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Summary

The beautiful town of St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest continuously occupied city in North America. Founded in 1565, by Pedro Menendez, of Spain, it predates the Pilgrims at Plymouth rock by 42 years and the English settlement at Jamestown by 55 years. It's old town section with many classic stone and log pole buildings in excellent condition, and its magnificent Spanish fort the Castillo San Marcos, dating from 1672, herald St. Augustine as one of the most amazingly preserved historical towns in the Americas.

The History of St. Augustine is a highly enjoyable book to read. As one person complimented, "If history were this fun in school it would be everyone's favorite subject." Taking a unique approach, The History of St. Augustine leaves out all of the accounts of politics, which take up 80% of a usual history book. What remains are all of the exciting and interesting parts of history- the wars, treachery, battles, plagues, hurricanes, pestilences, uprisings, fires and pirates! Plus, insights into the fascinating characters of St. Augustine including Spaniards, French, English, Native Americans and others.

Making this wonderful history book even more enjoyable it is filled with whimsical cartoons loosely related to the historical narrative. Funny to both kids and adults, each cartoon also conveys a message about the unique history of marvelous St. Augustine, Florida.

©1995, 2013 Jesse W. Love (P)2014 Jesse W. Love

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Herbert Ottenbreit
  • 24-10-15

A Love of True History - Florida

Short. informative and to the point. Great narration. The storytelling ties into key dates, people and places.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Darrin
  • 08-03-14

Very Informative & Well Presented

Would you listen to History of St. Augustine Florida again? Why?

I would definitely listen to this book again. Up until listening to this book, I knew very little about St. Augustine. My main reason for getting this audio book is that my wife and I are planning a trip to Florida, and we were looking for interesting historical places to visit. We had no idea how much history was in St. Augustine until listening to this book. We were both captivated after the realization that St. Augustine was established before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There weren't any characters, as it was a history of St. Augustine.

Which character – as performed by Josh Engel – was your favorite?

There weren't any characters past the historical figures that developed St. Augustine. All were introduced and described greatly, which added to the history presentation.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Untold History of The United States

Any additional comments?

This was a very interesting audio book, and read very well. The narrator had a voice that was very easy to listen to, and the delivery while reading was great in my opinion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Reggie 44
  • 11-05-15

Enlightening!!

What did you love best about History of St. Augustine Florida?

I loved best, learning how in demand the territory was to many cultures, for various reasons.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All of the characters were my favorite. I have actually learned interesting facts about the history of St. Augustine, Fl. I can now discuss what I learned at my next social gathering. Can't wait!!!

Have you listened to any of Josh Engel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't believe that I have listened to any of Mr. Engels performances before. Yet, I do look forward to listening to some of his other performances.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

My tag line would be, " the history of America is compelling".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex Prosper
  • 18-12-14

History Brought to Live

What made the experience of listening to History of St. Augustine Florida the most enjoyable?

This audiobook had a great flow,with just the right amount of colorful details and a big focus on the action, adventure and interesting characters that shaped this region. Florida has such a wild past, and this book did it justice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like how overall the city of St. Augustine is seen as a character that grew and changed under the different residents and influences and rebuilding efforts. The Spanish pirates attack on the fort was an especially interesting part of the book, and I also had no idea that the Seminoles were not the first native tribes in the region, having moved in after early settlers wiped out previous Native Americans.

What does Josh Engel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator kept the flow going and made the history feel like an entertaining story as opposed to a list of dates, which is how reading alone can sometimes fell. Having this in audiobook form also makes it possible to share the experience with others or listen in the car. It's also super helpful to hear the Indian, Spanish and French names pronounced!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was in awe of the waves of brutality that are part of Florida's history, with St. Augustine serving as a hot spot of contention. I'm glad to know its importance as the oldest settlement and to know more than the "Fountain of Youth" story.

Any additional comments?

Great for history or to add context while traveling. It's about the perfect length to listen to while traveling between Jacksonville and St. Augustine if you are headed there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • kaite
  • 20-10-14

Who knew Florida was so interesting!

If you could sum up History of St. Augustine Florida in three words, what would they be?

interesting, surprising, drama-filled

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a history book so there aren't characters as such. The town itself is the only constant throughout and it's story is so tumultuous! I don't think I ever realized how difficult it was for the settlers and their families.

What does Josh Engel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

intonation, a lovely accent/voice, a book I can 'read' while driving/working!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Mosquitoes really ARE the enemy! (and the natives, and the French, and the British, and sometimes the Spanish depending on who's side you're on ;))

Any additional comments?

If you aren't filled with admiration for settlers already, you will be after this. Not just the first ones to arrive and discover mosquitoes, or the second generation killed by natives, or the third who witness the complete destruction of their town, or the ones who rebuild it to see it ruined again.............given everything that happened to St. Augustine it's a miracle that it's still there!

Really interesting and enjoyable listen :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Summers
  • 20-08-14

A fascinating look into history!!!

What did you love best about History of St. Augustine Florida?

