[a Life]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2010
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From National Book Award Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of George Washington--winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

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.

In this unique biography, Ron Chernow takes us on a riveting journey through all the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its giant subject, Washington is a magisterial work from one of our most elegant storytellers.
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2010.
Edition: Library edition.
ISBN: 9780307876478
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital.
Additional Contributors: Brick, Scott

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Oct 07, 2019

At a whopping 42 hours, this listen is quite a commitment! The device I had got had some problems with it: most of chapter 23 was out, all but a few seconds of 24, and a big chunk or 25, and there were smaller increments of time in many other chapters where the device just cut out (it wasn't the batteries) and fast forward or rewind to the point it cut out. I guestimate that about 2 to 2.5 hours of the whole was lost this way, and it was very frustrating when it happened.
Nevertheless, its very well narrated, and its quite thorough. The events of the life of the man, his character and the character of others around him are all calmly detailed and described, usually by relating events, and some broad historical judgements are also made, but they not theoretical commitments (or other silliness that often attends intellectuals).

Jun 01, 2018

I’ve read one other book by the author...Grant, which was fantastic. So fantastic that I read it and then immediately listened to the audio book and wished that I could somehow save certain passages to listen to over and over again. I was expecting the same for Washington. Instead, I was pretty bored through out this book. It was very dry and text booky to me. I’ve read other books that are much more entertaining and better color commentary on Washington.

I listened to at 1.75 speed to power thru to the end.

May 01, 2012

I agree wholeheartedly! Now my hero as well. His story brought me to tears in several places, this book should be required reading in American schools. Washington was not unusual for his home state of Virginia in his views on slavery -- I noticed he always had misgivings about the practice.

My daughter listened to it and loves it as well. Ron Chernow has proven to be a great biographer -- I enjoyed reading Hamilton a few years ago, then House of Morgan.

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