There is plenty of the typically hyperbolic hero worship to be expected from a Washington biography but also a fair accounting of the sometimes hypocritical juxtaposition of the man's ideals relative to his actions on issues of slavery and business. It's an insightful look at the first president and an enjoyable narrative. Brick dies a typically stellar job narrating with clarity and emotion when needed without being distracting or leading the listener towards his own interpretation of the text.
Yes ... if I had the time. Chernow has written a detailed biography that has many mundane, but fascinating details about George Washington's life. He also provides the reader with considerable historical analysis and background of the people and events that impacted Washington.
Learning more about the more devious and political side of Washington's life. This behind the scenes look at the politician and general takes him off of his historical pedestal, but makes him more human and in some ways, more admirable.
Chernow writes many details of Washington's presidency as well as his military exploits. Not many people get to be such a ground breaker instituting not only a new country, but a new way of government. Washington was keenly aware that he would be a model for future presidents. "If Washington did this, then it is okay for me to do this too." Chernow fills in many of the little details and motivations behind Washington's presidency.
This book was fantastic! The reader took me on a journey that completely enlightened me. It was a real page turner. The book also dispelled many rumors currently floating around. My favorite rumor was about his alleged wooden teeth. Read the book and find out the truth. Two facts of caution however. First, the book is very long. So, prepare for a long read. Second, the book is written using advanced vocabulary.
I have a new found respect for Washington. Chernow's research and writing mastery combined with Scott Bricks narration have produced an exceptional book about this truly great leader. I finished this book with a much better understanding of life before, during and following the founding of our country.
This is a very detailed history of George Washington, the father of our country. From birth to death, extrordinary narrative throughout. Our country may never have been were it not for the unbiased, calm and cool character of Mr. Washington.
I was most drawn to the adventures that not many people are aware of that the young George Washington endured.
Smooth and easy listening.
I wanted to never stop listening, however night time comes every evening. But it is very long and full of nostalgia and history. Far too much for one sitting.
In several years I'll most likely listen again. Very good story.
Because this book was so long and so detailed I felt like George Washington had become an old friend (I actually cried when he died in the book). The book is wonderful because George Washington is wonderful. I'm glad the author didn't paint over any shortcoming he had - it made him relatable.
What a life - perfectly illustrated through personal letters and corespondents. If you think you know history and George Washington, you've probably only skimmed the surface and this book reveals information I'm sure you'll find fascinating. You can really see the hand of Providence in the founding of America!
Though a 42 hour book can feel daunting, it really was a pleasure!
I loved this biography. Sometimes a biographer dwells too much on one aspect of the personality they're writing about - usually one personality trait. This biographer gives us a view of the dominant traits of Washington, but also takes into account varying situations and times of life.
The reader was fabulous.
George Washington is an American personality so critical to the history of the Republic but at the same time so thinly understood by most Americans. Mr. Chernow takes his time in dissecting a very complicated man who rose to incredible prominence on the world stage. From a vast array of sources, Chernow paints a portrait of Washington that is remarkably human. Chernow's Washington is a man of soaring ambition who harbored deep doubts about his abilities. A commanding presence who tried to build consent among his peers. A daft politician, who still understood that his popularity must be garnished with humility. And then there's the slavery issue. Chernow doesn't back down from the slavery issue and spends a lot of time investigating Washington's opinions on the matter. He neither damns Washington outright nor lets the matter slide with a "product-of-his-times" sort of excuse. Chernow presents Washington, I think quite fairly, as a man who knew slavery was contrary to American ideals (and aware that eventually one would have to prevail over) but at the same time displaying a remarkable moral blind spot for slavery when it came to his own business interests.
Clearly George Washington as the central character. Chernow does a remarkable job making him beautifully human, fallible, and insecure character thus making his ascent into history even more remarkable. With Chernow, Washington becomes less a force of nature and agent of the inevitable but instead a driven man of remarkable humility.
Mr. Brick reads through the sometimes arcane language of 18th century English with ease and fluency often ferreting out subtle tones of humor, outrage or sarcasm that can be missed with a casual reading.
I already knew how the book ended (with 'Merica) but Chernow's narrative frequently places the reader in Washington's shoes as he deals with the death of loved ones, the end of the War, and, my personal favorite, his last day in office as president.
I'm not sure I would have had the patience to read through such a dense tome. Listening on audible was definitely the preferred method for me.