- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 18 Nov. 2008
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ1V84
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The American Future: A History Audiobook – Abridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Familiar events such as the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement are viewed through the lived histories of characters that were there to witness history unfolding - and Schama brilliantly uses letters and diaries to create a real sense of immanence and urgency - rather than just rehashing other historical accounts.
The causes and effects of these epoch changing events, clearly illustrate how America has been shaped - and Schama frequently jumps to the present to address issues that have been ongoing problems in the country - such as immigration. A question he puts to George W Bush at a Downing Street dinner. That is the strength of this book and the main difference between Schama's work and the others. It is not a linear historical narrative - sometimes the writing has the kind of authority of a witness to the events, and at times reads like a novel.
I think Schama's book is written in a very immaginative way that few writers would have dared attempt - moving backwards and forwards through history and the present. But this style allows you to view the history from a different perspective. I highly recommend The American Future.Read more ›
Like the TV series, the book comes in four chapters and follows their respective episodes quite well. But `the more' than Schama offers his readers, as opposed to his viewers results in these chapters being quite long, of one hundred pages or so each. Nevertheless, I read each chapter non-stop, so mesmerising are the stories he has to tell, so skilful the way of their telling. For sure, sometimes Schama lets his pen go too far; long, long sentences of descriptive power, yes, but when he talks of `saltwater taffee vendors' and `limp seersucker jackets', I have to wonder whether he's gone too native. (He informs us that he has lived half his life in the US already.)
This first chapter, `American War', informs us how much history matters. Schama takes us on an epic journey around American attitudes to fighting, from the opposition at the very beginning of the republic's founding, through the Philippines and right up to Abu Ghraib; from West Point to all points north, south, east and west. Did you know that the American has a brief but nasty naval war with the French post-revolution? Or that water torture was practised by US soldiers against Filipino rebels in the 1900s?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was topical when it was written in 2008, when Obama was running for the Presidency. Now that we live in the post Trump era, it seems strangely out of time. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stephen Cooper
A must read for anyone even vaguely interested in American History.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Still reading through it - arrived promptly on my Kindle. Excellent service.Published 8 months ago by Jean Edwards
I will never know the excellent ideas the author has because of a ratio of seventeen pages of irrelevant, flowery language per nugget of interest. Read morePublished on 15 Dec. 2014 by DaveW
Too wordy and difficult to follow. Read better books on the history of American. Author seemed quiet snidyPublished on 11 Oct. 2014 by Mrs Morag J Jones