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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

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  •  
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 11-03-16
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 11-03-16 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! Lifelong reader and passionate pursuer of knowledge. I love Audible because I never have to stop reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where are you George Washington?"
    Any additional comments?

    The current mess of an election makes one yearn for a man the stature of this genuine hero who was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countryman." A superb, complete, and well read biography of an almost superhuman man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teadrinker Newark, NJ, United States 10-22-16
    Teadrinker Newark, NJ, United States 10-22-16 Member Since 2015

    World Champion Parallel Parker

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    "An Actual Man"

    After learning, all my life, that George Washington was sort of a god, it's taken me years to learn that he was actually a man. This book keeps that view squarely in sight. There were parts of him that were wonderful and magical, and other parts that were ordinary and sad. Taken all together, he emerges in his full complexity rather than as a saint. It makes him much more real. Good bio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    John Lantz 10-22-16
    John Lantz 10-22-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Best book on Washington"

    This is the best book on George Washington that I've ever read or listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kai Ponte Los Angeles, California 10-20-16
    Kai Ponte Los Angeles, California 10-20-16 Member Since 2014

    PerfectReign

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    "Fantastic story marred only by poor reader"

    The book itself was brilliant. This was the first time, as much a complete picture of George Washington was put together encompassing his life, failures, successes, and leadership. Having letters and diary entries served the author well in being able to provide us the entire life of George as he struggled through life. For the history buff, this portrait also provides a fantastic look at how a group of slave-holding southern farmers worked with mercantilist northerners to forge a new country.

    The only reason I cannot give this book five stars is a result of the horrid nasal voice of the reader. The person who read this book obviously has no idea how to speak to an audience without sounding like an elitist. I almost gave up and wanted to read the 900+ pages myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Bower 10-19-16
    Keith Bower 10-19-16
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    "Extraordinary! A bittersweet lesson in greatness."

    An extraordinary introduction to the indispensable American and a timely yet bittersweet lesson in true greatness. If only our nation could once again value, recognize, and promote such leaders into positions of political influence. I must also commend the narrator, Scott Brick, for a performance worthy of the subject. Absolutely wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance C. Lape Illinois 10-13-16
    Lance C. Lape Illinois 10-13-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A new respect and vision"

    A frank telling of the heroics and the humanity of our nation's father. At first I was taken aback by being presented with some of the lesser known facts and flaws of this great man. Yet acknowledging this flaws and how he tried to address them ultimately increased my respect and admiration. The performance is spot on as well and if you let yourself go out absorbs you. Yes, it is a large time commitment but it is time well spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stephen Pedrotti Jr 10-08-16
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    "Simply amazing"

    I would first like the day that the narrator was amazing brilliant. The voice was a perfect combination with the time piece. Overall the book it's self gave me a new look on a great man. I would recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Austin G. 09-27-16
    Austin G. 09-27-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent Book"

    This book did well to help outsiders looking in to understand who Washington was, how his thought process worked, what he did, and why he did it. I particularly enjoy the revolutionary era and this book was a great addition to my "have read [listened]" list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kenny 09-22-16
    Kenny 09-22-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Very Interesting and Well done"
    Any additional comments?

    Ron Chernow is the best at Biographies that's it. Great job of keeping the story interesting. Towards the end of the book I still couldn't figure out how the hell Washington was going to win. Sorry spoiler Washington won the war.

    Just a great story and added a huge amount of respect to Washington.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Matthew 09-20-16
    Matthew 09-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "LOVED IT"

    As engaging in its narrative flow as it was sweeping in scope, Chernow brought the first president to life for me like never before. Plus, Scott Brick is pretty much the Tom Brady of narrators. Worth a credit for anyone who likes history or biographies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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