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    Pulitzer Prize, History, 2008

    In this addition to the esteemed Oxford History of the United States series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the Battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era of revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated America's expansion and prompted the rise of mass political parties.

    He examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party but contends that John Quincy Adams and other advocates of public education, economic integration, and the rights of blacks, women, and Indians were the true prophets of America's future.

    Howe's panoramic narrative - weaving together social, economic, and cultural history with political and military events - culminates in the controversial but brilliantly executed war against Mexico that gained California and Texas for America.

    Please note: The individual volumes of the series have not been published in historical order. What Hath God Wrought is number V in The Oxford History of the United States.

    ©2007 Oxford University Press, Inc. (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.


    "One of the most outstanding syntheses of U.S. history published this decade." ( Publishers Weekly)
    "He is a genuine rarity: an English intellectual who not merely writes about the United States but actually understands it." ( Washington Post)
    "A stunning synthesis....it is a rare thing to encounter a book so magisterial and judicious and also so compelling." ( Chicago Tribune)

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de What Hath God Wrought


    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Ary Shalizi
    • Ary Shalizi
    • 12/04/2011

    Fantastic content, faulty narration

    This book provides a comprehensive overview of US history from the end of the War of 1812 to just after the admission of California to the Union. The ebb and flow of politics provides the main narrative framework for the book, into which Howe weaves detailed discussions of the competing social, economic, religious and technological forces that slowly transformed the coastal states of the founders into a continent-spanning empire riven by internal disputes that would erupt in the Civil War and reverberate for more than a century after. Howe makes the entire era come alive by drawing on a wide variety of primary sources, from census data to the writings contemporary diarists and newspaper accounts, and incorporating many engaging quotes.

    This would be a perfect listen for an avid student of American history, since it covers a frequently overlooked period (overlooked, I would add, for reasons which Howe discusses at length towards the end of the book) were it not for the truly horrible quality of the recording. The narrator is overall quite good, but the editing is probably among the worst I have ever encountered. There are noticeable jumps in audio quality and speed throughout, sometimes even within the same sentence. These imperfections are substantial enough that at times I found myself listening more to the atrocious mixing than the actual content, which was a shame.

    57 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Peter B.
    • Peter B.
    • 13/03/2014


    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book's content is excellent, and it had to be to keep me interested, given the terrible production. Looking back, I wish I'd read it instead of listening to it since the production is so poor.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Often when we read about US history we jump from the Revolution to the Civil War, maybe with a nod to the War of 1812. But this book explains how understanding the period it covers is vital to understanding the maturation of the country and the events, particularly the Civil War, that followed.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Patrick Cullen’s performances?

    The reader's voice is excellent, and assuming the infuriating problems in the production aren't his fault, I'd listen to him again.

    Did What Hath God Wrought inspire you to do anything?

    Yes: to scream at my mp3 player and to curse Audible for the terrible production that ruined a great book. Does anyone at Audible read these reviews? Many others have commented on this problem, how do you dare to continue offering this? Obviously the original recording was corrupted somehow and then apparently patched together. Sometimes a different reader fills in for a sentence or two, or even for just a part of a sentence. Often the reader speeds up, sometimes his reading speed is fine (suggesting that it wasn't his fault, but the production's). Apart from speed, at times his cadence is all over the place so there's no pause between sentences, forcing the listener to divert attention from the book while reconstructing the sentences in one's head.

    Any additional comments?

    Audible, someone on your staff should listen to this production. Not just for a minute or two, but for hours, since some parts are fine, which makes the bad sections (which are most of the book) all the worse. Do you really want to put your name on this terrible production? I realize it would be expensive to produce a new reading, but if don't want to spring for that can't you at least re-mix this somehow? Perhaps slow the reader down in the passages where he sounds like he can't wait to finish? If you won't do that, at least give a warning up front that the production is bad. I wish I'd read more of the reviews that described this problem; that was my mistake, but you should warn your customers. I've listened to hundreds of audio books and this is by far the worst production I've ever heard.

    22 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Chris
    • Chris
    • 20/02/2009

    comprehensive history

    I am a casual history fan and I've always had trouble keeping track of the Taylor's and the Tyler's in the first half of the 19th century. This book is comprehensive, well-read and detailed, sometimes to the point where it can be hard to follow, especially if you listen while commuting. There are many themes, and he jumps back and forth between them. I found myself backing up several times to make sense of things, but it was not too much of a chore. As the author says in the conclusion, he is telling a story, not asserting a thesis--this type of history I think is the most fun to listen to. I never found it tiresome, and that is a lot to say about a book this long. The other reviewer is correct, there were a lot of changes in the recording, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. While this is unusual in audiobooks, I did not find it very distracting.

    38 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour David I. Williams
    • David I. Williams
    • 11/05/2013

    Great Comprehensive Look at the Period

    The phrase “What Hath God Wrought” was the first message sent long distance over the telegraph. This was in some ways the beginning of the communications age. This book covers the period from 1815 to 1848. Many viewed the War of 1812 as the second American Revolution. In the aftermath of that war the American nation began to grow quickly. By the end of the period another war would be fought. This one with Mexico. That war would complete what we today call the Continental United States.

    This period is rich in American history. The nation grew in size, but also in many other areas. Religion flourished in many new and differing ways. An American culture began to grow in the areas of science, literature, and the arts. The tasks of governing a Republic of vast proportions was a novel concept and continued to perplex many leaders. This period saw the end of the Federalist party with the government becoming a one party system with the Republican party in control during the Monroe years. After that the Republican party split itself in two as the followers of Andrew Jackson created the Democrat party and the opponents of Jackson creating the Whig party. Some of the greatest orators and politicians of 19th century America lived and served in this time. It was the period of Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Calhoun, and John Quincy Adams. Towards the end of the period new leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began to rise.

