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
"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)
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.
i drive a truck full of produce,and have tons of time to listen
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
john adams, you get to know them as people
find out why we call him the father of our country
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.
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!
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.
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.
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