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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2002

In this powerful, epic biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution. Adams thought, wrote, and spoke out for the "Great Cause" come what might; he traveled far and wide in all seasons and often at extreme risk; he rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; he was rightly celebrated for his integrity, and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and his marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the most moving love stories in American history.

Much about Adams' life will come as a surprise to many. His rocky relationship with friend and eventual archrival Thomas Jefferson, his courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778, and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits few would have dared and that few listeners will ever forget.

McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

©2001 David McCullough; (P)2001 Recorded Books, All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Brilliant...a winner." (Publishers Weekly)
"McCullough writes to be heard as well as read." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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words fail me... it was wonderful

needed to hear this detailed history, important work. will listen again and again, the narrator is well versed in tone.

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Good story - hard to listen to the narrator

The story is good but it is hard to listen to the narrator because of the long pauses, breathing, and maybe taking sips of water ... I wish these would have been edited out.

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Delightful tale marred by mouth noise

I knew I would love this book, but would not have imagined I would love it enough to sit through the very audible swallowing and mouth clearing pauses.
Even at 1.25x it was occasionally tough.

The reading was excellent, the breathing and chawing always lurked ahead, however.

The voice the reader affects for Adams is nigh identical to that he uses for Benjamin Franklin in Issacson's biography.

Worth wading through.

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Excellent

Excellent read. Gives a full and detailed account of how his life unfolded from youth until the end.

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awful recording

you can hear the reader's breath and him swallowing regularly. very annoying. makes the story very tough to listen to.

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Exciting, though incomplete

A well-told story that offers a fresh perspective on the man as well as the president. It gets into detail on some of his accomplishments that aren't well known. As if perhaps earn extra credit for centuries of a poor perception, I felt the account sometimes glossed over Adams's shortcomings and a public official, like his temper while in office or how he spent most of his presidency in Boston. His story takes a while to get going but is truly exciting once it does.

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  • T. Seck
  • Grain Valley, FL
  • 07-15-17

Incredible

I wish my memory was good enough to remember every word. Time to move on to Jefferson, then on to the rest of the presidents, up to 50 years ago. 50 years seems to be about right for historical perspective to develop.

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OUTSTANDING!

What a great read! One of the best books I've listened to all year. I highly recommend to anyone interested in American history and our early founders!

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real men

if you are looking for a real hero, not someone that wears underware on the outside of there suit or a mask....look no further.

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  • M S
  • NW
  • 06-29-17

Enjoyable History

A great way to understand our early history and the huge role John Adams played.