We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Washington: A Life Audiobook

Washington: A Life

Regular Price:$56.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2011

From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of George Washington.

In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the listener through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many Americans, worthy but dull. A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow dashes forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man.

A strapping six feet, Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer, and tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life. Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax, and his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children and grandchildren. He also provides a lavishly detailed portrait of his marriage to Martha and his complex behavior as a slave master.

At the same time, Washington is an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but he also brilliantly orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency.

©2010 Ron Chernow (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Tenaciously researched...This new portrait offers a fresh sense of what a groundbreaking role Washington played, not only in physically embodying his new nation's leadership but also in interpreting how its newly articulated constitutional principles would be applied...deeply rewarding.” (New York Times)

"Just as he resuscitated Alexander Hamilton in a heralded 2004 biography, Ron Chernow now resurrects Washington...[A] remarkable book." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Whether he's debunking the legend of Washington's wooden teeth (ivory that cracked and discolored over time) or the purely fictional tale of the cherry tree, the massive yet briskly paced Washington: A Life is a rollicking read, sure to redefine perceptions and correct assumptions." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (3063 )
5 star
 (2016)
4 star
 (793)
3 star
 (181)
2 star
 (44)
1 star
 (29)
Overall
4.6 (2403 )
5 star
 (1699)
4 star
 (535)
3 star
 (125)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (16)
Story
4.6 (2414 )
5 star
 (1616)
4 star
 (602)
3 star
 (150)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Courtney 02-22-15
    Courtney 02-22-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read of our country's father"

    In depth view of our country's preeminent founder. I recommend it to anyone who has only a elementary school image of him...mostly everybody.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca E. Hamilton 02-05-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Made Washington Seem Even Greater"

    By humanizing him, Chernow made me revere him more. Very long and narrator's voice is irritating. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Amato Brooklyn, NY 01-14-15
    J. Amato Brooklyn, NY 01-14-15 Member Since 2016

    dtscoot

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great investment of time!"

    What an amazing experience. While I learned so much about Washington, this story provides invaluable knowledge of the roots of many of the customs, traditions and conflicts surviving until today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent 12-29-14
    Brent 12-29-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Scholarly unvarnished view of a great man"

    This work provided insight into events and factors that shaped George Washington. Washington's life is a complex mix of good and bad. The extensive use of Washington's letters provides a echo of the past that I appreciated as a student of History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 12-01-14
    Patrick 12-01-14 Member Since 2014

    Making my way through all the US President a biography at a time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A biography fitting a great (& complex) President"
    Where does Washington: A Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm working my way through Presidential biographies and this is by far the best. Surpassing Lincoln's!


    What other book might you compare Washington: A Life to and why?

    Team of Rivals


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The complex relationship with his mother provoked a great contrast of duty to her instead any maternal body of love.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, this is a book that'll you'll commit to and enjoy. It took me 3 weeks.


    Any additional comments?

    The Best Washington Biography and perhaps the best presidential biography but we shall see.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 11-26-14
    James 11-26-14 Member Since 2016

    Addicted to reading traditional books. Overwhelmed by backlog of books to read. If it's early Americana then I want it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I know George much better now"
    Where does Washington: A Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is among the best.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciated the details in which this book captured Washington. The author also included the statements of other key players. We look at Washington as a stoic hero, but not everyone felt that way. Some were quite verbal about their dislike, while others hid their opinions. You walk away with a true understanding of an imperfect man who did the best he could, in that, he was heads and tails above most others of the time, and for ages to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 11-20-14
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 11-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very enjoyable!"
    Where does Washington: A Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks at the top of the list for biographies of historical figures. It was informative without being stuffy. I felt like I understood Washington better after listening to it. Highly recommend.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    His performance was spot on. Animated without being overbearing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The man behind the teeth.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 08-22-14
    Elizabeth 08-22-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Learned many, many things about Washington!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No - I think this book relates to a small audience


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Learning about the politics of the time, we tend to not think about this.


    Do you think Washington: A Life needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book, mostly because it was written with the facts of what was going on at the time. Learning about the political struggles, his family and loves was interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RJ9Montana 07-31-14
    RJ9Montana 07-31-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent"
    If you could sum up Washington: A Life in three words, what would they be?

    Comprehensive, in-depth, revealing


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was quite lengthly, and took time to really digest.


    Any additional comments?

    Measured and thoughtful without drawing conclusions or making moral judgements. He did a fantastic job of bringing out Washington's true greatness of character, without ignoring the weaknesses, such as his acceptance of slavery while publicly seeming to condemn it. True, not revisionist, history!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 05-01-14
    Don 05-01-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Good and Thorough"

    This is an extremely well researched and meticulously documented biography.
    It delves into the inner psychology quite well also.
    However, it could have used a bit more editing for streamlining purposes. Many subjects are touched on repeatedly, especially slavery. So much so that by the end you're wishing the book would just finish. That being said, it was still very interesting at times with the Federalist / Republican split and the progress of the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.