Super good book. Well worth your time even if it is more then 40 hours. 40 well spent hours.
I have listened to this story twice and will probably listen to it again. In my opinion every student should have to hear about how this country was founded and the tremendous sacrifices given for us. George Washington was in my opinion truly the father of this country he was not alone that's for sure but he was the key to establishing our government.
I enjoyed the character of Alexander Hamilton better in a previous book by Chernow but this book on Washington was a better and more interesting read/listen.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I loved learning more about the life of George Washington. There are so many books on his life out there to choose from and I'm not sure why I chose this one, but it was a good book. It did not sugar coat Washington's life, but did show so many of Washington's qualities that make us think of him as a national hero. I am glad I listened to it. I learned a lot, such as the fact that when he was gravely ill, the doctors drained 5 pints of blood from him because they believed an illness was the result of bad blood. He died, needless to say. I also learned that in spite of never having children of their own, he and Martha raised quite a few children, including two of Martha's children from a previous marriage (the two oldest had passed away), and later her son's children, Eleanor and Washy. (Yes his name was George Washington Custis, and they called him Washy.) I learned that he was never very close to his mother who never seemed to be proud of her son's accomplishments. I learned a lot about his prowess as a general in an unwin-able war, which he managed to win anyway. I learned that he never really wanted to be president of the United States, and never intended to serve a second term, and that he was a very good dancer. And I unlearned a lot, such as the fact that he never cut down a cherry tree, and never said "I cannot tell a lie," although he was a very honest person, and he never had wooden teeth. I learned and unlearned a lot more than this, of course, and I'm glad I got to know this great man a little better. I do honor him and all he did for our country.
Scott Brick is a good narrator, and is in fact many people's favorite. Although I like him, he is not my favorite. I would not listen to a book just because he is narrating it and would certainly not like to listen to him read the phone book. (I would not mind listening to some of my favorite narrators read the phone book - that is my litmus test of a great narrator.) But he does a good job with this rather lengthy book.
My two favorite topics are Baseball and Military History. But my favorite books of all time are Starship Troopers and Ready Player One.
I'm always surprised to learn as much as I do when listening to non-fiction and thus, the impetus for my choosing the book. However, I was surprised at how much I didn't know and how much was false teeth about the man that we were all inundated with during our public education.
This book was quite long, 41 hours, but entirely worth it. My commute is only 25 minutes each way so it took me awhile to get through the book. But, there was never a time I thought, "this is too long and/or uninteresting." From the beginning through his death, Ron Chernow describes Washington's character, personality, mannerisms, thought process, bias, passion and personal philosophy as he evolved from European aristocracy to Southern Planter to Revolutionary to his arriviste with the continental congress and culminating with his inimitable leadership as the first president. However, through it all, what surprised me most, was Washington's Federalist leaning.
I think the logical follow up to this book is Chernow's biography on Alexander Hamilton as no other person plays a more important role in Washington's politicking than Hamilton. We as American's celebrate Jefferson, unabashedly, as the preeminent founding father (not including Washington) but fail to realize that Washington disagreed with much of Jefferson and his followers' views for the country, preferring Hamilton and the Federalists.
Be prepared with a dictionary in hand as the first hand accounts (journals and letters) used a far more sophisticated vocabulary than we use today. My favorite word, and apparently Washington's as well; Licentious.
Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.
This was amazing. I learned a whole lot about GW i never knew. There was a whole lot of politicing back then i had no clue.
Simply masterful. Beginning to end. You know the man, his character, his strengths and flaws, and the personal drive and fortunate accidents that led him to become the first leader of our great country.
This is an insight into Washington that I have never read; and I read allot of American History. The drama of the Revolution and its battles would be adequate interest and entertainment but the various profiles as land and slave owner, genreal, president with his personal ltravails is handled with deference to the non-historian. The narration is excellent. I only gave it four stars because ther are some transsitions that surprised me in thier abriptness.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
Washington: A Life, By Ron Chernow. This is a complete, and I do mean comprehensive retelling of George Washington’s life. No iota of detail is ignored. Yet, while wide-ranging minutia does not necessarily mean a great biography, this prodigious work is enlightening and a magnificent read or listen. This story was brilliantly told, read and kept one’s interest for the astounding length of 41+ hours.
We have here a key to understanding Washington the man: his frailties and perfections, and how they made him the right man for the thirteen colonies, the presidency and perhaps the singular reason the United States was able to continue notwithstanding its embryonic troubles.
The book takes us through Washington’s youth, his days in the wilderness, his adoration of women, his desire for acceptance into the gentry, his ability (or inability) as a general, his mystic status with the colonists, his all-important presence as our first president, his disputes with Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and his friendship and the importance of Hamilton. No matter what Washington’s personal needs were he always considered the need of the nation first.
Surprisingly, he was not such a successful General and if it were not for the French, managing on his behalf we may not have prevailed in the Revolutionary War. Further, although he knew the atrocity of slavery, he never had the courage to undo it but always let that tragedy lay for some later resolution. He was insightful as a businessman/farmer but because of his outsized dedication to our Union first, he was a failure in his management of Mount Vernon. We also see him as a fierce tyrant as an officer. Was that a virtue or a failing?
Most interesting we learn he had little compassion for individuals but broad humanitarianism for the whole. He was limited with an understanding of democracy but knew to rely on Jefferson for theory and Hamilton for implementation. This is a read worth the undertaking.
Most of all, and notwithstanding his deficiencies, we are who we are today because of his strengths.