1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Coolidge  By  cover art

Coolidge

By: Amity Shlaes
Narrated by: Terence Aselford
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $51.33

Buy for $51.33

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923 to 1929, never rated highly in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Now Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s and its elusive president, showing that the mid-1920s was in fact a triumphant period that established our modern way of life: The nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus.

Coolidge is an eye-opening biography of the little-known president behind that era of remarkable growth and national optimism. Coolidge's trademark discipline and composure, Shlaes reveals, represented not weakness but strength, and he proved unafraid to take on the divisive issues of this crucial period: reining in public-sector unions, unrelentingly curtailing spending, and rejecting funding for new interest groups. He reduced the federal budget even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped.

In this magisterial biography, Amity Shlaes captures the remarkable story of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of extraordinary prosperity that grew from his leadership.

©2013 Amity Shlaes (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Coolidge

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    524
  • 4 Stars
    243
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    472
  • 4 Stars
    215
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    473
  • 4 Stars
    191
  • 3 Stars
    74
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Silent Cal

Amity Shlaes has produced a scholarly look at Calvin Coolidge. It is well documented but not a dry boring story that some scholars write. The book came along at a perfect time for me as I had Coolidge on my list of people to read about in 2013. The book covers Coolidge from birth to death. He was born on July 4 1972 in Plymouth Notch Vermont and died there on January 5 1933. The Coolidge family was one of the founding families of Vermont and had the frugal hard working values of New England. He went to Amherst College and met a group of men that he maintain a lifetime friendship and appointed some to government positions. For example I was surprise to learn that Dwight Morrow was an Amherst buddy of Coolidge and he appointed him to the study the role of aviation and then appointed him Ambassador to Mexico. Morrow was the father of Anne Morrow who married Charles Lindbergh. I have a book in my wish list on Anne Morrow so I was pleased with the connection. I love it when one book provides information to another I am to read. Coolidge chose to "Read the Law" rather than go to law school. Then opened up his own practice. He was active in politics and was elected to local, then state positions. He married Grace Anna Goodhue in 1905 and she was outgoing and he was shy so she was a great first lady. She was a teacher at a school for the deaf and a good friend of Elizabeth Reeve Cutter who married Dwight Morrow. When He was governor of Massachusetts he had to deal with the Boston police strike in 1919. When president he not only balanced the budget he had a surplus which he used to pay down the national debt. He had to battle Congress as they wanted to spend the money. But his basic philosophy was to leave business alone and unregulated and all would be fine. He thought aviation was the future but thought that commercial aviation should lead the way not the military. The press noted he was key to healing the country after the scandal of Harding's presidency. I will not give away any of the story you are going to enjoy reading how and why he handled all the above plus more. Terrence Aselford did an adequate job narrating the book.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Memorable Biography of a Forgotten President

What did you love best about Coolidge?

This book skillfully captures Coolidge as an individual as well as providing a good account of the history of the time and Coolidge's political and philosophical thought. It is not hero worship, and the author takes care to present those in opposition to Coolidge in a fair minded way that avoids demonizing.

I finished the book having a better understanding of the man, the nation, and the history of the time than when I began.

What did you like best about this story?

I have a new favorite President. If only the politicians of our age were of a similar mind to Coolidge.

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

I found myself listening to 2-3 hour intervals, but the narration style demands attention. If I was even a little distracted, the narration was unable to demand by attention and draw me back in.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best researched biography I have read!

My thanks to Amity Shlaes for this wonderful biography of the most underappreciated US president. We could use Silent Cal at this point in our history.

At 21 hours Coolidge is a long audiobook. It is well worth every minute and more. It is so thoroughly researched and so well written that it is certain to become the definitive biography of one of our greatest presidents.

