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Extended Audio Sample Champlains Dream, 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:
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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!


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.” 


  • “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.” 


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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! "

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