• The Barbarous Years

  • The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675
  • By: Bernard Bailyn
  • Narrated by: Henry Strozier
  • Length: 26 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (109 ratings)

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The Barbarous Years

By: Bernard Bailyn
Narrated by: Henry Strozier
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Publisher's Summary

Bernard Bailyn gives us a compelling account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard.

©2012 Bernard Bailyn (P)2013 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Barbarous Years

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A feast for genealogy/history buffs

Would you consider the audio edition of The Barbarous Years to be better than the print version?

After listening to the audio edition, I purchased a paperback copy because I have been working on family genealogy for over 10 years and the information about religion, birthplace of immigrants and where they chose to settle in British America is priceless to my understanding of several generations of my family.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Finally a clear description of the sometimes subtle differences between Puritans, Pilgrims, Anabaptists, Quakers and other religious groups.

What about Henry Strozier’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to, appropriate gravitas for the subject matter.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Much too much information for one sitting or even several. I have listened to it twice and will listen to portions again. A treasure trove that helps to explain how we got to where we are in America today.

Any additional comments?

Not a book for the faint hearted. Very long, very detailed but one of my favorites ever.

8 people found this helpful

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Disjointed and overly detailed

After listening to this book, I am starting to realize that Pulitzer Prize-winning histories are hit or miss. The subject of this book could be extremely interesting, but unfortunately Professor Bailyn's delivery is very disjointed and replete with details that keep the listener wondering how the travails of various settlers fit into the larger context of colonization.

5 people found this helpful

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Great for going deep on American history

Not for a casual listen - this book is a comprehensive look at British North America in the first 70 years. It stands at an intermediary level between a high level survey and diving into local histories of early american towns. Great for knowledge hounds. Because it focuses on the political history it is, as was the politics of the time, grim. But it is not simply knee jerk revisionist to fit a simplistic narrative of America being founded in evil - the reasons and causal factors of why history played out like it did are fully explored in detail with no prearranged moral being sought.

1 person found this helpful

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A bold historiography supported by a well-modulated Audible performance

Henry Strozier, whose rich voice is a mix of Walt Disney and Walter Cronkite gives a well-modulated performance of Bernard Bailyn’s vastly researched, detailed, and boldly sophisticated historiography of the population and development of America’s colonization (through the English and Dutch Indies Companies) during the seventeenth century. Not the Thanksgiving myth of the peaceful coming together of the English pilgrims and the native Indians, but a barbarous period for survival.

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Long but excellent and worth it

The storytelling of Bernard Baylin. The excellent narration. the barbarity of the stories make this book worth listening to and reading.

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Had to stop about half way through.

The book and narration started out balanced. But the narrator clearly became more prejudiced against the colonists. Despite the author’s efforts to balance every horrific, savage action by the indigenous people with a reactionary behavior by the colonists, the narrator’s sneering voice came through and spoiled any balance the author attempted to make.

I could not stomach any more of it. A shame.

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A Text Book

The book is filled with unnecessary flowery vocabulary. It is on a reading level of a Masters Degree. The author seems to think the bigger the word, the better it is. There is some interesting information if you can persevere through the rest. The narrator can put you to sleep. Some words were mispronounced. That leaves doubt about other words whose pronunciation is unknown to me. Some of these are Indian tribe names. Here is how it comes across to me: The supercilious pomposity demonstrated by this author - narrator team is unsurpassed. They may have impressed someone, but not me.