The first book to appear in the illustrious Oxford History of the United States, this critically-acclaimed volume - a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize - offers an unsurpassed history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the American republic.
This panoramic view of the conflict between England and America combines the political and the personal, giving the listener a vivid sense of how the colonists perceived the events of their struggle for independence, from the French and Indian War to “the shot heard round the world”, and the importance the colonists assigned to them.
Praised as “state of the art” and “the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship”, the four new volumes of the Oxford History of the United States – including The Glorious Cause – are narrated with engagingly casual warmth by Robert Fass, who previously read an earlier volume in the series, Empire of Liberty, by Gordon S. Wood.
Please note: The individual volumes of the series have not been published in historical order. The Glorious Cause is number III in The Oxford History of the United States.
Listen to more of the definitive Oxford History of the United States.
©2005 Robert Middlekauff (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Another excellent entry in the Oxford History of the United States. I didn't personally find it quite as engrossing as "Empire of Liberty" or "What Hath God Wrought," but still extremely interesting and informative. This book goes to some lengths to explain and document just how radical much of America was before the revolution (which flies in the face of some of my collegiate history instructors, who pitched the revolution as more of a minority driven phenomenon). Likewise, it at times adopts almost a fait accompli tone to the revolution's eventual success - though it is quite careful to point out at numberous points where the British blew it politically and militarily in attempts to contain and/or end the conflict on their terms. Middlekauff seems to hint that Britain lacked the political will to deploy the tremendous resources necessary to subdue the continent. There seems to be great truth in the argument, if accepting the aformentioned largely radicalized American populace as mentioned above. Based on my own larger reading, I still can't help thinking what an EXCEEDINGLY precarious enterprise the American Revolution was, prone to being snuffed out for any number of reasons throughout the long struggle. The Americans (and Britons) who ensured that it didn't are well detailed in many sidebars throughout.
The other interesting thing I continue to see again and again as I read more of the history of the United States is to see how so many of our current dilemmas, arguments, problems, etc were baked right into the United States from its earliest days - indeed, some even before the very founding of the republic. Likewise, it is amusing (if disappointing) to see some of the titans in the American pantheon wrestling luridly in the political mud with their opponents - right up to and incuding vitriolic personal attacks, doctrinaire thinking, and hyperbolic rhetoric. Everything old is indeed new again.
Strongly recommended for those interested in U.S. history and politics.
I have read a lot of histories of the Revolutionary War, events leading up to it as well as separate histories of the constitutional convention. This is an extremely thorough presentation with a lot of emphasis placed on detailed presentation of battles. If you are especially interested in the military aspects of the war, you will particularly enjoy this ... and if that is true, you also may want to read this in print because there are maps and other support material that will make this aspect of the war more comprehensible.
It is well written and much more neutral in tone than most history I've read. When the author does make his opinion known, it is striking because it is very restrained most of the time.
I did enjoy it. It's dry, but it's also well written and read at a brisk pace. I have to admit to not liking the narrator. He's good, he's professional ... it's his voice I don't like. It just grated on my ears after a while ... and this is a very long book, so a little annoyance lasts a long time.
If this is an area of history that is of particular interest to you, this is a good book to add to your reading list. However, it is a very focused book and if you aren't really serious about this era of history ... well ... it's 50-50 whether or not you'll have the patience to listen to such a very long and detailed history of this period. Yotu have to bring your own interest to the book or it is likely to be dull.
A fine audiobook for those with a serious interest in this part of history. Maybe not so interesting if your interest in the material is more tangential.
The more audio books I listen too, the more I wonder why I didn't start sooner. They make the ride to and from work much more tolerable.
Recently I've been more and more interested in American history. TV documentaries on everything from the American Revolution, the wild west, Civil War, Great Depression, etc..., have been fascinating me. When I went in search of an audio book for the Civil War, this title caught my eye. I started reading up on the book and wisely decided to start at the "beginning". Beginning in quotes because the American history started long before 1763. But this point in time can probably be considered the beginning of the United States. And I'm glad I did.
The book title states it covers the time period of 1763 - 1789, and for the most part it does. There are times when pre 1763 details are given to support an idea the author is explaining, but the majority of the book falls between these years. The events leading up to Lexington / Concord were explored in more detail than I've ever heard. The points of view are not only told from the American side, but from the British as well. From what I can tell, the author tried to do a fair job in telling both sides of the story. In the end of course, the Revolution is justified, as history has seen. Many of the battles are told in great detail, which took me be surprise. The only thing I found lacking were some details of events towards the end of the war and leading to the ratification of the Constitution. Washington being elected to the Presidency is briefly mentioned, but how this came to be wasn't clearly defined is just one example.
Since the ride to and from work is how I listen to my audio books, there are times when certain items are missed unfortunately. This can be quite detrimental to an audio book of this kind due to the sheer number of names, places, dates, documents, etc... that are mentioned within. I believe to fully absorb the content of this book, it would have to be read. Well, by myself anyway, since reading a page helps me retain details; and this book is all about the details.
All in all though, a great book.
I would recommend the print version because this book is so scholarly and it is easier to follow historic events and people in print.
Well moderated tone
Washington's crossing of the Deleware.
Very well researched and erudite book. A must for history buffs and certainly could be used in the classroom.
An exellent history lesson, well told. Really delves into the plitical thought of the times. It evoles around the importance and concept of property and the generation of political power.
An informative and unbiased history of the revolutionary period. This book is also highly enjoyable. 4 stars.
I only made it through the part 1 download then gave up. I had previously read one of the other books in the series (1815-1848) which was very good. This book gets lost in mindless detail, (e.g. too many names of british tax collectors and ministers in the 1860's, etc) and over frequent only semi-useful quotes. A handful of vignettes can flesh out a historical narrative. but this section of the book at least gets lost in these tiny details and loses the arc of the actual history.
read what hath god wrought isntead
This is a good book for people who already know a great deal about the Revolutionary Era and want to know more. As the title implies, this book is concerned with many facets of the Revolutionary period (1764 or so through 1783). This includes the Revolutionary War, and some of the battles, but the book focuses on a much wider scope. Readers hoping to hear a great deal about the battles of the war will be disappointed.
This book was a little scholarly and dry for my tastes. Others may find it very rewarding.
A tremendous effort to cover the formation of the American Republic. At 27 hours it is a very long book to listen to, but I found time flew by as I did. It is a compelling story of the factors and figures that shaped America's independence.
My only major complaint is that at times the narrative is uneven. Some battles are covered in detail, others are skimmed by. I was looking forward to learning more about the Articles of Confederation but found that the book basically jumped from the War itself to the creation and adoption of the Constitution.
I have no doubt that Mr. Middlekauff deserves the credit he's been given for this great historical account of the time span leading up to the American Revolution, through the Continental Congress. The book contains so many names, and facts, and descriptions of military battles, I would think written form would be better. I take nothing away from the narration, Mr. Fass is excellent. I found it very difficult to stay focused, and in parts, wish I could see maps to better understand the battles. I think an abidged version, pared down to the information better suited to audio, would be a good idea.
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