Book Rating (47)
Narrator Rating (13)

These Truths: A History of the United States

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Jill Lepore

29 Hours 3 Minutes

Recorded Books

September 2018

Audio Book Summary

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. The American experiment rests on three ideas?'these truths,' Jefferson called them?political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, 'on a dedication to inquiry, fearless and unflinching,' writes Jill Lepore in a groundbreaking investigation into the American past that places truth itself at the center of the nation's history. In riveting prose, These Truths tells the story of America, beginning in 1492, to ask whether the course of events has proven the nation's founding truths, or belied them. 'A nation born in contradiction, liberty in a land of slavery, sovereignty in a land of conquest, will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,' Lepore writes, finding meaning in those very contradictions as she weaves American history into a majestic tapestry of faith and hope, of peril and prosperity, of technological progress and moral anguish. A spellbinding chronicle filled with arresting sketches of Americans from John Winthrop and Frederick Douglass to Pauli Murray and Phyllis Schlafly, These Truths offers an authoritative new history of a great, and greatly troubled, nation.

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Reviews

  • Donald W.

    A daunting undertaking ably completed. Miss Lepore plainly wanted to highlight aspects of our national history that traditional examinations have not. I found her emphasis on the rise of technology and pollsters in American politics unworthy of the persistent emphasis it received, but her focus on the racial implications of otherwise familiar historical events was both powerful and edifying. The poor narration, as others have observed, was an unfortunate distraction.

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  • Matt M.

    Fascinating

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  • Fred L.

    Really liked the book, but Ms. Lepore really should have found a professional to do the narration. Walking around with earphones on, I have very little defense when she starts shouting out the quotations. Very amateurish and annoying!!

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  • Sara G.

    Excellent book with a sweeping yet unique perspective on US history. However, the audio version is regrettably poor. The trend of historians reading their own work is unfortunate, and Jill Lepore’s reading underscores the folly of doing so. Her voice is generally pleasant enough (I decided to get the audio version after hearing her discuss it during an interview), but history generally, and this history in particular, comprises numerous quotations from letters, speeches, reports, etc. Ms Lepore’s attempt to give voice to these original sources is embarrassing and grating. Each historical person sounds pretty much the same: like a fifth grader reciting the Gettysburg Address in what she thinks is an appropriately “formal” voice. My advice: buy the hard copy and skip the audiobook.

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