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John C. Calhoun: American Portrait Audiobook

John C. Calhoun: American Portrait

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Publisher's Summary

Author Margaret Coit's Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John C. Calhoun is a towering accomplishment in the writing of American history, powerful in the fullest sense of the word. This is no bland recital of dates and events. It is a searing, blinding, cascading roller coaster of emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and above all, human, history. The listener lives through hot, sleepy days on the South Carolina frontier of Calhoun's youth; goes with him to Yale in 1802 where the scent of the sea wafted in through his rooms; to the stern, New England town of Litchfield, Connecticut and its law school to study under Federalist mentors, and where students were expected to wear buckled breeches and ruffled stocks.

Muddy, primitive Washington, D.C. comes to life in the terrible years when our national tragedy of disunion was unfolding, with Jackson, Benton, Randolph, Webster, Clay, and Calhoun each struggling in his own way to avert catastrophe. When you have known the great South Carolinian at all the stages of his life; when you have lived through the events which determined his views; and when you have followed the path of his relentless logic - then you will finally understand our Civil War as few of us have ever been able to understand it before. In Miss Coit's brilliant story of Calhoun's personal life we discover a man of human frailties and human magnificence, much different from the image in those brooding photographs. And for the first time we understand how John C. Calhoun held the passionate loyalty of his people.

©1950 Estate of Margaret L. Coit (P)2014 Audio Connoisseur

What the Critics Say

"Provides far and away the most detailed, vivid, and convincing personal characterization of Calhoun we have." (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Nation)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    T Duff Denver 03-03-15
    T Duff Denver 03-03-15 Member Since 2013

    Tom

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    "Wonderful subject, beautifully told and narrated"
    What made the experience of listening to John C. Calhoun: American Portrait the most enjoyable?

    I knew little of John C. Calhoun and only had a superficial understanding of the old deep antebellum South apart from the lone issue of slavery. I found the subject extremely interesting and exotic. This is an excellent personal and cultural history. The writing style, which at first strikes one as archaic, takes on a life and character of its own and adds greatly to the experience. One of the finest political biographies I have encountered in years.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Harris 02-17-17 Member Since 2016
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    "All History Lovers Must Read"

    Not only will this work inform the reader as to the life and worth of perhaps America's most intelligent statesman, but will set the reader in the time itself. Antebellum politics will be thoroughly understood. Admiration will be readily given to Calhoun from the open reader who loves the Constitution and the principles that formed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damian 12-12-16
    Damian 12-12-16 Member Since 2013
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    "What a magnificent and illuminating..."

    Biography on a well-known but little understood American statesman. The content of this lyrical work was only exceeded by the performance of the narrator whose resonate delivery augmented a truly monumental work. Politicians today could learn much from the statesman who was John C Calhoun and the eulogy of his opponent, Dan'l Webster who said: "Whatever his aspirations, they were high honorable and Noble. There was nothing mean, nor low, nor grovelingly selfish that came near the head or heart of John C Calhoun."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Gregory 04-22-15
    Gregory 04-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "In depth portrayal of Calhoun"
    Where does John C. Calhoun: American Portrait rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Good but not great


    Would you recommend John C. Calhoun: American Portrait to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes if they want to understand better the philosophy and thinking that motivated Calhoun


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Calhoun: Defender of the South


    Any additional comments?

    The author really provides a very in depth look at Calhoun and how he was motivated by a combination of his philosphical thinking and his South Carolina roots. However, often times the author goes into too much detail about a scene or conversation . I did not need to know that ther was a stain on Calhoun's shirt, or that President Jackson's cane was Tennesse oak.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    SydSavvy PARIS, TX, United States 02-29-16
    SydSavvy PARIS, TX, United States 02-29-16 Member Since 2008

    The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.

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    "Well, I guess at least we still have History"

    Life is just so weird. I was listening to this for research when a political movement happened to take Calhoun's name off of a hall or dorm in Yale. I don't agree with Calhoun, and maybe he doesn't deserve the honor. But it seems to me that if we rewrite history, we will revisit it. The take away from this book is how early on Calhoun realized the South's doom. Instead of figuring out a way to stop it at that moment, he perpetuated the doom by speaking for it. That's his great failing. We need to remember this failed legacy.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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