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Publisher's Summary

Mill's autobiography deals primarily with the life of the mind - but it is a mind which ranks as one of the most remarkable and significant of the nineteenth century. The book memorably depicts the emergence of a brilliant child prodigy, the product of an extraordinary education which both hastened his development and brought him to the brink of suicide by the age of 21. Illumined with equal clarity is the story of John Stuart Mill's renewed commitment to life, and of the further conflicts which marked his long evolution toward maturity as a major philosopher and social thinker.

Superb in its dispassionate objectivity, the Autobiography stands as a work of enduring relevance and a final testament to a rare and luminous intelligence.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Jacquelyn
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 04-29-11

Fascinating childhood education

I found the audiobook very interesting, but I was already a fan of John Stuart Mill. Anyone who is curious about the intellectual aspects of John Stuart Mill's life will find this book very satisfying. I found it particularly fascinating to hear about his extraordinary unorthodox home education, as well as his views on education overall. Since John Stuart Mill would have had a British accent, I would have preferred a British narrator. Nevertheless, the American narrator did a great job speaking so quickly as to keep the pace at a rate which made listening very easy. JSM did not have a dramatic, adventurous, swashbuckling life, but that is part of his charm; he was a fantastic thinker, a brilliant mind. I loved the book. I gained valuable insights into the man.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • RB
  • 04-21-16

Dry with spotty audio

A dry recounting of events. Audio skipped ahead at several points, causing sections to be missed. The narrator did an excellent job of making long convoluted sentences easy to follow.

  • Overall
  • Jon
  • Wapakoneta, OH, USA
  • 11-19-09

Vaguely interesting

... incredibly dry at points purely due to the preponderance of utterly dull minutiae about matters I find it impossible to care about. It is little wonder Stuart entered into a severe state of despondency for a time. Were it not for the details of this rather interesting mental breakdown I would have rated this clumsy attempt to share a life a single star.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • W. Hall
  • 07-03-17

Unbelievable fault

It is amazing to me that this wasn't proofed properly. There are a few little elisions that skip over small amounts of the text, which for the most part are forgivable little annoyances. But one of them skips over Mill's description of what got him out of his depression, which is probably the most important biographical moment in the entire book. It skips so much of this passage that the listener has no idea whatsoever what triggered his recovery and no specific reference is made to what it was again in the text.

It's a shame, because the only other fault with this book is the pronunciation of Edinburgh as 'Ed-in-burg' rather than 'Ed-in-bruh', which again is just a little bit annoying at first but really gets your goat when the 'Edinburgh Review' is mentioned frequently in later chapters. The narrator is clearly North American so you can't fault him for not knowing how to pronounce the UK's weird place names, but when it's in the name of the main organ that Mill published his work in you do wonder why no one took the time to even check how it should be pronounced.

I'd urge you to get another edition of this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful