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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

4.6 (3201 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pervis Ellison 06-09-15 Member Since 2014

    porter disciple

    ratings
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    5
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    "Great book, very good narrator"

    Scott Brick is a talented narrator, but his performance would have been better if he changed the inflection of his voice to suit the specific emotion at hand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DEAN milwaukie oregon 05-21-15
    DEAN milwaukie oregon 05-21-15 Member Since 2014

    i drive a truck full of produce,and have tons of time to listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i learned what a true giant he was"
    What made the experience of listening to Washington: A Life the most enjoyable?

    not just a book of dates & deeds, this book uses large amounts of his personal correspondence to give you a feel for how he thought .just try to find a book telling of his relationship with his family more complete than this


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

    john adams, you get to know them as people


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    not sure


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

    find out why we call him the father of our country


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S 05-15-15
    S 05-15-15
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    1
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    "An Exceptional rendering, and reading."

    Expertly narrated. An exceptional reading.
    Humanizing, which only makes him more endeared, real, and beautiful a man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve 05-07-15
    steve 05-07-15 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "Awsome Book!!"

    This was a great book. Very well written and fun to lisson to. I would defiantly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 04-30-15
    Jeff 04-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "A different look at our first president!"

    The narration was excellent and I found the book to be very insightful. I would recommend this to anyone who loves learning about our history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 04-16-15
    Elaine 04-16-15
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    "George Washington a real person."

    He was a real person. not just someone to just read about.
    real personality.A real human with feelings and emotions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Dietrich NJ USA 03-26-15
    D. Dietrich NJ USA 03-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    5
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    "Exhaustive"

    It took me from November to March to finish this long, detailed account of a Washington's life. A very thorough book it, would have been improved by less detail for every portrait for which he posed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Thompson 03-14-15
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    3
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    "Very good and entertaining"

    Great narrating from Scott Brick really went by fast for 41 hrs a lot of great new information pros and cons about general Washington but what a fantastic president and great patriot of America would highly recommend to all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David S. Chang Hawaii 03-14-15
    David S. Chang Hawaii 03-14-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Fabulous book in every way"

    This book brought Washington alive, giving new meaning to who he was and his impact. Even though this book on average was 5 times longer than what I normally listen too, it seemed as though it was shorter. I was sad to see it end!

    Not a dull moment in the book! I thought I understood Washington but this book really opened my eyes. I am still amazed at the depth, research, and analysis of his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha 03-08-15
    Martha 03-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Brings Washington to life"

    I appreciated reading about washington's life through his letters. His young years when he tried to get credentials in the British Army but found that he was not taken seriously because he was a colonial was fascinating.
    I enjoyed learning about others, like Jefferson, from Washington's perspective.
    He has always been at once bigger than life, but without the "personality" that goes with the general description of other founding fathers. So, I enjoyed learning more about Washington, the man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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