• The Last King of America

  • The Misunderstood Reign of George III
  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: Phillipe Stevens
  • Length: 36 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (315 ratings)

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The Last King of America

By: Andrew Roberts
Narrated by: Phillipe Stevens
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Publisher's Summary

The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating - and will completely change the way listeners and historians view his reign and legacy.

Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon - a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities. The best-known modern interpretation of him is Jonathan Groff's preening, spitting, and pompous take in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway masterpiece. But this deeply unflattering characterization is rooted in the prejudiced and brilliantly persuasive opinions of 18th-century revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who needed to make the king appear evil in order to achieve their own political aims. After combing through hundreds of thousands of pages of never-before-published correspondence, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts has uncovered the truth: George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.

In The Last King of America, Roberts paints a deft and nuanced portrait of the much-maligned monarch and outlines his accomplishments, which have been almost universally forgotten. Two hundred and forty-five years after the end of George III's American rule, it is time for Americans to look back on their last king with greater understanding: to see him as he was and to come to terms with the last time they were ruled by a monarch.

©2021 Andrew Roberts (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and The Times (UK) 

“The deft portraits and detailed episodes Mr. Roberts provides in The Last King of America - drawing on a vast trove of documents newly digitized by the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle - bring into clear view the man at the center of it all, whose personality, principles and proper reputation have been too long obscured.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“A fair-minded portrait...[written] with insight and aplomb.” (The Washington Post)

What listeners say about The Last King of America

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Yikes!

I am excited to tackle this book BUT I am struggling with the narrator who sounds as if maybe he’s auditioning a bit too hard for a Broadway show. I love books about the story behind the story and King George has for a long time — as with Benedict Arnold— been turned into nothing more than a cartoonish one dimensional figure out of history.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic .. a proud defense of George III

As an American raised and educated in Massachusetts I enjoy hearing the British version of America’s journey to Independence from the British perspective.
With this narrative Mr. Robert’s provided me just that! (Noticed an error when Mr Robert’s says Breeds Hill was in Dorchester .. it is Charlestown). His item by item defense / response to the 28 charges Jefferson made in the Declaration of Independence is passionate and pure gold if you are looking for how Thomas Jefferson’s masterpiece was received in Britain.

Narrator does a good job but he needs to work on his American accent!

7 people found this helpful

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Amazing Biography

I had background knowledge on George III already before listening to this new biography on him and have to say the author does an AMAZING job covering his life. I didn't listen to any other book for weeks because I wanted to keep listening to the story.

6 people found this helpful

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Great book

The book is a great listen. Completely changed my perception of the late king. The only thing that was sub par about the listen was the readers American accent, it’s borderline offensive and at best just stupid. Other than that the book was great would highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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A interesting analysis of a king

As with most Americans, I was brought up in an education system that demonized King George III as a cruel and petty tyrant. While my view as an adult has become somewhat more nuanced, this book did an excellent job at making a convincing case for George the third not only being not as bad as we thought but a genuinely good monarch.

4 people found this helpful

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Utter waste of time

After listening to this syrupy, I am thoroughly disgusted and disturbed. This does nothing to change the story of George III in my mind. All it has done is show what a petty man the author is. His ideas of Americans is despicable. I do not recommend this book as it will anger more than convince a listener

3 people found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 03-01-22

misunderstood for sure

I learned more about a king in this book than I ever expected to. I also learned that perspective often skews reality. much of what I thought to be true about this man, was entirely wrong. one should always get both sides of the story. great book well worthy of your time

3 people found this helpful

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Informative Historical Update

As an American, I know history is written by the victors. Mr. Roberts gives us a different perspective, explaining WHY Britain would act the way it did. Quite logical, for the day. Triggered by the play ‘Hamilton’, the author does succeed in balancing the playing field. I found myself respecting King George. Yet, he can’t seem to grasp that no matter how noble King George may have been, the world had simply outgrown voluntarily be ruled by non-elected officials. Period! Riches were to be gained, so weaknesses were exploited.

Tireless research so the story is top notch. The performance was a bit difficult at times due to the British accent and a somewhat formal presentation.

And ‘Hamilton’ is still funny…What…what?

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent book - should be read by an serious student

Despite a lifetime of historical reading, I found this book surprising. With excellent reference to original source material, a completely different king emerges - an excellent, compelling history of a man who ruled Britain during some of the most tumultuous times in the past 1000 years!

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Excellent Historical Bio

Fantastically researched. The translating of 18th C speak into modern English is smooth. Gives an entirely different and convincing impression of KG3 than most Americans (and it sounds like Brits) have known.

2 people found this helpful