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Extended Audio Sample Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free Audiobook, by John Ferling Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (107 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Ferling Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781452672625
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No event in American history was more pivotal-or more furiously contested-than Congress's decision to declare independence in July 1776. Even months after American blood had been shed at Lexington and Concord, many colonists remained loyal to Britain. John Adams, a leader of the revolutionary effort, said bringing the fractious colonies together was like getting "thirteen clocks to strike at once." Other books have been written about the Declaration of Independence, but no author has traced the political journey from protest to revolution with the narrative scope and flair of John Ferling. Independence takes listeners from the cobblestones of Philadelphia into the halls of Parliament, where many sympathized with the Americans and furious debate erupted over how to deal with the rebellion. Independence is not only the story of how freedom was won, but how an empire was lost. At this remarkable moment in history, high-stakes politics was intertwined with a profound debate about democracy, governance, and justice. John Ferling, drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, brings this passionate struggle to life as no other historian could. Independence will be hailed as the finest work yet from the author Michael Beschloss calls "a national resource." Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Noted for his knowledge of the Revolutionary era, Ferling again gives us a narrative hard to surpass in fluency and authority. Publishers Weekly
  • “Mesmerizing. Masterful. History written with the gravitational pull of a good novel. A history book that deserves to become a big bestseller.”

    Dan Rather

  • “Noted for his knowledge of the Revolutionary era, Ferling…again gives us a narrative hard to surpass in fluency and authority.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A venerable historian of the American Revolution focuses on the events between the shot heard round the world and the signing of the Declaration of Independence … A lucid, erudite account of a period both terrifying and supremely inspiring.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “John Ferling has established himself as one of the leading chroniclers of the American Revolution, but Independence goes beyond anything he has written before. Instead of recycling the familiar story of the Revolution, he has given us an enlightening and exciting book that proves that history has no guarantees or foreordained outcomes. Expertly blending biographical vignettes with fast-paced narrative and sure-footed interpretation, Ferling captures the mystery of historical contingency in exploring the period between the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the declaration of American independence in 1776. Not even the founding fathers knew what the future would bring; Ferling performs a national public service in reminding us of this basic fact, and demonstrating it with elegance and style.”

    R. B. Bernstein, distinguished adjunct professor of law, New York Law School, and author of The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

  • “This is how it really happened. In unequivocal prose, John Ferling captures the combined bluster and outrage on both sides of the Atlantic. He exposes the quirks, while exploring the vision, of the opinionated, opportunistic delegates who were present in Philadelphia in 1776; he shows us just how they rhetorically overcame the ‘mystique of invincibility’ that attached to the British military, before launching America, in the words of one delegate, ‘on a most Tempestuous Sea.’ Independence is rich in personality, and Ferling unsurpassed as an authority. This is no ordinary history.”

    Andrew Burstein, author of Jefferson’s Secrets

  • “In clear and elegant prose and with formidable scholarship, John Ferling freshly examines the period that led to declaring independence. By focusing on the character of leaders in both England and her colonies as they intersected with circumstances, he captures the uncertainty of the times and the unpredictable journey to the declaration itself.”

    Edith B. Gelles, author of Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Ruddell | 12/12/2013

    " Good book - way too many details though. That took away from the narrative flow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ms211 | 6/2/2013

    " Really enjoyed this easy read about the beginning of declaration for independence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kama | 1/13/2013

    " This was a really good book. It was well researched and had lots of information that I have not seen before in similar books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 8/25/2012

    " A fascinating read, especially with regard to some of our lesser known founding fathers (Sam Adams, Richard Henry Lee, John Dickinson)... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane Curtis | 6/5/2012

    " This book gave me a new perspective on the American Revolution. Experiencing the journey to independence through the eyes of those who lived it was eye-opening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/4/2012

    " I especially enjoyed this book combined with my recent trip to Philadelphia. This book brought the Declaration of Independece alive like nothing I have read previously. I loved the anecodtes about the founding fathers. "

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About the Author
Author John Ferling

John Ferling is professor emeritus of history at the State University of West Georgia. A leading authority on American Revolutionary history, he has appeared in many documentaries and has written numerous books, including The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon, Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution, and the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic.

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned numerous Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.