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His Excellency Audiobook
His Excellency
Written by: 
Joseph J. Ellis
Narrated by: 
Nelson Runger
His Excellency Audiobook

His Excellency: George Washington

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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Joseph J. Ellis penned the National Book Award-winning American Sphinx and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Founding Brothers, a fixture on The New York Times best seller list for an entire year, and one of the most popular history books of all time. Now this master historian turns his attention to the most exalted American hero, Founding Father and first President George Washington.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction (unabridged), 2005
  • 2005 Quill Award Nominee

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (493 )
5 star
 (208)
4 star
 (188)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.4 (179 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (22)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (176 )
5 star
 (84)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-06-11
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-06-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "Generally good, hard to get through"

    I generally liked the book, but it was hard to get through. I even had to take a break from it and go back to it. It was worth listening to overall from a historical standpoint, and the narrator made it as entertaining as it could be. He actually sounded very passionate about the content. If this was a print book it would have taken me a year to finish this. I have no fault with the writing, content or narrator. It just isn't what you would call riveting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillette Lawrence, KS, United States 09-08-11
    Gillette Lawrence, KS, United States 09-08-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easy to see why Ellis won a pulitzer"

    Though Ellis' Pulitzer was not for this book, the qualities that earned him that prestigious award shine through. I don't know how many hundreds of books about GW and the era have been written, but this one is a gem that stands out from the rest. It is firmly grounded in fact, and filled with compellingly argued analysis where fact fails us. It is well organized and presents an insight not only into the doings of one of the very most important persons in American history, but into the personal character of GW.

    Not normally a fan of biographies, but this one I listened to twice. The reader does an outstanding job not getting in the way of the prose. If that sounds like a backhanded compliment to the reader, I assure you it is not backhanded. It takes top talent in this field to turn the text into a living thing without distracting the reader into noticing that they are being read to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosalind Novato, CA, United States 08-27-11
    Rosalind Novato, CA, United States 08-27-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Speed it up or perish..."

    This is a well written historical account about our founding father George Washington, but you will not survive the reading if you don't at least increase the speed to 1.5X. Actually I enjoyed it at 2X myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Sneed 07-12-11
    C. Sneed 07-12-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    49
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    Story
    "Good, not great"

    The author's voice seems to come through more than the research. I just finished a different work on Theodore Roosevelt that was far more properly documented. Still, a good read. But I wouldn't make it my only read if you were looking for one book on Washington.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James clearfield, UT, United States 03-27-11
    James clearfield, UT, United States 03-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    19
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    "Great read, lousy narration"

    I had read this book a few years back and loved it. The narration is terrible, slow reading, pregnant pauses that could produce triplets,time could be cut down by 30% with proper editing. However I still rated it high because I do love the book it self.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Cheyenne, WY, United States 03-12-11
    Ken Cheyenne, WY, United States 03-12-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Overall
    "Good Book."

    The audible part seemed to go a little slow. Good content, just wish the reader went a little faster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bangledorf 12-06-09
    Bangledorf 12-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dissappointing."

    I was very disappointed with this book. After reading books like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton by Mccullough and Chernow respectively, I felt like this was a half hearted treatment of George Washington. Almost like an aborted attempt at a truly exhaustive scholarly work for Ellis. This was especially disappointing as I had loved his book Founding Brothers. It was kind of funny, however, because Runger is the same narrator that reads John Adams, and there are contradictory statements between this and John Adams, so it was as if he was contradicting himself. But he is a good Narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 10-28-09
    J 10-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    "really interesting"

    It discusses washington's weaknesses. He had alot of things he was not good at. But it's amazing to hear such insightfull information about the creation of the nation. A must read for history geeks like me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Michael Fielding New York, New York 12-03-08
    Brian Michael Fielding New York, New York 12-03-08 Member Since 2010

    I joined mission Audible in April 1997, contributed in some small way to its growth and maturity, and left at the end of 2012.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant & Fascinating Portrait"

    Ellis' book is spectacular in its breadth and depth of analysis of George Washington's life and times. It's a true must-listen for anyone interested in American History, important military and political leaders, and in-depth character studies. Ellis paints a full and vibrant portrait of Washington the man - not the myth. The listener comes to a deeper understanding of Washington as a real flesh and blood man of his time. It makes Washington's achievements all the more remarkable to know about all the missteps and less-than-stellar choices he made along the way. Superbly written and performed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GOK 03-03-08
    GOK 03-03-08 Member Since 2014

    GOK

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "5 star book, 2 star narration"

    This is one of the most balanced books on Washington and is well researched. My advice is to buy the book and forgo the audio book. This is 10 hr book read in 14 hours....sooo slow.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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