It tells the story of America through the voices of those who were there, from presidents to slaves. It celebrates the American achievement and evokes the sound and colour of daily life; it also explores the paradoxes of American history. through three themes - empire, liberty and faith - that together this vivid saga.
PART ONE - from the beginnings to the start of the Civil War in 1861 The series is written and presented by David Reynolds - a prize-winning Cambridge historian whose previous work for the BBC includes the 2008 TV series Summits.
©2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Filled with the testimony of many who lived through these times, this history of America runs from the arrival of the Native Americans to the Civil War in 1861, exploring in 30 episodes the conflicting themes of empire, liberty and faith." (The Observer)
"There are plenty of wars: against the natives, the French, the Spanish and, of course, the English, unused to wilderness warfare. One red-coat officer wrote home testily that 'no women follow our camp to wash our linen. We have to wash it ourselves'." (The Guardian)
This really interesting title provides vivid descriptions and background to the critical early development of the world's only true Super power. America is a subject nobody can afford to ignore if they want to understand modern history and this audio book makes it really accessible.
Many hours in spring and summer spent sitting on a slow lawn mower is why I listen to stories.
This is the kind of book that gives all the information a novice in the field wants to know, without requiring much effort. Nicely divided into reasonably short chapters, so listening can be spread over many weeks without losing one's way.
Fantastic series that focuses on the individuals which triggered, or best represented, a significant event or movement in American history rather than purely following a strict chronology. Does a great job of humanising the events in a very balanced and non-judgemental way. Very easy to listen to and gives plenty of detail but never becomes bogged down. Highly recommended.
This is definitely a survey, not an in-depth analysis. It's a radio documentary, divided into 13-14 minute segments, with music, sound effects, and extensive quotations from journals, letters, and documents of the time (read by actors). What's lost in depth is made up in variety: you get a sense of the vast numbers of people who make up the history of the country. David Reynolds has published a book under the same title that follows this recording quite closely but is not identical. The first volume covers the period from the early European explorations through the election of 1860.
On the whole, an overview of American History. As for Cherokee history, some of the specifics were inaccurate though the spirit of the narrative was true to the subject.
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