Martin Van Buren

A Captivating Guide to the Man Who Served as the Eighth President of the United States
Narrated by: Duke Holm
Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
4 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Explore the captivating life of Martin Van Buren  

History chiefly remembers Martin Van Buren as the eighth president of the United States (1837– 1841). He was also, however, notable for achieving many firsts in American politics. He was the first American president to be born a citizen of the country, and not a British subject. He was the first Dutchman and the first man without Anglo-Saxon ancestry to serve as president. He was the first and only American president to have been raised in a language other than English. He was also the first New Yorker to ascend to the Oval Office in the White House, at a time when Manhattan was becoming the urban heart of a future America (as it is today). Historians have also recognized him as the first "professional politician" to occupy the presidential seat. His expressed capacity for political intrigue, strategic pragmatism, and politically expedient “non-committalism” has earned him his fair share of critics and detractors.  

The darkness of his times (the first depression, the question of slavery, the forceful relocation of Native American tribes from their ancestral lands) easily come to mind, but America was also hurtling towards the future we live in during Van Buren’s reign. The seeds of the modernity we recognize so well - railway networks, democracy, the printing press - were sowed in his era. 

Six small townships and cities - in Maine, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas - still bear his surname. To understand the history of American politics, one must understand Van Buren’s often overlooked legacy. This audiobook will give you an in-depth understanding of this man, born a tavern owner's son, who became one of the founders of the Democratic Party. Get this audiobook now to learn more about Martin Van Buren!

©2018 Captivating History (P)2018 Captivating History

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Pass this by...

Terrible presentation and just about as boring a listen as I could imagine. There was information presented but it sounded like a 5th graded wrote it for a class project.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Short and sweet.

Van Buren seems like a much more interesting character than given credit. If you read the Andrew Jackson biography there appears much more to a man that started from a tavern owner's son that becomes President. Wish there was a more detailed account of his life.

1 person found this helpful

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Short

Much too Short and "skimming". I think this could very well be done better with more in-depth discussion into his life and presidency. Thank you for producing a Teaser introduction into the life of Martin Van Buren.

1 person found this helpful

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Audible needs to get a real Van Buren bio . . .

First, the narration is absolutely atrocious. I spent half the time wondering if the narrator was a real person or AI. Pronunciation of words such as memoir, subsequent, and posthumously were laughably bad. Pauses and cadence were unnatural and confounding at times. Audible should hire me next time.

Second, the story is not good at all. In the short time span of two hours, this book carries more water for Van Buren than Niagra Falls. The book feels like a pseudo opinion piece written to engrandize Van Buren and make excuses for certain of his behaviors. I could've received a more nuanced and in-depth look at the man by reading his Wikipedia page.

Finally, this is Audible's fault. Audible needs to have a real Van Buren bio available to listeners. This two-hour version won't do. I've read bios on each of the first seven presidents. Van Buren is the first president (when going chronologically) that doesn't have a bio on Audible.

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Very good, short history of a President.

Some presidential biographies are 40+ hours long to listen to. I liked the 2 hour format of this one. It contained the highlights of Van Buren’s life and presidency, but was a quick and easy listen. Great summary of the main points.

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Only book about MVB in audible

It was good, great summary really, although I would have MUCH preferred a much longer, more detailed book, but it doesn't exist in audio firm :(. Narrarator pronounced some words in really strange ways, for example memoir pronounced "mem-ee-or". Didn't impact my enjoyment. Overall appreciated this book very much.

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Poorly written and moot poorly read

I wouldn't waste time or money on this book. it was hard to listen to.

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Presidential biography

I really enjoy presidential biographies and so overall enjoyed this book. However the narrator pronounced many words wrong and that drove me crazy and is why the performance score is so low. It is a nice summary of the life of an interesting president if you can get pas the pronunciation since the narrator has an otherwise pleasing voice.

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Van Buren was boring

Good job telling a story about a boring president, Reader did the best job possible

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fascinating

there is so much in this book, I took no8the first time around and will definitely listen to it again.

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  • ELLIOT
  • 06-12-18

What a Book

This is a good glimpse of Martin Van Buren. If you are a serious student of history, you will need additional material to round out your research. It is recommended as a quick book.

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  • Aria
  • 06-12-18

Important History

This book led to an important advance in the spreading of democracy in the U.S. Of course, as with all changes, these changes did not come without costs. But the country is, for the most part, better because of Van Buren's party leadership.

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  • RR
  • 06-12-18

Good President

The most important part of this book is the discussion about how Martin Van Buren pretty much created the two-party system in the U.S. The idea that an organization and its policy positions should take precedence over any particular individual was an important change in American politics.

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  • Rory Liam
  • 06-12-18

Happy With It

very interesting, glad to listen to it.... many things he really doesn’t get credit for.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 06-12-18

Good One

This book is a good one for the regular listener, one who does not normally read non-fiction or biographies. I did not find it too dense and it flowed nicely.

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  • Grace
  • 06-12-18

Lovely

Nicely written look at a lesser known president. Interesting to see him as a real person and to better understand the times of his term and his politics. A good book.

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  • Ryan
  • 06-12-18

Good Audible Book

It was a good audible book with some interesting observations, albeit not as comprehensive as some of the other presidential biographies out there.

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  • Alice Sarah
  • 06-12-18

Nice and Concise

Nice, concise rendering of one of America's forgotten presidents. Am working my way through bios of all presidents and this book put into perspective the continuity of events posts Jackson. A good man placed in an untenable position.

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  • Aaron
  • 06-12-18

Great Author

The author is a noted historian and writer who did a fine job with a not too interesting subject. He went on to help President Clinton write his autobiography and perhaps will help Hilary Clinton write her life story at the Department of State.

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  • Caleb
  • 06-11-18

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren, unlike most of his predecessors, was a man of means early on in life. That is not to say he didn't have difficult times, but he was able to look ahead and plan a path that laid a foundation of future success. His years following his Presidency were uneventful as he almost disappeared from prominence.