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A History of the American People | [Paul Johnson]

A History of the American People

Johnson's monumental history of the United States, from the first settlers to the Clinton administration, covers every aspect of American culture: politics, business, art, literature, science, society and customs, complex traditions, and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character.
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Publisher's Summary

Johnson's monumental history of the United States, from the first settlers to the Clinton administration, covers every aspect of American culture: politics, business, art, literature, science, society and customs, complex traditions, and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character.

Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather, Ben Franklin, Tom Paine, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, among others, are all presented in a fresh perspective. Wherever possible, letters, diaries, and recorded conversations are used to ensure a sense of actuality.

This is an in-depth portrait of a great people, from their fragile origins and struggles for independence, to their heroic efforts and sacrifices to deal with the "organic sin" of slavery and the preservation of the Union, to their explosive economic growth and emergence as the world's greatest superpower.

©1997 Paul Johnson; (P)1998 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Johnson is a lively writer (more so than nearly all other historians), and May's reading is sensitive to Johnson's wit and sharp comments....Her reading is lively, crisp, and sharp throughout." (AudioFile)
"A magnificent achievement...brilliantly combines broad sweep with extraordinary detail." (Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (248 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonathan Mancos, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-09-11
    Jonathan Mancos, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-09-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but strongly biased; not to be trusted"

    I was very pleased with this book and recording through the periods for which I had no personal experience. But when it got to "modern" times (ca. 1900 onwards), which I have studied as well as lived, I realized that the author is strongly biased and indeed does not provide an accurate historical account, but rather a philosophical and political one. This, of course, means I do not trust the history before 1900, as I'm sure the same bias exists. I couldn't stand to even listen to the book after he starts in on the 1960s, as he is both wrong and strongly prejudiced. I do not recommend.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cher Dombrowski Parkville MO and Couderay WI 12-13-10
    Cher Dombrowski Parkville MO and Couderay WI 12-13-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A Reactionary's Rewriting of History"

    The supposed "history" of the twentieth century is so one-sided that it is insulting to any reader with a minimum knowledge of current events. As far as I know, the earlier history is equally unfair and biased. The danger of this book is that the author's misuse of statistics and careful use of code works might trick a reader into believing that this book is a history, rather than a rant against anything that does not fit into his hyper-conservative framework. I love history and this book is the greatest disappointment that I have ever heard. Watch for it soon on the Texas State School Board's Required Reading List.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 04-27-13
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 04-27-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Wish That I Had Paid More Attention to the Reviews"

    If you are a fan of FOX NEWS this is the book for you. Unfortunately, I am not a fan nor was I a fan of this book. It appeared to be very well researched with lots of statistics to support his ultra-conservative viewpoint. However, there was no attempt at objectivity in this work especially with regard to more contemporary events. Basically, the theme is that everything "liberal" has resulted in diaster for our country. I believe that some of us might disagree with this assessment. It was however not a total loss and if you have limited knowledge of American history this might prove to be a worthwhile listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spike the Untangler MA 09-19-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Teabagger's history of the US"

    This is a book of the supposed history of the United States as seen and reinterpreted by the Teabagger wing of the Republican party. It goes so far as to portray President Nixon as an upstanding American hounded out of office by the one-sided liberal media press. The book ends in about 1996. I can't wait for it's portrayal of the GWB presidency.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-03-10
    05-03-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spare me"

    The author of this book feels that Norman Rockwell eventually will be be remembered in the same category as Rembrandt and Nixon will be compared to Jefferson. I couldn't read any more after this. Save your credits.

    5 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Stuart, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-10-11
    Thomas Stuart, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-10-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Not de Tocqueville"

    One can almost hear George III thinking out loud about the loss of all the vast open spaces of America. There is a total lack of any sense of awe of America in this Englishman's very long book. He strives to show how American Exceptionalism was merely the result of happy and brutal coincidence. Reading between the lines we see a typical European Liberal (in the modern vile sense of the word) green with envy that they lost their colonies.

    I am about 15 hours into this long thing. Perhaps if he traveled the country like de Tocqueville he might have gotten a real sense of the American people. Instead we can imagine him up to his elbows in obscure research sources at Cambridge or at Cambridge West (Harvard).

    So, to read this, you must endure continual subtle and overt leftist bias and his criticism of what is thinks is the American tendency to over react to imaginary threats (i.e. the silly red scar of the 1950s - which we have known since the fall of the USSR was real indeed).

    I suppose this tendency to graft one's political biases onto past events is what makes many history books highly suspect.

    But if you can hold your nose and get past the liberal bias, the book is interesting and has some original in-sights.

    Too bad it was read by some lady with a stuffy British accent. This is another substantial negative.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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