    Slavery was the elephant in the room that could no longer be ignored. As abolitionist societies began to grow in the North the Southern planter class become more and more adamant about protecting slavery. This conflict would continue to pull at the fabric of the nation until, a dozen years after the final period of this book, it would tear the nation in two.

    These are only a few of the areas covered by Daniel Walker Howe in this outstanding volume in the Oxford History of the United States. Even a seasoned reader of history is bound to discover some new gems in these pages. Howe’s prose is never wooded and the subject is made very accessible. With magnificent books like these it is a shame that so few Americans read history. This is a great place to begin the study of a crucial time in our nation’s history.

    16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Roger
    • Roger
    • 30/04/2009

    Thorough and in-depth analysis

    When writing a period survey, it is extremely difficult to be both comprehensive and cohesive. This book, however, succeeds marvelously at both. Howe has incorporated the breadth and inclusiveness of a period survey with in-depth critical analysis, and the result is a compelling story. Howe disclaims an attempt to present a thesis, yet he does identify several themes in his analysis, such as what he calls the revolutions in communications and transportation. He does a wonderful job maintaining his themes throughout the book, explaining how various events and trends influenced and were influenced by the themes. He also explains how many of these trends influenced the periods following 1815-1848, especially the lead-up to the Civil War, and continuing into the present.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Gary
    • Gary
    • 27/02/2015

    History is not just for those who live in the past

    I did not realize how interesting or nuanced American history was during this period of time. The author tells the history while never boring, but at times the players got more complex than any science book because the categories don't always neatly fit into today's way of thinking about things. There just too many good stories to be told and he tells them. The author gives the political top down story, but never forgetting the bottom up approach and looking at the individuals who make up the whole.

    The country was not a monolithic beast able to only hold one thought in its mind at a time. Even when we did wrong (slavery, Native American removal and extermination, women discrimination, wars of expansion, and so on), there were large undercurrents who spoke up against it.

    The real dichotomy throughout the book is the value of the individual as weighed against the good of the society as a whole. The characters and the stories being told never ceased to awe the listener. The author also really gave large sections on the history of religion at the time and why it was so important for the development of the country at that time. The Millennialism Movement was widely believed and contributed to the belief of American Exceptionalism and even helps pave the way for Abraham Lincoln. My only regret with the book, is he didn't take me all the way up to 1860.

    I would definitely recommend this book. The more we understand where we came from the more we can understand where we are going. There is a reason why some politicians want to end Advanced Placement History from high schools and not let students read books like this one. History does not always tell our story such that we are always exceptional, always in the right, or that we have a manifest destiny. History is much more nuanced (and interesting) than cable news, talk radio or some blogs would have you believe.

    8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour John
    • John
    • 03/12/2013

    Great Content, Great Voice, Terrible Editing

    What made the experience of listening to What Hath God Wrought the most enjoyable?

    The content was great. This book covers a wider range of different areas of history (social, economic, government, religion, etc.) than any other history book I've listened to or read.

    What didn’t you like about Patrick Cullen’s performance?

    I think Patrick Cullen's voice is great. But the "performance" was terrible. I don't think Patrick was to blame here. This seems to be a purely technical issue in the post processing. I don't know if they did a lot of editing and overdubbing, or what. But it almost sounds like two different people were narrating and they were switching randomly between the two. It also seems hurried, but again, it doesn't sound like Patrick actually read it that way, i.e. perhaps some part of the processing was trying to reduce inter word gaps or something. This is by far the worst production I've come across in an audiobook. I was able to adapt to it mostly after a while, and I enjoyed the content enough to continue to endure through it to the end. But I wish they would go back to the original recordings and fix this.

    7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Gary
    • Gary
    • 14/05/2009

    bad editing

    Good book, good narrator, but the editing was horrible... leaving no pauses where they should be, running all the sentences together unnaturally. A tedious chore to listen to..almost as if the editors were trying to make the book as short as possible by crunching the sentences together as closely as they could. Never had the problem before with any other book -- I hope I never run into it again.

    39 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Ed
    • Ed
    • 13/02/2009

    An interesting book with some issues

    While I am enjoying this book, there are some issues. There is a LOT more about religion than I thought. From the description, I thought it was going to be about technology and politics. I'm a casual reader of history. It seems that this book is written for someone with a more than casual love of history. Be prepared to ocasionally pause this book and do a Google search for terms that the author assumes the reader is familiar with. While this book is read well, it doesn't seem to be edited well. I can imagine that it takes days if not weeks to record these books. In other books, you can tell when they have stopped and started recording by the suttle changes in pitch or tone. Usually this happens at the end of pages, chapters, or parts. In this book, it happens mid-sentence. A lot. While it doesn't make the book unlistenable, it is annoying.

    39 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Scott
    • Scott
    • 30/03/2009

    Long, in depth, illuminating

    This period of history always gets the short stick. We go from revolution to civil war to WWI and 20th cetury without a pause into the largest technological, business, political, religous and social changes which enabled our 21st century ethics around the role of government, equal rights, the use of technology which seems so natural to us was quite different in 1812, but much closer to our current world in 1850. The discussion of women's rights, the revolutions of 1848, the great awakening, the war against Mexico, the development of the Whig's, and the anti-slavery movement are particualry engaging. Central is the change from the world of the horse to the technology of the railroad, telegraph, newspaper and strong federal government, complete with the central bank. This period of change rivals the change we feel has ocurred in the 20th century. Enjoy a great book.

    11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile