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)
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.
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.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
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.
Accurate, annoying, and American.
Politics of the American Revolution
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.
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.
yes, to catch the details i missed...it is full of information.
John and Abigail -- too obvious? I love to read about a person who has integrity and sticks to his principles through everything
no, this is the first of his
the image of george washington, john adams and thomas jefferson on the same platform during adams' inauguration was a striking one.
The wonderful life experience of great man
The parallel established with Thomas Jefferson.
The wonderful relation he shares with his wife, her support, his trust.
It is a bit long for that, but I was captivated and dedicated every free moment to hearing it!
A wonderful page of the making of the USA.
The narration, and detail of history.
His thoughts in later years about himself.
Any where he and his wife are in conversation alone together.
The political tumult of yesterday so much like today!
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
I have to admit that I had a jaundiced view of John Adams based on some of the other biographies, notably Hamilton's and Jefferson's, I had listened to. I was pleasantly surprised that Adams was not the blockhead he was made out to be by some of his contemporaries. Few men could stand in his shadow and not be found lacking in those qualities, which can hardly be found in politics today, and were rare even amongst so many great minds of that extraordinary time. McCullough does his usual master work in bringing to life this amazing man and the astonishing life he lead. The narration stays out of the way and allows the listener to enjoy the book in its fullest. I highly recommend it anybody who loves history.
Nelson Runger masterfully reads this book, making it interesting and easy to listen to.
I saw and enjoyed the mini-series but remained interested in reading the book. Decided to try the audiobook, given the lack of time I have for reading. My hour commutes became very enjoyable and actually something to look forward to while listening to the book. The descriptions of the people coupled with descriptions of famous paintings/ sculptures of the famous men and women made it very easy to picture events in my mind.
McCullough wrote an excellent narrative, combining letters and journal entries with the sequential events of the Adams' lives. Runger's voice was too folksy, and his depiction of Abigail turned an intelligent and interesting woman into a simplistic, sing-song whiney frump. It wasn't to my taste.
His love of literature, the philosophers and Shakespeare and his commitment to financial solvency.
When I hear a narrator read for different voices, I should be able to hear the character or person and forget the narrator. Simon Vance seems to excell at this. Runger, not so much.
If you are interested in US history this book is a must. I felt like I got to know John Adams and all of the key historical figures related to the birth of the U.S.
I enjoyed how Nelson Runger brought John Adams to life with his inspired narration.
The events surrounding the revolution and the birth of the US brought to life in this book through the eyes of John Adams are a must read for any lover of US history.
"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.
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