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.
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.
Super good book. Well worth your time even if it is more then 40 hours. 40 well spent hours.
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
This is a long book. Having said that, it may not have been long enough. As the story drew to its natural conclusion, I began to get that feeling one gets on Sunday, when Monday asserts itself on the horizon. A foreboding, if you will. I began to be sad, as if I was to personally experience the death of this great man. In truth, it was quite sad, as the book ended and I felt the personal loss of the father of our country slipping into the history in which he would have so great an influence.
The book is well written and Scott Brick is ever good at what he does. I feel I have a greater understanding of our country both for then and more importantly now. It is truly a miracle that we even made it out of the 1700's.
I think the author did a laudable job of laying out the true character of Washington, both his commendable traits as well as those not so flattering. I came away with what seems to me to be a complete and detailed picture of one of the most, if not the most, important man in the whole history of these United States. I highly recommend this book.
I'm not a historian, so I can't speak to the accuracy of this biography, but Washington's life is made entertaining and he feels much more real to me as a character. The narration is excellent as is the pace. I find myself occasionally listening to this in the driveway, when I come home from work. I drive quite a bit for work and this makes the commute much more manageable.
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.
This was my second listen to a Chernow book, with Brick doing the reading (first was Alexander Hamilton biography). Having also listened to a dozen other books since then, I now realize how much Brick adds to the experience- his enunciation, tone, and perfect pace are just the best I've ever experienced.
As for the book itself, Chernow does an excellent job of presenting Washington in an honest, un-doctored way. As with many of the founding fathers, Washington was a Godsend to this country- reminiscent of George C Scott as Patton, when he points out that he is basically in the right place at the right time in history to fulfill a destiny that most likely, could not have been achieved without him. The evidence shows that this country might never have come into existence without the Washington-shaped piece of the puzzle being present.
In addition to presenting Washington's full life, there are many references to letters, relationships, and wartime experiences across the board. You truly get the sense that Washington tried to be the best he could be throughout his life, according to the code of ethics he had been raised to respect.
The book also breaches the subject of slavery, and how Washington perceived the idea. Although he tried to be a very humane slave owner, he was still an owner of slaves. While this is hypocritical to the cause he was engaged in, and an obviously flawed position (even for his time), it was one of very few 'bad positions' he was guilty of.
Overall, the book goes a long way to show how much more he did for the country than most of us realize. Instead of a man of average means for the last half of his life, he could have been very wealthy if he would have stayed out of the initial issues with England, and just selfishly gone about his business.