Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow – #AudiobookReview – #ThrowbackThursday

Washington by Ron Chernow

#1 Best Seller in American Revolution Biographies

Book Blurb:

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. 

My Review:

Okay, yes, I’m up for an occasional biography, but must admit I picked this one up strictly because I liked the narrator in a recent audiobook called Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. (And BTW, this audiobook garners the #1, 2, and 4 spots in the genres noted below I’m sure in part due to this narrator whose own bio of narrations is as impressive as extensive.)

So imagine my surprise when I realized I’d bitten into an almost 42-hour biography. (That pretty much covered our recent trip to Texas and back.)

A lot of information here that you don’t get from the textbooks, from Washington’s childhood through the French and Indian Wars, as leader of the Continental Army, General of the American Revolution, and finally his long and storied political life as our first President.

Let’s just say, once again, that I’m incredulous that we won that war after seven bloody years. Yes, we didn’t have the capability of sending timely messages then, but again and again, he was stymied by the lack of funds for food, clothing, and munitions much less than medical care for an untrained army easily susceptible to disease and unpredictable weather. And really, against even Loyalists, many of whom still staunchly refused any aid.

Washington by Ron ChernowPerhaps it was a bit of prejudice against John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, but it wasn’t long before I was also glad it was Washington who took control and created the system we have today—Washington supporting a new government that featured a strong executive branch.

Difficult to put yourself back in the eighteenth century and at times seemed the same for the author, particularly in terms of slavery, the topic of which he revisited a number of times painting Washington as a benevolent master who alternately struggled with the necessity at Mt. Vernon while bowing to the pressures of those strongly in support of the system. He hoped it would fade away and manumitted his slaves upon his death.

Washington did not have the benefit of an extensive education and was ever cognizant of those men around him who did. He confronted constant conflict with forming the fragile infant government, his manipulative vindictive unsupportive mother, ever-present teeth issues, foreign policy issues, and his lack of financial expertise in handling his own estate.

For all his flaws, he still proved an exceptional leader, his 6’ frame and inspiring and remarkable history commanding a hush of respect from the people. There were times when the chronology stepped back depending on the current discussion, repeated insightful observances of the expertise with which he handled situations and people, and sought to drive home a point previously made.

Perhaps the book could have been shorter and we’d have been just as impressed with the man who finally, adamantly refused another term and died two years following his retirement of a throat infection in 1799 that was treated at the time with multiple bleedings and an enema.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: American Revolution Biographies, Historical Biographies, Biographies of Presidents & Heads of State
Publisher: Penguin Audio
ASIN: B0045XYQ12
Listening Length: 41 hrs 54 mins
Narrator: Scott Brick
Publication Date: October 5, 2010
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Washington: A Life [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars

 

The Author: Ron Chernow won the National Book Award in 1990 for his first book, The House of Morgan, and his second book, The Warburgs, won the Eccles Prize as the Best Business Book of 1993. His biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Titan, was a national bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

[Goodreads] Ron Chernow was born in 1949 in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating with honors from Yale College and Cambridge University with degrees in English Literature, he began a prolific career as a freelance journalist. Between 1973 and 1982, Chernow published over sixty articles in national publications, including numerous cover stories. In the mid-80s Chernow went to work at the Twentieth Century Fund, a prestigious New York think tank, where he served as director of financial policy studies and received what he described as “a crash course in economics and financial history.”
[truncated]
In addition to writing biographies, Chernow is a book reviewer, essayist, and radio commentator. His book reviews and op-ed articles appear frequently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He comments regularly on business and finance for National Public Radio and for many shows on CNBC, CNN, and the Fox News Channel. In addition, he served as the principal expert on the A&E biography of J.P. Morgan and will be featured as the key Rockefeller expert on an upcoming CNBC documentary.

Scott Brick - narratorThe Narrator: Scott Brick is an American actor, writer and award-winning narrator of over 800 audiobooks. Audiobook narrator Scott Brick (2012). Born, (1966-01-30) January 30, 1966 (age 57). Santa Barbara, California, US. Occupation(s), Actor, Writer, Narrator. [Wikipedia]

 

 

 

©2023 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

Advertisement

Author: Rosepoint Publishing

I am the granddaughter of Patrick John "Stanley McShane" Rose whose books including "Cocos Island Treasure" I've recently published. My time is now spent in reading, reviewing, and writing bookish articles. I'm looking forward to sharing this social media odyssey with you!

I love comments, ideas, and sharing. I will respond to you shortly!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

pandit kapil Sharma complaints and review

Read Here About pandit kapil Sharma complaints and review

Roars and Echoes

Where the power of my thoughts comes from the craft of writing.

Sareh Lovasen

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction

Prady On The Beat

Jack of all trades, master of few

Medicina, Cultura, e Legge.

Articoli su Medicina, Legge e Diritto, ma anche Aforismi, Riflessioni e Poesie.

Kiran ✨

Reading And Writing is the best Investment of Time ✨ ( Motivational Thoughts) "LIFE IS A JOURNEY"

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Reading Is My SuperPower

BOOK REVIEWS, GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Đ£VĮ§ ŇĞĄĪŘĂ

Посмотрите, какой сегодня!

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

Reading On A Star

Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. 

Learning with Life

A learner for life….wants to live fully….destination matter so does the journey…every movement to feel alive…and die with peace in eyes…being me…

Premier Tech Digital Studios

Your Partner In Online Success

Enoble Asuquo

Truth to Light

Reading with My Eyes

lots of tales from the spine, your place for book reviews of all kinds

Oma's Minute

The heart and thoughts of man is broad. I share reasonings that alot of people out there needs to hear and hopefully adds value to their world***

skyy

Short Story Blogger

Emma's Writing Things

A place to share the things that I write

An Amyzing Journey

A spiritual journey with adventures & side quests

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Scribbles 'n Bits

Original poetry, short stories, and other bits.

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

Let's talk

Vibe alone for a while

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

RealStuff by RealMe

Before, After, Then, Now and NEVER!

Islamic Dua and Wazifa For Love back and Solve All problems

Love problem Solution in just 2 Days: Lost love back, ex love back, ex husband back, ex boyfriend and other all love problem Solution. Call and Whatsapp +91 9571300113

Poetic reflections

Poetry and expression of ideas

Julia's Bookshelves

Book Reviews and Book Adventures

stephiebooks.wordpress.com/

Book Reviews, Tags, Vlogs, & More.

a.mermaid'spen_

I read, rant and write ;)

Beneath The Bones

seeking inspiration

Learning Thursdays

It is hard to fail, but worse to have never tried - Abraham Lincoln

ARBIND KUMAR BLOG

arbindkumar475151597. wordpress.com

Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy

Virtualidades

Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses

%d bloggers like this: