• Samuel Adams

  • A Life
  • By: Ira Stoll
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"I pity Mr. Sam Adams," his cousin John Adams wrote to his wife, "for he was born a Rebel." At virtually every juncture of the American Revolution, from the Boston Massacre and Tea Party to Lexington and Concord and the ratification of the Constitution, Samuel Adams played a forceful role. With his fiery rhetoric and religious fervor, he was in many respects the moral conscience of the new nation. "The love of liberty," he thundered, "is interwoven in the soul of man, and can never be totally extinguished."

And yet history has neglected him; today Samuel Adams is best known as a brand of beer. As relations with Great Britain healed in the 19th century, historians were all too willing to dismiss him as a zealot; Adams's distrust of secularism (he envisioned America as a "Christian Sparta") has not endeared him to many contemporary scholars, either. Ira Stoll's fascinating biography not only restores this figure to his rightful place in history but portrays him as a man of God whose skepticism of a powerful central government, uncompromising support for freedom of the press, concern about the influence of money on elections, voluble love of liberty, and selfless endurance in a war for freedom has enormous relevance to Americans today.

©2008 Ira Stoll (P)2008 Tantor

What listeners say about Samuel Adams

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Not just a biography. Must-read American History!

I listened to this book at the suggestion of a friend, and I was very impressed! I had no idea how much I did not know about Samuel Adams. I discovered a lot of new details I didn't know surrounding many historical events in American history, like Paul Revere's ride and the creation of the U.S. Constitution. I thought Chapters 6 and 7 were worth the price of the book all by themselves! Even if you don't think you are interested in this founding father, if you are interested in American History, you need to listen to this book.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Revolutionary war book yet

So many details that have not been taught but have been overlooked. I highly recommend reading this amazing book!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Samuel Adams: The root of liberty and independence

Samuel Adams: A Life, was a book that answers many questions of who was the root of independence. Adams clearly defined and gave clarity to liberty and its derivation from the bible. So many of the founding fathers seemed cool to religion while it was apparent that Adams built his foundation upon the rock of God's word. He was a man of faith to the word of God and he believed America's birth and the idea of a republic of the people and for the people was divine.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

Amazing story of a very religious patriot and integral founding father. The writing was not as riveting as other biographies, but was a great story!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Rabble Rousing man of the Common People

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was one of the founding fathers that historians have not written much about. I recently read “Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation” by Harlow Giles Unger as part of my attempt to read about the lesser known founding fathers.

Stoll’s book provides basic information but unfortunately is not an in-depth biography. Adams’s father sold beer malt and also was christened Samuel. Before hostilities began Adams the younger was a fiery journalist writing under a variety of pen names. He made invaluable contributions to the revolution. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were hiding from the British in Lexington and heard the first shot of the revolution. Samuel Adams was John Adams cousin. John Adams was the second president of the United States.

Before and after the revolution Adams devoted much of his life to public service, as a reprehensive to Continental congresses, a state legislator, lieutenant governor and the governor of Massachusetts. He also helped create the Massachusetts constitution.
Stoll quotes frequently from Adam’s published articles and correspondence. Adams likes to compare American’s revolutionaries with the biblical Israelites. The author argues that Adams’s religious belief fueled his revolutionary zeal. Adams apparently believed that religion should be the heart of American life.

I found the book a good general overview of Samuel Adams life but the book was just too short to cover anything other than a basic overview. If your are interested in the early history of the United States this is a book for you. Paul Boehmer narrated the book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fact filled book

An educated view of the man and I felt a lot of information shoved in this long
audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant Insight

Author did a fantastic job telling the story of such a misunderstood founding father.
Penty of direct quotes and everything in chronological order.. an educational and enjoyable read

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far to long to have so little in facts

this book was a struggle to listen to, focusing almost entirely on the religious zeal of Samuel Adams, while also creating a belief that Samuel Adams was actually the one behind every aspect of the revolution and founding of the country, even making the wild jump that Washington's farewell speech was based off Samuel Adams. I was hoping to learn more about Samuel Adams but came away bored, agitated by the myth building, and exhausted from the endless quotations.
I read this after reading 1776 franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton biographies...
those books paint full pictures of the subjects, their thoughts, beliefs, their virtues and their faults... This book is not attempting to be a detailed summary of a life, and at best is ill informed at worst actively attempts to re frame and the past to make Samuel Adams the first American and most important founding father. it is unpleasant.

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informative and well read

Not a lot is known about this great man. glad i got to listen about the man who basically made the united states of america happen

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Average to good

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

Very informative, but i had a hard to staying with it, kind of dry. I usually listen to these as I sleep, this one, was average.

1 person found this helpful