• Historical Biographies of Presidents, Books 3 and 4

  • George Washington - Beyond Independence and Thomas Jefferson - The Architect of Freedom in the Modern World
  • By: J. R. MacGregor
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kollins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

No two men are more synonymous with what it means to be “American”. From leading the Continental Army in the battle for American Independence and being the first president of the United States to the writer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most popular leaders in American History, these two embody what it means to be free.

In this two-book set, you'll learn not only what made them American legends, but also what shaped their early years and made them who they were. From their childhood struggles and what kept them moving forward to their early years in politics and the personal battles they fought. It’s all here.

George Washington

We’ve learned a lot about George Washington - some of it myth, most of it true. What we often forget to understand are the motivations that caused him to drive the quest for independence to its successful conclusion. The causes can’t be distilled into a few areas or moments in time; rather, it is best to look at his life and understand the elements that surrounded him and preceded him.

Washington’s life was unlike most men in his position. He had an uncommon zeal for life and an unrelenting quest for justice and truth. It was that strain of his soul that finally overflowed the boundaries of his patience and caused him to undertake what some would call a treasonous journey.

But, it was never about the disloyalty that he had for Britain. It was about the sense of right and wrong that put him in the position to fight the battles that he did and take up a cause that finally saw the severing of ties that bound us to tyranny.

He was, somehow, at all the places that lead to this one outcome. He was at the first reconnaissance mission that alerted him to French intentions. He was at the point where the French commander was scalped, which sparked retribution. That retribution spilled over into the French and Indian War, which then spilled over into the Seven Years’ War. That war dwindled the Bank of England’s resources, which led to taxes on the colonies without representation, and that kicked off the realization in the colonies that only they could stand up for themselves.

This audiobook contains that story - a biography of a man and a country.

Thomas Jefferson

Much is misunderstood about the man who bequeathed us with a framework of what it means to be free and live in a democracy. As a founding father, Thomas Jefferson was instrumental in defining and disseminating what it meant to be an American before an America existed. Washington may have won the battles on the field, but Jefferson won the battles in our hearts. That is why he is still fondly remembered and cherished.

Born in Virginia, Jefferson lived a privileged life and received the best education money could buy. He was schooled in many languages and grew up under the force of a classical education. He learned to think for himself and conducted his affairs with dignity and grace. This audiobook leaves out most of what is commonly known about Jefferson and focuses on the environment he was raised in and the circumstances that guided his mind toward the accomplishment that bears his name.

The battles he fought with himself had to do with things we take for granted on most days. His mind was filled with matters of freedom and elements of democracy. His love was reading, his challenge was writing, and he did both with distinction. To understand America, one has to understand Jefferson. It is a course in citizenship.

©2021 CAC Publishing LLC (P)2022 CAC Publishing LLC

What listeners say about Historical Biographies of Presidents, Books 3 and 4

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A Long listen, but Worth It

This is a LONG book. That said, I love history, so long doesn't bother me, IF the writing is good, and this is very good! I was fascinated by the reams of stuff I never knew about our Founding Father. He was definitely not the self-effacing modest hero with a halo I always thought he was. Washington really crafted his reputation and legacy, but he had very high standards for his own personal conduct. I was left with a deeper respect for Washington, as well as great disappointment that, for whatever reason, he couldn't or wouldn't free his slaves, not even after his death. I get it that he was a 'man of his times' but he knew in his heart that slavery was wrong, and his correspondence and other

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Amazing biography

I don't completely trust MacGregor, who occasionally pulls something ridiculous, but I was very impressed with this book. This is what he can do with an admirable, closely-studied man and overwhelming documentation -- unlike in some of his other biographies, I almost never had the sense that he'd hit a period where he had no material (Grant) or no understanding of a sudden shift in behavior (Hamilton). Really quite an excellent work.

