Extended Audio Sample

Download John Adams Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample John Adams Audiobook, by David McCullough Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.000014571949 out of 54.000014571949 out of 54.000014571949 out of 54.000014571949 out of 54.000014571949 out of 5 4.00 (68,625 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David McCullough Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2001 ISBN: 9780743519045
Regular Price: $21.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

"John Adams", the Pulitzer Prize winner for Biography, tells the sweeping tale of one of America's greatest historical figures.

John Adams was known for his brutal honesty, his brave autonomy, and his sometimes irritable nature. What he thought of as the "Great Cause" was the United States' freedom, and what he questioned was religion, the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and those beliefs which will cast a shadow or light on future generations. It was his heroism that led him to the presidency, our nations second, following George Washington. He risked much in journeys across the Pyrenees mountains and over the ocean of the Boston frigate in the freezing temperatures of the 1778 wintertime.

In his personal life he was known for his loving and passionate marriage to Abigail Adams, a woman regarded as possessing great valor and wisdom. Though many also regarded John as a man of integrity, he may have been known for his wild ideas, as much as his ideals. These very values, and John's approach to communicating them to his countrymen, could be what protected America from engaging in another war after the Revolution. Even the turbulent relationship between Adams and Thomas Jefferson is discussed here in a captivating, sweeping style of narration, one meant to be read aloud.

David McCullough, born in 1931, has won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award for his biographical works. His voice is well known to fans of PBS's American Experience series, as are his other non-fiction narratives Truman, and 1776. John Adams and Truman were both adapted for television mini-series.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who thought, wrote, and spoke out for the "Great Cause" come what might, who traveled far and wide in all seasons and often at extreme risk; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was rightly celebrated for his integrity, and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.
Much about John Adam's life will come as a surprise to many. His rocky relationship with friend and eventual archrival Thomas Jefferson, his courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits few would have dared and that few listeners will ever forget.
Like his masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale -- an audiobook about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived. Download and start listening now!

BK_SANS_000293

Quotes & Awards

  • “Lucid and compelling…[Written] in a fluent narrative style that combines a novelist's sense of drama with a scholar's meticulous attention to the historical record.”

    New York Times

  • “By far the best biography of Adams ever written…McCullough's special gift as an artist is his ability to re-create past human beings in all their fullness and all their humanity. In John and Abigail he has found characters worthy of his talent.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “A masterwork of storytelling.”

    Time

  • “McCullough is one of our most gifted living writers.”

    Washington Post

  • Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography
  • Winner of the 2002 Audie Award
  • Winner of the 2002 Ambassador Book Award for Biography
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2001 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/20/2014

    " Wonderful biography. I gained a great deal of appreciation for Adams. And, a bit more critical appreciation of Jefferson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan Dunning | 2/17/2014

    " I'll be honest, this book took me quite a while to read. It was super informative, but sometimes it just couldn't keep my attention. I am definitely glad that I read it though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Berto | 2/14/2014

    " Very interesting, learned a ton more about life and politics during the birth of America than I did from any "official" history text book! Reads like a novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 2/13/2014

    " John Adams, our 2nd President (and Washington's Vice-President), is much over-looked. This excellent biography gives us the details of his incredible life, as well as the surrounding events of the American Revolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sucklingpig Kingofbreakfast | 2/13/2014

    " McCullough is great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 2/9/2014

    " a little ponderous "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 2/4/2014

    " Oh! Loved this book. Great read and really makes you appreciate this country and the brave people who helped create it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fernando Pombeiro | 2/3/2014

    " No one brings historical figures to life quite like McCullough! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jdevero | 1/31/2014

    " John Adams is resurrected due to McCollough's writing and becomes one of the most revered founding fathers who is due greater praise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Zeigler | 1/28/2014

    " Incredibly detailed and completely captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marvin | 1/18/2014

    " Fuck Yeah John Adams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 1/16/2014

    " bio of John Adams "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Barger | 1/15/2014

    " I loved it! Good for history buffs "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Mckay | 1/15/2014

