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Extended Audio Sample Champlains Dream Audiobook, by David Hackett Fischer Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (320 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Hackett Fischer Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9780743579544
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing offers a sweeping, enthralling biography as dramatic and exciting as the life it portrays.

Soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France, the remarkable Samuel de Champlain comes to life in acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer's Champlain's Dream. Born on France's Atlantic coast, Champlain fought in France's religious wars for the great Henri IV, with whom he shared religious tolerance in an age of murderous sectarianism. He was also a brilliant navigator, never losing a ship in 27 Atlantic crossings.

But we remember Champlain mainly as a great explorer. On foot and by ship and canoe he traveled through what are now six Canadian provinces and five American states, where he founded, colonized, and administered French settlements in North America. Despite much resistance and many defeats, Champlain's astonishing dedication and stamina finally established France's New World colony. He tried constantly to maintain peace among Indian nations, but when he had to take up arms he forcefully imposed a new balance of power, proving himself a formidable strategist and warrior.

Throughout his three decades in North America, Champlain remained committed to a remarkable Grand Design for France's colony. A leader who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world of cruelty and violence, he was a true visionary, especially when compared to his English and Spanish contemporaries. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[In Champlain’s Dream], Fischer applies his signature blend of social history and classic narrative.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Champlain’s Dream is a comprehensive, exhaustively researched, yet always lively biography. Besides narrating a life it also, as its title suggests, tells the story of Champlain’s vision for North America.”

    Boston Globe

  • Champlain’s Dream speaks with authority on the relatively unknown biography of one of the period’s leading figures. Fischer’s solid, comprehensive—and ultimately sympathetic—portrayal of the enigmatic Champlain rekindles the consequences of European settlement in the Americas...Fischer’s effort is both important and admirable.” 

    Bookmarks magazine

  • “[An] enormous and enthralling biography.”

    Barnes & Noble editorial review

  • “Fischer, Pulitzer Prize–winner for Washington’s Crossing, has produced the definitive biography of Samuel de Champlain: spy, explorer, courtier, soldier, sailor, ethnologist, mapmaker, and founder and governor of New France (today’s Quebec), which he founded in 1608... Fischer once again displays a staggering and wide research...The bibliography is equally impressive, and the same should be said of Fischer’s literary skills and approach...[An] outstanding work.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Edward Herrmann’s reading of Fischer’s biography is dramatic and compelling...Herrmann’s reading is graceful and exciting, but the true appeal of the book lies in its depiction of a life that is simply extraordinary.” 

    AudioFile

  • “Narrating Champlain’s activities in North America is where Fischer excels, both in his chronicle of events and his analysis of Champlain’s leadership, political and commercial backing, and diplomacy with the native peoples. Fischer’s comprehensive, incisive portrayal will enthrall the Age of Discovery audience.” 

    Booklist

  • “A lucid portrait of a man given too little attention in standard American textbooks. Fischer’s work should make it impossible to ignore Champlain’s contributions henceforth.” 

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fred V Provoncha | 2/18/2014

    " I did not expect to learn anything important from this book, I was wrong...fvp "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles Calvano | 1/18/2014

    " Filled with material that was new to this avid reader of history. Makes one marvel at the courage and sheer perseverance of so many of those who preceded us in this world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Nora | 1/14/2014

    " Amazing details about the formation of Canada and 17th century France . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph Gendron | 1/11/2014

    " This is history writing at its best! The creation of this book is almost incomprehensible to me but the appendices are key to understanding the level of research, and reading, that David Hackett Fischer undertook to retell this story. Champlain was a unique visionary, not driven to profit from exploration and exploitation, as was typical with so many of the European merchants involved with New World trade. His descriptions of, and interactions with, the Native populations brings their unique culture to life. His approach was steeped in tolerance and respect which allowed him to be an effective influence on their sometimes barbarous practices such as torture of enemy captives. The skill of his mapmaking, given the primitive technologies of the time, is also almost incomprehensible. I learned so much about the geography of both New France and the region of Old France that he came from, I now can't wait to plan a trip of exploration of my own! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skipr | 1/3/2014

    " I have a new hero to add to my very short list. Champlain was a great leader, and a brave, good, compassionate man. I hadn't thought about him since the chapter on North American explorers in high school. Fischer can make almost any history interesting. In the case of Champlain he had plenty of good material to work with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Albert | 12/25/2013

    " I love reading of the settling of America. This is adventuresome, but backed by cited historical records throughout the book. A very good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 12/21/2013

    " I don't usually ready any history books. A book club challenges those attitudes though. I didn't expect to like it but I found it fascinating - every page. The writer is excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eleanor | 12/19/2013

    " I love this kind of book - great historical research "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 12/16/2013

    " Great historical detail, very well written, very-very interesting charactor "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 9/2/2013

    " Great book on the founding of French Canada. As a history major, I learned so much about the colonies that became the United States, but had missed out on this chapter of history. This book was well-written and a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather777 | 7/27/2013

    " This was a great book! I loved learning about Champlain it was an amazing story. The history was never dry. I loved learning about king Henry V of France. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 3/3/2013

    " Good description of the period in history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Johnson | 11/20/2012

    " I love anything David Hackett Fischer writes, even it if it is an 800 page biography of Samuel Champlain. I started this as a "read before bed in order to fall asleep" book but ended up staying awake more often than not. Just a first rate, fascinating history of the early days of New France. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 11/17/2012

    " Engaging read about a truly remarkable man. He was years ahead of his time in treatment of the Indians. This book is at its best when it focuses on Champlain's efforts to get the French Canada colony up and running. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lesley | 7/27/2012

    " Excellent book! How many times have you come across such a detailed & informative account that's such an easy read. I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookmarks Magazine | 7/10/2012

    " Regarding the history of European settlement in North America, David Hackett Fischer has been around the block. It is no surprise, then, that Champlain "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted Dettweiler | 6/11/2012

    " I have a new hero: Samuel de Champlain. This was my cottage 2011 reading along with the Vassanji novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose Paluch | 6/19/2011

    " Yes, I am biased due to the author. However, teaching US and European history, I was able to satiate both interests. I also think my great-grandma's family may have come with Champlain, which was a personal interest attraction for me. 1/4 French Canadian Langlois is the name. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 3/2/2010

    " I don't usually ready any history books. A book club challenges those attitudes though. I didn't expect to like it but I found it fascinating - every page. The writer is excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Master | 9/15/2009

    " The life of Champlain in book form. Solid. "

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About the Author
Author David Hackett Fischer

David Hackett Fischer is University Professor and Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. The recipient of many prizes and awards for his teaching and writing, he is the also author of numerous books, including Washington's Crossing, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history.

About the Narrator

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Audie Awards and twenty-two Earphones Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.