Very, very highly recommended!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

We need another Coolidage

Where does Coolidge rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a great biography. One point that was week was how bad the recession was that he inherited from Wilson, it was far worse than what Obama inherited. Yet Harding and Coolidge turned things around to a point that we had the roaring 20's. Then he looked at what Hoover was doing and said - stock market is going to crash, and it did. He was a man of few words, but his actions meant far more.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bio as spare as its subject

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

How to write a biography about one of America's least loquacious and bland Presidents? That was the task facing Shlaes who does an admirable job on one of the 20th centuries' more overlooked leaders. Silent Cal spoke little, spent less, and nevertheless ably lead during one of America's more prosperous decades. Should make for compelling reading but this bio is mostly a recapitulation of what is already largely known about the man with few insider details about CC and what made him tick. Nevertheless I found it interesting, more because of how such a man - talented though he may have been - was clearly a product of his time and could never be elected today. Though Shlaes doesn't draw these comparisons, this book really does speak volumes about what type of man America once made President and what type of person it now takes to endure seemingly endless campaigns, 24 hour news cycles, a cynical electorate and bland but electable policy positions by candidates. CC may be the last if his kind. Too bad Shlaes didn't focus more attention and details on this.

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

Good narration.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

We could use a man like Calvin Coolidge again

What did you love best about Coolidge?

I loved the way Shlaes documented the influences and experiences that made Coolidge the honorable man he was. The book, a product of extraordinary research, meticulously depicts both subtle and substantial events throughout the life of our 30th president while also painting a picture of life in America during that era.
Coolidge's experience as a legislator and Commonwealth Senate President enabled him, as POTUS, to lead and work with congress to enact legislation which respected Federalism and led to extreme prosperity.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning that Coolidge was so focused on reducing federal spending that he and Budget Bureau Director General Lord met frequently and regularly to actually shrink the federal budget.

Any additional comments?

Another great book from Shlaes!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Coolidge - As Good Now as He Was Then- Not So Good

Would you try another book from Amity Shlaes and/or Terence Aselford?

Not by Amity Shlaes. Terence Aselford was adequate.

Would you ever listen to anything by Amity Shlaes again?

No.

What didn’t you like about Terence Aselford’s performance?

The material he had to work with was poor.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I found it a right wing look at an historical but justly ignored figure in our national canopy. It had no redeeming qualities I could discern. I even remained listening until the end. It went off a cliff and never really recovered.

Any additional comments?

Whose idea was it to include the reading of credits at the conclusion of the book? That was a disastrous decision on top of a sad and sorry tale. This would have been okay but she thanked everyone imaginable for this and for that. What a waste of time!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Just OK

This may be one of those books where the author did her best, but no matter, the subject person was just plain dull. The introduction, which was very well done, may be the best part of this book. Perhaps the author should have stopped there.

There may be more to Coolidge than meets the eye. After all, he did have a very successful career and he did become President. He was also disciplined, smart, a family man, and savvy.

But Coolidge was so introspective--so much so--that he apparently did not leave much of a paper trail that would allow a researcher to get and give many details explaining what made this guy tick. It is hard to blame the author who apparently had to scour all available resources. The result is a plain vanilla biography, with little color.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Biased

Political hack job .. Saint Coolidge would be a better title .. Right wing author who calls herself a libertarian .. Not objective

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Researched Bio I Have Ever Read

Would you consider the audio edition of Coolidge to be better than the print version?

Yes...for reading, it is better than print. However, Ms Shlaes' references are so voluminous at the end of her book that I would want that in print.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Its a toss up between Grace Coolidge, Calvin's wife and Andrew Mellon, who worked so long and so hard with Calvin on reducing the public debt and reducing taxes that perhaps he qualified as Cal's wife as well...lol

Which character – as performed by Terence Aselford – was your favorite?

I think his rendition of the dour John Coolidge (the father, not the son) was really well done.

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

If I had the time, yes!

Any additional comments?

I was astounded as to the amount of material went into the research and development of this book! The end of the book is nearly a half an hour of Mr Aselford reading all of the extensive papers and volumes and people that were researched for this book. Ms. Shlaes is one of the first faculty I have encountered that has her subject coming out of her very pores...she is one hell of a passionate advocate for Coolidge and his principles. Amazing woman.

4 people found this helpful