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Beautifully written bio of the father of America

Once again J. R. MacGregor delivers. I previously listen his bio on Thomas Jefferson and it was superb. The bio on them is just as good with the details of his character and personality, strengths and weaknesses and people of his life. Thoroughly researched and well written; it leaves the listener feeling like you know these historical giants on a personal basis and gives fundamental insight into the founding of our country.

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This is a fascinating look

This is a fascinating look at Jefferson. It's more a view of him as an individual throughout his life as opposed to just his work in forming the new country or serving as president and other governmental positions.

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Amazing Book

This book explains the difficulty of creating the United States of America as well as the sacrifices George Washington made to ensure we created a more perfect Union for all American Citizens.

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Greatest History Book listen!!!

J. R. MacGregor does an excellent job of letting you get into the man's life. His background and previous examples of Washington & Jefferson really gives you a well rounded picture of the man. Little incidents help you to understand why an action or writing of Jefferson had him write the way he did.

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Excellent listen

I loved this book because of all the detail about the man's life, things I had never heard before, like his penchant for mockingbirds as pets. I thought it was an honest look at a real human being who just happened to change the world.

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What a struggle

What a struggle Washington had in trying to keep his army together when he could not even get the Continental Congress to get food supplies with clothing and shoes. Congress is still stubborn about the peoples needs, only the power brokers move them.

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A great biography

A very well written, well researched bio of someone I should have known about. An inspiration.

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Great historical listen

Another fantastic book by J. R. MacGregor, The founders were all flawed but driven men and women, what an accomplishment to forge a new union.

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  • Yasmin George
  • 01-21-22

Well written

I enjoyed this book so much that I know I will listen it again. With any book about a famous, historical figure, you hope to learn things you didn't know before and this book provides that. It's also nice to realize that we once had a great country founded by great men. Those days seem so far away, but it helps to listen a book like this one to restore your hope for a better future.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-21-22

Great Book!

So we’ll-written and researched. J. R. MacGregor is a national treasure. It was such a shame to see one of his books with so many wrinkles, dings, creases and tears. I wonder what happened to it? Six stars for the author. Zero stars for the transmittal.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Morgan Moore
  • 02-09-22

Any way an excellent listen

I wont repeat what most of the 5-star reviews have said about this book. But what MacGregor has written about both Washington and Jefferson has opened my eyes as to what back-stabbers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were. Jefferson even lying to Washington on several occasions about his back door dealing with a newspaper that was Anti-Federalist. I had thought that the Founding Fathers were a Band of Brothers but that was far from the case. Any way an excellent listen and worthy of the Pulitzer.

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  • Marie Snell
  • 02-09-22

Well-written

Written in detailed but non- pedantic style, the author takes the listener on a fast ride through a critical formative stage of the Republic. Washington and Jefferson is central. The interplay is fascinating.

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  • Lauren Barba
  • 02-06-22

A little lengthy

I enjoyed listening this biography of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson . It was well researched and outlined as well as very scholarly. It portrays Washington more of a human being with the same struggles as we all do and not a marble figure that could do no wrong. I recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ben Walton
  • 02-06-22

Entertaining and Informative

It is one of the most thorough and listenable biographies I have listen about one of our most famous founding fathers. It is well researched and told in a way that is deeply entertaining and informative at the same ti

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlie Humphreys
  • 02-06-22

A must listen

The best book I have listen on Washington & Jefferson and I have listen about everything. The research is first rate. I don't have a problem with exploring the subject but he went overboard.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charles Bryant
  • 03-07-22

Born to Lead

Insight into the true life of one of America's greatest founder. Very informative and well written. I enjoyed the book.

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  • Jonathan S Lewis
  • 03-07-22

Well researched

Wonderful historical account and well researched. Very easy to listen . Who thought that a book on George Washington could be a “ chapter turner “!

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  • Melanie Perry
  • 03-06-22

A great listen

A great book that listen well and gives the listener an insight into the man who helped found our constitutional republic. Highly recommend it.