Ira Stoll places Samuel Adams, the "forgotten Founding Father," in historical context, delving into how his Puritan sensibilities informed his vision of independence. Paul Boehmer competently handles the task of narrating extended passages of Adams's writings in the slightly foreign-sounding English of the Colonial period, although his attempts to give a British accent to British quotes detract from the overall delivery. With its overabundance of repetitive text, listening to this work is often tediously reminiscent of a college history course, but the importance of this "apostle of liberty" and his influence on our national psyche make this chapter of American history vital to understanding how the past informs our present and our view of ourselves as God's new "chosen people."
And yet history has neglected him; today Samuel Adams is best known as a brand of beer. As relations with Great Britain healed in the 19th century, historians were all too willing to dismiss him as a zealot; Adams's distrust of secularism (he envisioned America as a "Christian Sparta") has not endeared him to many contemporary scholars, either. Ira Stoll's fascinating biography not only restores this figure to his rightful place in history but portrays him as a man of God whose skepticism of a powerful central government, uncompromising support for freedom of the press, concern about the influence of money on elections, voluble love of liberty, and selfless endurance in a war for freedom has enormous relevance to Americans today.
©2008 Ira Stoll; (P)2008 Tantor
I listened to this book at the suggestion of a friend, and I was very impressed! I had no idea how much I did not know about Samuel Adams. I discovered a lot of new details I didn't know surrounding many historical events in American history, like Paul Revere's ride and the creation of the U.S. Constitution. I thought Chapters 6 and 7 were worth the price of the book all by themselves! Even if you don't think you are interested in this founding father, if you are interested in American History, you need to listen to this book.
Very informative, but i had a hard to staying with it, kind of dry. I usually listen to these as I sleep, this one, was average.
Ira Stoll's Sam Adams is lifeless. I was looking for a vibrant life story, but instead heard about sermons, letters or newspaper clippings of one thing or another. Sam Adams is one of my childhood heroes and this book didn't do him justice. I set the audio aside after listening to the first half of the book.
At least I got this for 50% off. This audio book was absolutely painful to listen to and I could only make it to about the 1 hour mark, about 5 times as long as I should have. It should be titled something like "Religious Speeches and Articles During the Time of Samuel Adams", or something like that because 1 hour into it there are maybe a couple of paragraphs about Adams. Big disappointment.
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