    " Dont normally gravitate to history books but I LOVED this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheather Nelson | 1/14/2014

    " I have rarely read a nonfiction book this quickly, and certainly never a biography or a book about history predating World War II. I have long admired David McCullough and I knew I should bite this one off. I am certainly glad I did. His writing style is just so easy to read. His admiration for Adams is apparent, yet I didn't feel that he ignored the statesman's failings or overstated his contributions. I have not been much of a student of colonial history, so I learned a lot from this book about the (groan) Politics of this now-idealized era. I also had no idea how involved Adams was in foreign policy before his presidency or in preventing America getting sucked into a disastrous, and perhaps independence-ending, war with England or France soon after the fledgling country was born. McCullough includes many sociological details about the time period and about Abigail Adams' experience as a woman basically running a farm and raising her children alone (if John was great, Abigail was AMAZING, BTW). Some portions of the book, particularly those covering Adams' life after his presidency, were perhaps more detailed than necesary. But overall this book is a great achievement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny Winters | 1/12/2014

    " Difficult. The two new genres for me (biography and history) were a little too much. Will go back to it later. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Dyer | 1/12/2014

    " I enjoyed getting to know this president. David did justice for the Adams and life during that time in our history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudine Cable | 1/9/2014

    " Excellent book! It was very long, but fascinating to me. I even found, from reading this book, that we are related to John & Abigail Adams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Morey | 1/3/2014

    " Very good book of John Adams. It was the first biography of Adams that I have read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Baxter | 1/3/2014

    " Excellent read... for those of us who love history and love those who make a difference in their generations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Max | 12/31/2013

    " John Adams by David McCoullough follows the life of John Adams who becomes the second President of the United States. It reveals a personal view of his marriage to Abigail Adams, and their years of separation while he pursued the country's best interests. Readers will find out that Adams an outspoken man, not afraid to expose his beliefs causing him stress with other important men such as Thomas Jefferson whom he had a difficult relationship with; from friend, to enemy while struggling for the presidency to friends again at the end of their lives, dying on the same day, July 4, 1826. He was a religious man, aware of his weaknesses and strengths working relentlessly for his country and saving it from going into an unnecessary war with France. Biography - recommend as a great history book as it reads like historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 12/25/2013

    " extremely good read of our second president and a founding father. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Marshall | 12/15/2013

    " Interesting and well balanced biography of a man who is often overshadowed by his contemporaries such as Washington and Jefferson, but who made many important contributions to independence and the stability of the early republic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nperasmus | 12/14/2013

    " Not only the best biography I have read, one of the very best books I have ever read. The letters between Adams and his wife and Jefferson bring the historical figures to life. McCullough weaves history together so beautifully you will be in tears at the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sod17 | 12/14/2013

    " This made him my favorite president! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianna Rostad | 12/13/2013

    " A largely under-rated president and founding father. Loved the way this book was told. Was this a biography? I couldn't tell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frances Bonardi | 12/9/2013

    " So very well written, amazing life, Adams was so completely dedicated to the service of this country, and his wonderful wife Abigail was a true partner, a must read for anyone who has the ability to read the printed word, remarkable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Chavez | 12/5/2013

    " You need to have a string marriage to read this, otherwise you'll be sick with jealousy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ali lanzetta | 12/2/2013

    " this is one of my all-time favorite books ever! i am wholly in love with mr. john adams and family. McCullough's historical writing is beautiful and captivating. i highly recommend his work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb Farrell | 11/6/2013

    " What an interesting book! Long and tough read but once again Mr. McCullough's research pays off. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Freeman | 10/30/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Russell | 10/2/2013

    " Outstanding. I have a new hero in John Adams. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Hovanesian | 9/20/2013

    " A fascinating look at the Birth of Partisan Politics in America. It didn't take long......and J.A. stayed independent till the end. Bravo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey Christy | 9/11/2013

    " Nice accompaniment to the HBO special in understanding who John Adams was and the behind the scenes work in declaring independence. Makes you realize he doesn't get enough credit for all that he did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Betty | 8/14/2013

