, I felt such a strong bond to this great man. He seems to have seen himself as a ordinary man thrust into extraordinay circumstances, but in truth he was an extraordinary man. And his right hand was his incredble wife. And as I experienced their life through this book, I applauded their heroism and sacrifice, I raged as close friends betrayed them, and I cried as loved ones were lost. And in the end, I can't get over the fact that I would love to sit down with him to talk about life philosophies.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger Birmingham, Al USA 10-20-08
    Ginger Birmingham, Al USA 10-20-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beyond Great"

    To not listen to or read this book is lessen life's experience and your own understanding of the United States and where we came from. Its insights will open you up to a much broader understanding of the political reality of our country.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Mosman NSWAustralia 06-18-08
    Kathleen Mosman NSWAustralia 06-18-08
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    3
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    "A Real Person"

    I enjoyed getting to know John Adams as a man, failings and all. It brought home that our nation was started by people, not icons. Anyone who has spent any time working in politics or in a large corporation can relate to the power struggles, manoeuvers and alliances the founding fathers faced as personalities and agendas struggled for dominance. It made our nation's often glamorized beginnings seem more real and increased my admiration for what was achieved.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Norfolk, MA, USA 05-04-08
    Brian Norfolk, MA, USA 05-04-08
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    "Fantastic book and performance!"

    I loved this book! McCollough tells Adams' story as if he were there. Many times I was so transported back to the late 18th century I missed my exit! The performance on the audio is excellent, although I was a bit disappointed that, at times, you could hear the narrator breathing like he was a 900 operator. No dry memorization of facts here, rather you are sucked into the narrative as you are into a great novel. Not sure if Jeffersonians will be too pleased with the content of the book, but it has kindled an interest in investigating the other side of the argument.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada 04-21-08
    Brenda Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada 04-21-08
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    "Excellent!"

    What an excellent look at a truly remarkable period of history. As a Canadian, I have not been immersed in the history of the American Revolution. This novel brought it to life in a way that made the characters breathe and gave a humanity to people who are often cast as unflawed super-beings in movies and TV. Quite apart from the historical content, it was a true love story from beginning to end and it showed the influence that strong women had in shaping America as it is today.

    I will be listening to this fascinating book again. Very well done indeed!

    Nui

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert L. Brandon Walnut Grove, MO United States 03-11-13
    Robert L. Brandon Walnut Grove, MO United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "great book, distracting narrator"

    The book is a wonderfully written, interesting portrait of an American founder. The narrator speaks well and pleasantly. However, his long pauses to apparently take a drink of water accompanied by the sound of swallowing is disgusting and extremely distracting. I wonder why it was not somehow edited out!I have listened to 9 hours so far but I am not sure if I can continue to listen to all 30 hours if it continues...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Roseville, CA, United States 04-09-10
    Chad Roseville, CA, United States 04-09-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Great book, incredible narration"

    I love an audiobook when the narrator changes voices with the characters. Nelson Runger does an amazing job at this and even changes his voice just slightly as John Adams ages. He does a masterful job at bringing the book to life.
    The book itself is incredible, as it gives such great insight into the life of John Adams. You hear of his struggles, his joys and his disappointments. There is great insight into his personal and family life which shows his great love for his wife and children. I would certainly purchase this audiobook!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Silicon Valley Girl Silicon Valley, CA USA 02-21-10
    Silicon Valley Girl Silicon Valley, CA USA 02-21-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    For anyone interested in US history this is a must read/listen. As we hear people complain about current US Presidents and Congress it was humorous to read that this same problem has been going on since the beginning! Kind of put things in perspective. My only complaint is the narrator read the story slowly. I ended up listening to it at 2x speed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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