Extended Audio Sample

Download Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency Audiobook, by Walter R. Borneman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (776 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter R. Borneman Narrator: Alan Nebelthau Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781436141550
Regular Price: $29.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The life and times of the 11th American president who won a war, transformed the government, and doubled the size of the U.S. <#150> all in four years. But Polk was more than our president. Hear about this statesman who knew how to deal with politics and Download and start listening now!

BK_RECO_001778

Quotes & Awards

  • “For quite a while we’ve needed a new biography of James K. Polk–America’s great underrated president. Now, at last, Walter R. Borneman has delivered the goods. This book is both well written and diligently researched. Highly recommended!”

    Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University, author of The Great Deluge

  • “Borneman gives us a book that is full of interest and insight and is a pleasure to read.”

    Robert Middlekauff, Bancroft Prize-winning author of The Glorious Cause

  • “A terrific portrait of a man and his times.”

    Jon Meacham, author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston

  • “[An] informed and readable biography.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Absorbing…a fascinating study of a master politician and effective statesman…Borneman humanizes the eleventh president.” 

    Tampa Tribune

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 2/14/2014

    " Really a 3.5. I was a little disappointed in this book. I can't help but feel like I learned more about the other men around Polk than Polk himself. His wife, Sarah, isn't talked about much either. It was interesting to learn how the US became contiguous, although some would say that came about more violently than this book would lead you to believe. This book got me interested in the lives of Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, and even more interested in Polk (but for the wrong reasons). Perhaps I should look into McCormac's biography of the man. Mind you, before I read this, the most I knew about Polk was from a song by two guys named John; I did learn some things, I just wanted to learn more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 1/29/2014

    " Great book! Very well written. Absolutely marvelous! I recommend this book to anyone who likes history, is fascinated by the machinations of politics, or enjoys guava marmalade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd Moen | 1/22/2014

    " very good book about the history of the country. sometimes slow moving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Bax. | 1/20/2014

    " Very good bio of an understudied president. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 1/19/2014

    " A solid biography of one of America's most accomplished and most forgotten presidents. This was a man who pledged to remain in office for one term only, set out four goals for his presidency, met them all, and retired after his one and only term. America owes much of its existence west of the Rocky mountains to James K. Polk. While he was certainly not above reproach in some areas, he truly did, as Walter Borneman asserts in the subtitle, transform the presidency and the United States. I was interested to learn more about his intimate political relationship with Andrew Jackson and about the level to which political machinations predominated at partisan nominating conventions in the first half of the 19th century. Borneman's book has helped to solidify James K. Polk's place on my list of most admired presidents. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amatullah Richard | 12/31/2013

    " Generally well balanced biography about the 11th president. The author successfully argues Polk was not a dark horse candidate, but rather the heir of Andrew Jackson and a well versed political insider when nominated. The author also corrects the misconception that "54' 40 or Fight" was not a campaign slogan, but came to be after Polk took office. Polk was undoubtedly one of the hardest working presidents and succeeded in accomplishing his 4 goals upon taking the oath of office...for better or worse. The author avoids the moral implications of Polk being a slaver owner and expanding the country by over 30% in his term. The author tries to circumvent the expansion of slavery issue preferring to assume Polk was not thinking of the consequences even though everyone else in the country was obsessed with "pro slavery" vs. "anti slavery" statehood. I found a couple of errors in the book that should have been caught by editors. However, the book is a good, detailed account of Polk's life. Although the author avoids some controversies he does give a more or less balanced account of Polk's presidency in a tumultuous time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 12/26/2013

    " Well-written, interesting, balanced biography. "

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

    " A sympathetic biography of a president born in NC who accomplished what he set out to do. A bit too detailed in military history for me (Mexican-American War). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 11/1/2013

    " I would say that the title is a little misleading. Though Polk does play a major role in this book, there are many more people that are focused on just as much. It was an interesting read on how America was expanded, but a fairly dry read for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Raymond Bial | 7/26/2013

    " I love reading American history and this is a thoughtful and thrilling biography of one of the very finest Presidents. A selfless statesman, Polk embodies what we need in American government today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 6/3/2013

    " Excellent book on one of America's unkown heros. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 5/3/2013

    " I mostly found it interesting. I got a little bored with the details of the Mexican War and some of the miliary trials in California. Overall it was a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 11/26/2012

    " I enjoyed learning more about Polk, but at times the book bogged down into minutae about troop movements, rather than staying focused on Polk. Sure, those things had a connection, but it wasn't clearly drawn and took the focus off the main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 9/14/2012

    " Before reading this bio I knew very little of President Polk. I found this book easy to read and very informative. I recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 9/2/2012

    " My husband recommended this book to me, without getting political, I now understand and accept somethings which I cannot cahnge "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 1/14/2012

    " The author spent way more time discussing the details of the war with Mexico that I would have expected in a biography about Polk's presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron Willoughby | 7/12/2011

    " Excellent. Readable. Insightful. I like Walter Borneman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bookworm1858 | 3/1/2011

    " I've always liked Polk (mostly for choosing to serve just one term and accomplishing the four goals he had laid out for his term) but I didn't know that much about him. This book helped rectify that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 2/2/2011

    " A fine summation of the life and presidency of one of my favorite presidents. There are 3 of my children and 5 of my grandchildren that I frequently tell that if it were not for James K. Polk, they would be living in Mexico. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 2/19/2010

    " Before reading this bio I knew very little of President Polk. I found this book easy to read and very informative. I recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chadwick | 12/13/2009

    " A Fabulous New Biography of one of least remembered Presidents but by far one of our most accopmplished. And only served one term! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allen | 12/9/2009

    " Presidents use power when they have power. Someone always gets run over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 11/16/2009

    " Well written and a compelling read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 11/16/2009

    " I would say that the title is a little misleading. Though Polk does play a major role in this book, there are many more people that are focused on just as much. It was an interesting read on how America was expanded, but a fairly dry read for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 11/9/2009

    " Great book! Very well written. Absolutely marvelous! I recommend this book to anyone who likes history, is fascinated by the machinations of politics, or enjoys guava marmalade. "

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

Walter R. Borneman is the author of several works of nonfiction, including 1812, The French and Indian WarPolk, and the New York Times bestselling The Admirals. He holds both a master’s degree in history and a law degree. He lives in Colorado.

About the Narrator

Alan Nebelthau is an actor and audiobook narrator, known for The Hebrew Hammer, The Peacekeeper, and the Remember WENN television series. He is the winner of two AudioFile Earphones Awards.