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 hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
While I was listening to this book, John Adams and his family came to live with me. I was so absorbed in the history, I thought about it even when I wasn't listening. I am impressed with McCullough's skill at bringing history to life. It's a fascinating time with relevance to today. The time and thought put into the Constitution should never be taken for granted. Also, the knowledge of these people and their efforts to continually educate themselves and engage their intellectual lives is beyond anything we see today. While this will appeal to history buffs, I highly recommend it for anyone interested in people's lives and an in depth view of the minds of brilliant people.
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...
Narrative makes the world go round.
While I know my Canadian and British 18th century history, before I listened to this, my knowledge of the U.S. in that period came from pop culture and sixth grade. This broadened my understanding and interested me in downloading more McCullough and U.S. history. Any book that invites nonAmericans to do so is good for the world!
Although long for nonfiction, the listen compares very favourably to a novel. However, I think McCullough strikes a balance between documentation and narrative that is easy on the ears but still seems to present sound history. The book draws on much more than the charming correspondance between the Adams' mentioned in the publisher's blurb. My head spins when I think of how McCullough combined sources to come up with this portrait.
I did not mind the narrator as did some other listeners -- He did sound a bit corny, but he read with enthusiasm for and appreciation of his material.
If your memory of American History is like mine, Adams sort of gets sandwiched in between Washington and Jefferson. David McCullough sets out to change all that in this sweeping biography of the great and humble leader. After gaining an understanding through this book of how important Adams was to the success of the great American experiment in democracy, I felt that he should be carved on Rushmore right up there with the other founding fathers.
This was a great biography. I've studied a lot about the Revolutionary War, and I still learned a great deal from this book. I think it is far betther than 1776. I highly reccomend it.
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!
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
There are just a few books that are so amazing to me that I dread trying to review them. This book was so rewarding for me( as you might gleam from my understated headline) that I really lack the verbiage and surly the subtlety ( lol) to do it justice.
The love story between Adams and his amazing wife is in itself more than enough for a great book..Adams personal and professional struggles and sacrifices for his warily conceived country is in itself more than enough for a great book. And his torturous friendship and correspondence with Jefferson is in itself more than enough for a great book, and naturally great books have been written on each of these areas, but here in this one book, they are all here together in one wondrously researched and written story.
John Adams was my first David McCullough book. I found his writing style so refreshingly clear, humanistic, scrupiosly researched and uniquely readable that I wasted no time purchasing all the rest of his works from Audible. While I enjoyed everything else he wrote,and have reread them all, The great bridge is a stand out that I would recommend be your next McCullough read, if you haven't read it already.
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.
Enjoyed this book very much and was delighted to get to know John Adams, his family and his life. At times it seemed like the politics of today but then, at other times, I felt transported back to the late 1700's and learned a great deal about life in those days. As always, I am happy to be living in this time but equally happy to learn so much about life long ago. Well written, keeps your attention throughout the entire book (for the most part) and wonderfully narrated.
I opted for the Listen to John Adams rather than to Watch John Adams on a Cable Network Pay Channel. This was far better. As a history buff I was thrilled to listen to all the ins and outs of the whole story. At times, as with all history I had to step back and do something else; however over all it was an enjoyable listen.
"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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