John Quincy Adams

  • by Harlow Giles Unger
  • Narrated by Johnny Heller
  • 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

He fought for Washington, served with Lincoln, witnessed Bunker Hill, and sounded the clarion against slavery on the eve of the Civil War. He negotiated an end to the War of 1812, engineered the annexation of Florida, and won the Supreme Court decision that freed the African captives of La Amistad. He served his nation as minister to six countries, secretary of state, senator, congressman, and president.
John Quincy Adams was all of these things and more. In this masterful biography, award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals Adams as a towering figure in the nation’s formative years and one of the most courageous figures in American history - which is why he ranked first in John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage.
A magisterial biography and a sweeping panorama of American history from the Washington to Lincoln eras, Unger’s John Quincy Adams follows one of America’s most important yet least known figures.
Harlow Giles Unger, a former distinguished visiting fellow in American history at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian. He is the author of 20 books, including several biographies of America’s Founding Fathers. He has also authored histories of the early Republic as well as numerous books on American education. He lives in New York.

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What the Critics Say

"[Unger] eloquently details the diplomatic headaches caused by both the infamous XYZ Affair and ever-changing Gallic governments. Spare prose clarifies the overview of political complications and intricate family dynamics, revealing Adams as a historically overlooked yet key transitional figure who witnessed the birth of the nation and endured its nearly irreparable geographic squabbles of the 1840s." (Publishers Weekly)
"A neglected president receives his due as a statesman and practical politician.… A fine examination of a life, well deserving a place alongside David McCullough’s study of Adams père." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Informative and well written.

Would you listen to John Quincy Adams again? Why?

Yes, to further absorb the facts of Adams' life.


What did you like best about this story?

I found it fascinating that JQA's main public contributions came after his presidency, during his long years in Congress. It was also interesting to learn how much he contributed to foreign diplomacy during his youth. JQA was an under-appreciated guiding light during the early decades of our country.


Which scene was your favorite?

Can't choose. Too many stellar moments in that man's life.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. There's a lot of info in this book, an abundance that requires time to absorb.


Any additional comments?

One of my favorite biographies of all time is David McCullough's "John Adams." It is a perfect work on the life of one of our most important founding fathers. I am proud to say that I own that book in print and as an audio book. Both versions are keepers. Unger's bio of JQA is nearly as good. Beyond the excellent writing, the best part is that Adams the younger is just as fascinating as his father, though entirely unique as a person--definitely no clone of his famous dad. I will listen to this audio book again, and with pleasure. The narration by Johnny Heller is very well done.

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- Gotta Tellya

So inspiring!

Did I like it? I was so impressed & inspired that I bought a copy of "John Quincy Adams" for my husband, both our sons and my 88 yr old father. This amazing American's life story reads like an exciting adventure novel - he was, as someone noted, a perfect blend of classic virtues, all at work for the good of his country. He had such courage & determination, that even when a mere child of 12, served as secretary for the American diplomat to Russia!! Always striving to learn more in an effort to better serve, promote & protect the America he loved! Great book! Incredible story!!
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- Murphy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.