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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of the American Revolution, the men who made it and who then secured it. It is the story of an improbable victory by a provincial collection of loosely knit colonies over the dominant military and political power in the world. It is also the story of the creation of a nation founded on principles that no one at the time regarded as viable, and that over time have come to be regarded as the most successful recipe for political success in the modern world. The central theme of the story is that the creation of this nation of laws was only made possible by a small group of men, whom we refer to here as the Brotherhood of the Revolution.

In this course, readers are provided an in-depth look at the single most consequential event of American history: the American Revolution. Distinguished historian Edmund Morgan wrote that no one has ever quite understood the Revolution and that no one ever will. This course is an attempt, at least on some level, to prove him wrong. While the American Revolution now appears to have been inevitable, it was, in fact, highly improbable. An early conversation between Continental Congressman Eldridge Gerry and Benjamin Harrison about the prospect of being hanged by the British is a prime example of the enormous risks that were involved. In this course, it will be shown just how problematic and uncertain this period of history actually was.

©2004 Joseph Ellis; (P)2004 Recorded Books

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  • Mahmood
  • san diego, CA, United States
  • 10-26-10

nice audio

its a good reviw of american revolution and gave me general information i always wanted to have about this affair. it shows different intellectual and economic changes and population growth as base of this affair and english monarchy not keeping up with pace of changes and the way he tells the history and the fact he tries to be fair and doesnt attack or idiolize historic figures, makes it more valuable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan
  • Sunrise, FL, United States
  • 05-03-12

Good lecture series

Dr. Ellis does an excellent job capsulizing 37 years of American history into 7 hours. His lectures are easy to listen to. Buyer be warned tho. There are alot of events and people central to the revelution that are not mentioned. I can understand this given the time constraints the professor had to work with. He chose to examine George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Joseph Plum-Martin. I would love for Dr. Ellis to do a follow up lecture to include other founding fathers such as Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Dickenson, John Witherspoon, and also General Benedict Arnold.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Interesting look at the founders

Any additional comments?

Good read from a knowledgable lecturer but the audio in the first few lectures is terrible. I think this was an early lecture in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Felt too brief, abridged

I'm waffling on whether or not I liked this lecture series... Perhaps it is because I have become accustomed to history books of greater detail, but this just seemed very abridged. The profiles of the important figures Ellis highlights were sometimes cursory, and the key events were named but not always discussed to any extent. Two weeks ago I might have complained on the density of the Glorious Cause and its over-glut of info, but this series made me appreciate it.

Not that that means this is not good - but it is a survey course, I'd say - better suited for those who want to dip their toes in and get a basic grasp of the times, important figures, and highlights as the new nation emerged. This will give that, some interesting discussions, and doesn't get dense or overbearing. As someone interested in more than that, I was disappointed.

I liked Ellis' approach though, and his voice was entertaining - constantly made me think I was listening to Jimmy Stewart. I may revisit his book Founding Brothers... (I got this in fact because I knew his name as the author - I still have a copy on my bookshelf from those high school days of AP US History!) Hopefully that will give me more of the meat I hoped for and was missing from this quick lecture series.