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Publisher's Summary

In a series of fascinating interviews, today's best and brightest historians weigh in on the crucial moments in American history. American Heritage's Great Minds of American History takes you there, imbuing the past with an immediacy that goes well beyond the scope of formal histories. Roger Mudd's highly knowledgable questions illuminate five truly first-rate minds:

World War II and the Post-War Era

Stephen Ambrose, biographer of Eisenhower and Nixon, best-selling author of Citizen Soldiers and Undaunted Courage, and adviser to Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan offers his expert insight into war and its aftermath.

The American Revolution

Gordon Wood, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution, and renowned expert on the colonial era brings to life the birth of the first modern democracy.

America's Forgotten Era: 1865-1914

David McCullough acclaimed historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Truman, offers his stunning perspective on the dawn of The American Century.

The American West

Richard White, MacArthur Genius Award winner and author of groundbreaking books on the American West, offers his challenging views on the winning and the losing of the West.

The Civil War

James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry Of Freedom, and one of the foremost experts on the Civil War offers his compelling insight into our nation's darkest and bloodiest hour.

©1999 Simon & Schuster (P)1999 Simon & Schuster

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Collierville, TN, United States
  • 05-03-11

Just a Pleasure

What a pleasure it is to listen to men who've spent their lives learning and writing our history. They have such an accomplished knowledge and are so articulate and passionate for the periods they study. And Roger Mudd is just a wonderful interviewer. I downloaded this several years ago and have listened to it probably a dozen times or more since. Whenever I need a pick me up, listening to David McCullough's passion for our history will do the trick. He's just a national treasure. Download this title and don't look back... you won't regret it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this book!!

I have listened to this book 3 times now and each time I pick something else up. I enjoy all of the authors. This will be a book I continue to listen to over and over. Thank you SO much for making it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent series of interviews

Excellent series of interviews with leading historians. I have listened several times and not gotten bored with it once.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous historians lousy production skills

These historians deserved the best technical production but did not get it. The quality of sound was erratic, sometimes terrible. The music that was added was ridiculous and actually interfered with hearing the speakers.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bilked by a Book?

Television reporter Roger Mudd conducted interviews historians: Gordon Wood (American Revolution); James McPherson (Civil War); Richard White (The West); David McCullough (period between the Civil War and WWI); Stephen Ambrose (WWI, Eisenhower and Nixon). This wasn't so much a book as a performance, rather a series of them. As you can see, some of the authors have specialties that enable first hand knowledge. I liked those best. I was disappointed that this book is not really a book, but a prerecorded series of TV shows by the History channel. Regardless, the information was good and the opinions informative.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting for a former History Major

I'm not sure if it would be better to search YouTube to find same discussions on an another format. The only reason being it cost me a credit for a few hours as opposed to something else.

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Worth a Listen!

Enjoyed every minute of this. I found it to be educational and delightfully captivating. Would definitely recommend. Worth your time

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Insightful.

What made the experience of listening to American Heritage's Great Minds of American History the most enjoyable?

I originally own the cassette version of this audio years ago and would listen to it in the car. When I recently found it here on Audible I had to buy it again. I've been interested in history since High School and hearing these men talk about their passion was almost like listening to someone talking about old friends.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Face
  • SF Bay Area, USA
  • 12-12-12

Uneven, but the good parts are wonderful

Way back when The History Channel really *was* the HISTORY channel, they had absolutely wonderful programs about...well... history! These programs frequently featured esteemed historians speaking passionately about the topics that comprised their life's work. Many of them had fabulous, evocative voices. Some of the best are featured in this audio presentation.

David McCullough, Steven Ambrose, and James McPherson make this recording worthwhile, no question. I loved hearing their knowledge, perspective, and engagement with their subjects shine through. Listening to smart, lively scholars discuss historic events and people and shed light on how they made a difference and impacted where we are today--- this is great stuff!

While I found neither Gordon Wood nor Richard White anywhere near as engaging as their peers here, I still learned things from them. White somehow just seemed too dispassionate to me, I couldn't warm up to him. At first I thought perhaps it was because his historical niche (The American West) just wasn't that interesting to me, but then I realized that wasn't true. I've found it an interesting topic in other media. But White's discussion here somehow felt bloodless and detached. I couldn't wait for his segment to end!

Still, the recording is worthwhile for McCullough and Ambrose alone. The price is a bit steep for such a short piece, but real history buffs will really love this.