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Washington: A Life Audiobook

Washington: A Life

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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

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    DrSlippy 04-14-16
    DrSlippy 04-14-16 Member Since 2015
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    "epic"

    amazing depiction of familiar historical events and brings them out of the dry history classes and to the realm of true life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Melissa 04-09-16
    Melissa 04-09-16
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    8
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    "Listen then go to Mount Vernon!"

    Great book that taught me so much about the father of our country. George Washington the man and the leader came alive in the book. After I finished it, I went to Mount Vernon. Incredible experience because of the background knowledge I had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FD Firefighter 121 04-07-16

    Remember the 343

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    "What they omit in school"

    Awesome , factual and entertaining. A deep dive into how our country came to be in face of enormous obstacles . Best book ever read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bari Spesard Falling Waters, WV United States 03-30-16
    Bari Spesard Falling Waters, WV United States 03-30-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Long but info-packed"

    Repetitive at times, long, very detailed, but a portrait of Washington that I never would have imagined from history books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Christine 03-24-16
    Christine 03-24-16
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    "Feels a bit like taking medicine"
    Any additional comments?

    I found it interesting to know so little about a man considered the 'Father of our Country.' This book brings to life the wax figure of Washington in our minds into the true passionate and very human creature he was. The book is meticulously researched and constructed to show us the labyrinth of complicated relationships Washington had throughout his life as he himself slowly becomes the mythical portrait we have come to know. I say it is like medicine in that by making him human, sometimes the exciting and storybook version of Washington in all his real features isn't as captivating as the fictional character we idolize in history. Having said that, this portrait of him is all the more impressive and satisfying at its conclusion. Would recommend to anyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Prosser 03-23-16
    R. Prosser 03-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book. super duper long."

    I am reading all the presidential bios. I must say that I find it almost redundant to read all the founding fathers bios. they spent so many of their peak years togther that you end up hearing 5 slightly different versions of a story that typically was very interesting their first time but didn't need repeating. I personally find this exercise more rewarding for the mid 19th century presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor Blair 03-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A "must listen" for any history buff"

    An extremely well-researched work, with excellent narration. And it will definitely make you rethink the supposed greatness of Jefferson and Adams.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 03-18-16
    Don 03-18-16
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    "Early American Life"

    A great account of the complexities of early America and its politics. The myths about Washington are dispelled and a heroric figure, with human flaws, emerges. Long but worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Miami Albatross Miami, FL 03-17-16
    Miami Albatross Miami, FL 03-17-16 Member Since 2014

    Miami Albatross

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    "Mr. Brick's narration is annoying"
    What made the experience of listening to Washington: A Life the most enjoyable?

    Chernow's narrative is great, although many times the story gets lost in the minutiae of Washington's comings and goings and detailed descriptions of the management of his estate.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

    Not sure who to recommend instead of Mr. Brick's exceedingly pompous and affected narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MDY Arizona 03-16-16
    MDY Arizona 03-16-16 Member Since 2015

    I'm soon to be 60. I love Audible as I can listen to books and still do my chores.

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    "An enjoyable history lesson"

    Even though this was a long book to listen to, It took 2 weeks and 2 days to listen to the whole book. But, it was so wonderfully written and read to me that it passed by way too quickly. It was quite the revelation on Washington both the bad sides and the good sides. No stone was left unturned in this wonderful recounting of George Washington's history, from childhood to grave. You will not be wasting your time in listening to every single minute of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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