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Publisher's Summary

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. The American experiment rests on three ideas - "these truths", Jefferson called them - political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, "[O]n a dedication to inquiry, fearless and unflinching", writes Jill Lepore in a groundbreaking investigation into the American past that places truth itself at the center of the nation's history.  

In riveting prose, These Truths tells the story of America, beginning in 1492, to ask whether the course of events has proven the nation's founding truths or belied them.  

"A nation born in contradiction, liberty in a land of slavery, sovereignty in a land of conquest, will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history", Lepore writes, finding meaning in those very contradictions as she weaves American history into a majestic tapestry of faith and hope, of peril and prosperity, of technological progress and moral anguish.  

A spellbinding chronicle filled with arresting sketches of Americans from John Winthrop and Frederick Douglass to Pauli Murray and Phyllis Schlafly, These Truths offers an authoritative new history of a great, and greatly troubled, nation.  

©2018 Jill Lepore (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

I am just in awe of this phenomenal book! Professor Lepore is a decent narrator of her own words. Though not as polished as a professional voice artist, her voice conveys her passion for the subject matter and it's a neat experience being "taught" by a true expert,

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, Unique Performance

As a historian, Jill Lepore is a master at recreating individual events to tell a larger story. Dr Lepore is not a actor with a smooth delivery and a sonorous voice, but because she is intimately familiar with the subtleties, connotations, connections, context and historical significance of the quotes that fill the book, she is able to convey the ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions of the people she discusses, in a way that no actor possibly could. I have listened to a lot of audible histories, but I've never had an experience like this -- so vivid, so alive.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator is not easy to listen to

I had to give up on this. The content is good, but the narrator ranges too far between a shout and a whisper It's painful. Had to return it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Bad narration

I found the content interesting but was very put off by the authors narration. She would rush certain parts, try to change her voice to no effect. Probably should have got a professional to read this

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Epic story

An extremely thoughtful, timely, and moving epic on US history; it clearly speaks to us as we ponder how we got where we are now in the Age of Trump

The reading, by the author, is well done, except there are careless and distracting extra sounds: turning pages, coughing, stumbling over words, repeated lines. But overall, it's a good book to listen to

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

POOR NARRATION

Jill Lepore has written a wonderful book but her narration has significantly diminished it's audible quality. She should stick to writing and let professional narrators do the narrating.

45 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Author's narration diminished this book.

I am disappointed to have to report that the author's narration very much diminished the power of this book. It is a long book. I understand the author's intimate knowledge of the points she wanted to make and the emphasis she wished to convey, but her cadence and volume control often worked against her and resulted in dropping off the last words of the sentence. Her voice became wearing and ultimately was distracting. Many authors are not the best readers of their work. I was left with the feeling that I wish I could take her course and listen to her lectures over a semester rather than having her read her book to me.
Substantively, LePore's focus on political truths through the long arc of history, particularly the way that slavery was at the heart of the founders' concerns in drafting the constitution, was eyeopening. It was difficult to listen to the many ways our country has failed to deliver on the promise of freedom and equality. I felt that she was often repetitive and tended to make dramatic pronouncements that her sources did not quite support. I would recommend the book with reservations.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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worthwhile listen. loved the narration

I highly recommend. I really enjoyed how this was narrated by the author. Many history books here on audible have such dry narration, but this was great! Honestly, I completely disagree with some of the reviews saying they don't like the author's narration... I think her connection with her work allowed her to bring a voice of passion to the areas she wanted to emphasize. But I tend to get bored with most audible history narrations by monotone men so maybe that's just me. I never got bored with this, and I even stayed up way later than normal to keep listening! Anyways, I'm going to recommend this to friends and family members and buy it in physical copy too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • gg
  • 09-30-18

Great book, sorry she read it herself

Jill Lepore is an amazing historian, I would not wish to miss anything she writes. However I find her narration to be extremely distracting. Quotes are overdramatized to the point that it is hard to grasp their meaning. Evidently not everyone feels this way but I prefer a much more neutral reading for nonfiction, I find it is easier to absorb and more like reading it myself.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling and wonderfully researched

BUT...Prof. Lepore should not have narrated. Production quality seems poor and she has an irritating tendency to drop her voice at the end of sentences. A professional narrator would have made such a difference!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful