Washington by Ron Chernow

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Rate: 4/5


Medium: Audiobook


Overview:

This eloquent biography of George Washington aligned neatly my recent fascination with the Revolutionary War time period. Shortly after finishing Alexander Hamilton, having delighted in Chernow’s detailed writing style, I proceeded to add my name to the wait list for almost all of his books at the local library. Thus be prepared to find many, many of his books soon finding their way into my posts. With that being said, Washington is written in the much the same tone as Alexander Hamilton with a myriad of details ranging from the time period, culture and his life being seamlessly interwoven into story of the United State’s first President. Interestingly, Chernow is able to convey Washington’s true personality, beyond the confines of whitewashing hero worship that began shortly after his death and even survive to this day. For instance, while I’d assumed this was likely a tall tale, I remember ‘learning’ in grade school that a young Washington had chopped down a cherry tree and was unable to lie about it. As an adult, I had to laugh when I realize I hadn’t never actually known the tale was pure fabrication until reading this biography.  I enjoyed reading about Washington’s quirks, flaws and family issues as they lent an added level of humanity to legendary man. Specifically, it is interesting to think about the Father of our Country’s mother, especially when she sounded like a most disagreeable, unhappy woman. It is worthy to note that Washington’s early views of bipartisan politics, along with his ability to reassess his opinion on key topics and evolving the previous stance into one wholly unrecognizable from the first are lessons perhaps current politicians should take to heart. Overall, Washington was an enlightening read as Chernow continues to excel at bringing his chosen subject matter to life in a way that captures the reader’s due attention.


 

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19 comments

  1. I’m about 1/2 way through this audiobook and picked it for much the same reason you did. I love the narrator. It’s just the perfect history voice I think. I like how Chernow has been able to take these figures that have become almost two dimensional with time and created a full portrait of who they probably were. The bad stuff included.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great way of describing the current state of historical characters! I love it! “2D” totally encompasses my understanding of many of the individuals I read about prior to picking up a book about their life story. I hope you’re enjoying this book as much as I did! Scott Brick is my favorite narrator. He does such a wonderful job!

      Liked by 1 person

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