Washington has always been a larger-than-life enigmatic figure. On the day he was given command of the continental army, he recorded only the temperature and where he ate dinner in his journal. But recently, his papers were catalogued at the University of Virginia. Ellis had primary access to the 90-volume papers, allowing him to paint a thorough and fascinating portrait.
From the French and Indian War to Mount Vernon, from the American Revolution to the presidency, Ellis delivers what will stand the test of time as the definitive biography of the greatest American icon.
©2004 Joseph J. Ellis; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"Ellis offers a magisterial account of the life and times of George Washington [that] leaves readers with a deeper sense of the man's humanity." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Ellis gives us a succinct character study while drawing on his extensive knowledge of Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary history to strip away the accretions of myth and contemporary extemporizing that have grown up around his subject....An incisive portrait of the man." (The New York Times)
George Washington has gotten a bad rap from history, and this book seeks to set the story straight. His life is fascinating and complex. He lived in the much-vaunted "interesting times" and he managed to shape both his own destiny and the destiny of the nation. He is not fully a hero in this book, however. How he chose to "solve" the moral quandary of his own slave-owning, while perhaps advanced for his time, does not put him in history's best light now. All in all, this is a good book, very well read, and worth the time it takes to listen to it. It will give you a new perspective on present-day political partisan battles.
The book is very informative about the history and backgroud of our one of our founding fathers. I little dry and long winded but still interesting. I do not care the the hunger pains that occur at 2 hours and up to 2 hours 20 minutes into the recording.
In listening to this book, I had to overcome annoyance with the reader, whose audible intakes of breath and different phrasing detracted from the "listen". Despite that, the book is very good and a useful listen.
I could not finish the book, it annoyed me so.
The author kept launching into critiques on his subject, his motives, the morality behind his motives, his judgement, his likes, dislikes, etc.
There should be a law against such presumption by historians towards their subjects. Not just because it's unfair, or that it's drearily boring, but because it insults the reader.
Lesson for aspiring historians: set the narrative based on facts, events,and chronology. Describe the places and things. Avoid speculation about motives, causes, effects. That's the reader's job.
no so much on the narration. Too much lip smacking and the like found it to be distracting.
This is an interesting look at the life of G. Washington. Unfortunately you'll have a hard time listening to it unless your device has the capability to speed up the narration to 2X. At that speed it actually works. Believe the reviews that say the narration is painfully slow.
I am a fan of great history and am very glad I found this book. While the subject may not have been covered with the depth I would most prefer, this is the best and most balanced book on Washington I have read. If you are not familiar with the real story of Washington (and who is?), I strongly recommend this book.
While I can't speak for Ellis' past, I can say that this book was a good look at the life of our 1st President. The book could best be described as an analysis of Washington's life rather than an in depth biographical profile. The book glosses over many of the details that one would expect in a comlete biography. However, Ellis readily presents interesting analysis throughout the work on the underlying motivations of Washington. This analysis admittedly lends an opinionated slant to Washington's life, but the arguments are weighty and well supported. This is my first look at Ellis, but I will purchase more of his books.
Since discovery of audio books, I have found that I truly enjoy reading and listening at the same time---get more out of it. However, the reader of this title is much too slow; he sighs, and gurgles, belches, and reads it as though it is a play. Finally turned off the sound and just read the book; which was certainly adequate.
I'm going to have to check this book out of the library to be able to intelligently comment on its content.
The narration was awful. The pace was painfully slow. The length of the audible book could have been cut by at least 30% had it been read by a reader with a more reasonable pace. His breathing was distracting, his pauses before the pronounciation of French names were annoying and pretentious, but his audible stomach growls were the final straw.
I will no longer buy an audible book without listening to a long sample first.
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