American Political History
Current Events: American History on Audio

Last month’s midterm elections saw a number of new leaders appointed to political office. As our country continues to evolve, it’s also important to take note of where we came from. Consider these fascinating audiobooks the best American History lecture you’ve ever had.

The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question , “What would the Founding Fathers think?” Read by AudioFile Earphones Award -winning narrator Arthur Morey, American Dialogue examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today’s political conflicts.

In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms: Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and South Carolina’s John Calhoun. Together these heirs of the Founders took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency, and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Thrillingly and authoritatively written by H. W. Brands, Eric Martin narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

The American Political Tradition is one of the most influential and widely read historical volumes of our time. First published in 1948, and now available for the first time on audio, its elegance, passion, and iconoclastic erudition laid the groundwork for a totally new understanding of the American past. By writing a “kind of intellectual history of the assumptions behind American politics,” Richard Hofstadter changed the way Americans understand the relationship between power and ideas in their national experience.

Author: Nick Bunker
Read By: Dan Woren

From his early career as a printer and journalist to his scientific work and role as a founder of a new republic, Benjamin Franklin has always seemed the embodiment of American ingenuity. This biography follows Franklin’s youth up to the age of forty-one, when he made his first electrical discoveries. Bunker goes behind the legend to reveal the sources of Franklin’s passion for knowledge. With archival material from both sides of the Atlantic, we see Franklin in Boston, London, and Philadelphia, as he develops his formula for greatness.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Fred Sanders’ narration brings critical turning points in American history to life, from the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the years before World War II. Meacham writes that each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, and to assert hope over fear.