    " Was an excellent book one of the better on the founding fathers i have read lately. Now if only our current representatives could do only half as much woud be a great impovement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 7/19/2013

    " Very long, but very interesting - kept me turning the pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 6/28/2013

    " One of the best books that I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherida | 5/15/2013

    " I've read several books by David McCullough. I really like his writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Bradley | 3/29/2013

    " In my opinion, one of the most comprehensive and well-written books about any of the founding fathers. Mr. Adam's dedication to his family and his values is inspiring. The love story between him and his wife, Abigial will be a welcome surprise to any readers expecting a boring historical biography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Stapley | 9/27/2012

    " This book was a little dull and dragged on at times because it covered so much material. Very good read though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelli Brown | 6/26/2012

    " McCullough is a genius! Love this time in history and it is so beautifully written! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jdevero | 5/30/2012

    " John Adams is resurrected due to McCollough's writing and becomes one of the most revered founding fathers who is due greater praise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon | 5/27/2012

    " Fantastic! David McCullough brings a forgotten founding father back to center stage. Which would have made John Adams very happy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila | 5/16/2012

    " Liked this book as I so enjoy history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 3/21/2012

    " Excellent read! Amazing insight into the life of John Adams, his family, friends, and enemies, and a struggling new nation! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C & T Russon | 1/23/2012

    " Inspiring man. Delicate time for our country--glad we made it through! Also a story of lifelong love between a man and his wife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Gubler | 1/22/2012

    " Almost makes a mockery of the boring name that history has. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J. Guapster | 1/10/2012

    " Loved this book. McCullogh can make anything a page-turner, even John Adams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 1/6/2012

    " Amazing...... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Francesca | 12/30/2011

    " Lots of intimate letters and personal details, as well as a well constructed timeline of events and themes throughout the President's life make for a great biography and very enjoyable look at life in general during this period of American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat Lowe | 10/28/2011

    " I gave a copy of this book to my father. If you enjoy reading about American historical figures, I bet you'll enjoy this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Will | 10/28/2011

    " really good. also you learn a surprising amount about thomas jefferson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan Yates | 9/20/2011

    " An excellent and thorough biography. The author goes off on many tangents, but they help give a better understanding to who and what was going on around Adams throughout his life. For the audiobook, Edward Hermann was a terrific narrator. My only disappointment is that it was abridged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Slmcmahon | 7/15/2011

    " Reading the biography of John Adams, I was filled with hope for the future of the United States. This man represents the best of humanity warts and all. And he devoted himself to the establishment of a nation designed to be free of tyranny of all kinds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jude | 7/14/2011

    " David McCullough writes about giants who are taller when you are done reading his books. Thoroughly engrossing reading because they are so lovingly, truthfully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 6/30/2011

    " Another great book by David McCullough. John Adams often gets lost among our Founding Fathers. McCullough reveals the large role that John and Abigail Adams played in the early years of America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 6/29/2011

    " Great history book. Makes John Adams come alive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 6/20/2011

    " Wonderful follow up to "1776" by McCullough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 6/19/2011

    " First "big history" book I read. Worth reading, if I don't still understand John Adams, I get the times he lived in better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathi | 6/10/2011

    " Should be required reading for everyone in the US "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacy | 6/9/2011

    " great book. very interesting read. love this book and love that the author appreciates John Adams and his contributions to America "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron | 6/8/2011

    " McCullouh did a good job keeping me engaged, this was a longet book than I was normaly used to and much of the text that was cited and quoted was language that is a bit to flowery for me. It was the style of the time so not McCullough's fault but rather I thought he did a good job in spit of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 6/8/2011

    " If you haven't read anything by David McCullough, you need to! I just got Truman from the library and am looking forward to starting it. He makes reading history as exciting as reading an adventure novel. John and Abigail come alive in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 6/7/2011

    " It took me three months to read it, and it really shouldn't have. Excellent writing, interesting subject matter, quality read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 6/7/2011

    " An excellent book about John Adams. Really brought him to life. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author David McCullough

David McCullough, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author, has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Greater Journey, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

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.