Make no mistake: Our founding fathers were more bandanas-and-muscles than powdered-wigs-and-tea.
As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life. Theodore Roosevelt had asthma, was blind in one eye, survived multiple gunshot wounds, had only one regret (that there were no wars to fight under his presidency), and was the first U.S. president to win the Medal of Honor, which he did after he died. Faced with the choice, George Washington actually preferred the sound of bullets whizzing by his head in battle over the sound of silence.
And now these men - these hallowed leaders of the free world - want to kick your ass.
Plenty of historians can tell you which president had the most effective economic strategies, and which president helped shape our current political parties, but can any of them tell you what to do if you encounter Chester A. Arthur in a bare-knuckled boxing fight? This book will teach you how to be better, stronger, faster, and more deadly than the most powerful (and craziest) men in history. You’re welcome.
©2014 Daniel O'Brien (P)2014 Random House Audio
I finished this audiobook in two days. I wold have finished it in one but I stopped every couple of chapters to recommend it to anybody I thought would appreciate it.
It's a given that Teddy Roosevelt's chapter would be awesome (which is was) but I have to say Andrew Jackson might have been my favorite.
Richard McGonagle's reading is absolutely, 100%, the best performance I've ever heard as it pertains to the material. I don't know if Audible hands out an award for perfection in comedic delivery, but if not, they should. And they should name it the McGonagle.
Ronald Reagan is Wolverine. Ronald Reagan is Wolverine. Ronald Reagan is Wolverine.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
I completely enjoyed this well researched and completely unorthodox approach to American History. May I suggest a companion book which pits the presidents against each other? I'd expect a a final four of Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, & TR? (smart money is on TR!)
Yes!! and I will. This book is hilarious and actually educational too.
Never read/listened to I book like this. If I find another one I'll get it!
Theodore Roosevelt, I guess
I will listen again and again.
I have listened to over 500 books and never written a review until now. This is just too funny not to mention the interestring history!
First off kudos to Richard McGonagle for perfectly nailing the tone and demeanor of this book. This is perhaps the best reading of any of the hundreds of books that I have listened to from either audible or other places.
Secondly this book is a fun and lighthearted view of the historical people who ran the United States. If you cannot tell by the title it is a little bit vulgar but fun and silly through. It is still somewhat historically accurate (from the parts that I have independently studied).
Perhaps the largest downside to this book is that the author spends more or less equal time on all of the presidents, and while this leads to some very humorous chapters due to the need to fill it out prevents some presidents from getting the needed tome to accurately describe their badassery.
Also note that this only covers the dead presidents and not any living ones.
The narrator is perfect. This book is so entertaining. A great way to learn and not be bored out of your mind. I'm on my fifth listen now! I recommend this book to everyone I know. Enjoy!
I wish Dan O'Brien would have narrated this himself. He does read the intro and tells us not to worry as the book will be read by someone who knows what they are doing and doesn't stutter. However, people who find and read this book are probably Daniel O'Brien fans and enjoy his voice.
That is not to say that Richard McGonagle did anything less than spectacular work. He nailed all of the gags in a voice that manages to be an impossible mix of a DO'B impression and booming authority.
Content wise, this book met all of my expectations, providing interesting facts, wonderful jokes, and a perspective to history that acts as a bonding agent for knowledge. Who knew that William McKinley was so sweet?
This also ends up on Amazon, so I'll make it short.:)
I know more about history than most, which is not saying a lot, and I learned something. If for the Zachary Taylor and cherries alone this book is worth it.
Ranks right up there for entertainment
History lesson with a funny twist
A nice bass voice with just the right inflections at the right time. I've listened to this book several times and enjoy and learn something each time.
I don't know if I should take everything here as facts, but the author does disclaim appropriately.
Richard Mcgonagle provides a flawless captures this funny and informative guide to fighting presidents. O'Brien's narrative voice is Tom Hanks of narrative voices (Deceptively simple, universally relateble, incredibly funny, inexplicably fixated on going to the bathroom)
My only complaint was that there weren't more presidents that I could fight.
10/10 would read again.
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