What I loved best about this book was its concise, in-depth, well rounded portray of St. Augustine. History has so many layers, and I believe this book did an excellent job of showing all the past layers of St. Augustine. The flow of the dialogue was excellent and easy to understand.

Who was your favorite character and why?

St. Augustine, Florida! Like many of other places in the United States of America it has a colorful history, and now I know its history and can appreciate it more. The city has endured a lot, and deserves a great book like this to easily reach tons of readers and have its story told. I have never been there before, but would like to visit now more than any other place.

What about Josh Engel’s performance did you like?

His fluctuating tone and rhythm kept me intrigued and entertained.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was exciting and entertaining! Through its crafty wording, I was able to create vivid images in my mind!

Any additional comments?

I love history! However, within the schools I've attended a lot of history has been omitted. I kind of wish the authors who wrote a lot of the history books I was forced to read growing up could be put on a stand to recite that ever so clever oath...."Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.." This book was unbiased and detailed. After reading it I felt as if I got the truth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Jane
  • 10-08-14

Very Interesting!

I found this book to be extremely interesting and very informative! Don't be fooled, this isn't like the dull history lessons that you had to sit through in school by any means whatsoever! This book gives a very insightful and fun look at the history of St. Augustine. This would be especially helpful for those who may be planning a trip to Florida and would like to pay a visit to North America's Oldest City!

As for the narrator, I think Josh Engel was the perfect choice. His voice, as others have mentioned, is absolutely perfect for audio books and he really had me listening intently to all the information that was being presented. He wasn't too soft, nor was he ear-drum shatteringly loud and his voice had almost a soothing quality to it which in my opinion is always a plus when I'm reading before bedtime. And the most important part is that his voice wasn't dull or lifeless. There have been certain audiobooks where the narrator's voice is just so flat that I lose all interest in the book completely.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone whether you're a history buff, planning a trip or just simply in the mood for learning something new! You won't be disappointed!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pedroluis
  • 19-07-14

Great story!

Would you consider the audio edition of History of St. Augustine Florida to be better than the print version?

This book is a real pleasure, recommended for anyone interested in the history of St. Augustine Florida. In fact, even if you're not especially interested in the history of Florida you'll enjoy reading this book. It's like sitting on a porch and listening to a wry old timer, sitting in a rocking chair and smoking a pipe, telling you one entertaining tale after another.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CC
  • 23-05-14

A Place For Saints and Sinners All Are Welcome is


Hi Everyone
I only have a minute to dash this review off as I have an appointment with my travel agency to book my summer vacation in St Augustine. I want to get the jump on it because as soon as the masses get their little mitts on this book. The place will be bustin at the seams with tourist just like me looking for the endless summer of their youth.
For people who want to vacation and learn a place like St Augustine seems perfect especially if they are big on Spanish Architecture, art and gardens. As a California native I can plead guilty to that from my Stucco Hacienda style home on an acre of land. I love mission architecture and gardens.
The big disappointment for me was not the book but reflecting on my education in public school. Plymouth Rock is a mere child given the establishment date of St Augustine. I have to say this is no dry, academic study of St Augustine. This is a well written set of prose that at times is written with a quiet wit. Then other times the humor is the life of the party out in the open laugh out loud funny. The author Jesse W. Love would no doubt be an asset and valuable guest at any dinner party.
This non-fiction book comes as close to fiction as one is going to get, with stories, descriptions, textures, smells. Author Jesse Love passes on that indefinable atmosphere to the reader through a unique choice of words and narration.
Although I am looking forward to the trip to St Augustine the only thing I would probably miss besides the food. Are the blisters on my feet so maybe I’ll just opt for another round of St Augustine in my garden? I will allow myself to be lulled into a vacation state of mind. As I listen to the soothing sounds of Josh Engels melodic reading voice as he narrates.
I’m giving this a 5 because anyone who can make me consider paying for an airline ticket to Florida has done their job well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jorge Alberto Orduna SR.
  • 22-05-14

An Instant Historical Classic

Would you listen to History of St. Augustine Florida again? Why?

The History of St. Augustine Florida stunned me. I haven't heard or read anything quite on par with this book in the past. I've read a lot of history books, but most are dry and analytical. This takes on the material and makes it comedic, poignant and just a fun time. I have been talking about it with my friends for a couple days now, and they are intrigued now. It's rare to get comedic and historical in such a whimsical fashion, and I loved it. I'm going to go back and listen again, and again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of History of St. Augustine Florida?

The humor involved is classic. There are moments that are definitely meant for history buffs, and as I'm studying for a master's in Humanities, I found myself laughing at some of the quick quips.

What does Josh Engel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

An outside voice, which is far different than my own. My inner voice isn't always the most animated or interesting, but Josh Engel presents it well and gives me a larger sense of comedic timing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I had a limited knowledge of the story, but once hearing it through I found myself fascinated with Florida, and now must learn more. I guess that's the point, it inspired education.

Any additional comments?

A solid read/listen, and one that I highly recommend to anyone that is looking at a bit of history and comedy mixed into one brief narrative. I like it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful