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Washington: A Life

von Ron Chernow

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2,430704,834 (4.38)77
In "Washington : a Life" celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation, dashing forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man, and revealing an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people.
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This must be the longest book I've ever read.

A stunningly in depth chronicle of the first u.s. president which examines every aspect of his life in compiling a full profile of this mythical figure. I feel rather like I could psychoanalyze him frankly, that's how much this book seems to get inside his head. By the end though, I was rather wishing he would just die already; easily a hundred pages could have been excised from this weighty tome without effecting it's quality in the slightest. ( )
  fionaanne | Nov 11, 2021 |
This is the third book I’ve read that’s by Ron Chernow, and he hasn’t let me down.
I grew up in the US, so a lot of what the book covers is second hand/classroom information for me, but Ron Chernow included a lot of good points and new facts about George Washington and his life.
I really like how Chernow didn’t try to glorify Washington, but he also didn’t try to beat Washington down. All Chernow did was make Washington more human for modern day people.
One thing that I thought was interesting - and that wasn’t taught in classrooms - is that Washington suffered with a form of anthrax, which is a little scary.
It was a really well done book, and I honestly can wait to read more of Ron Chernow’s books. ( )
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
Excellent. ( )
  AngelClaw | Jul 23, 2021 |
K 4; this time around I'll read it
  18cran | May 31, 2021 |
I can't in good faith rate this book because there were some parts of it that I found a bit overwhelming. The parts where Washington was General during the skirmishes and again when politics were being discussed. There were a lot of names being thrown around and I found it hard to keep up. Why couldn't I keep up?

Because I went with the audio-book. I listen to them on my commute and it can be difficult to follow while I'm concentrating on traffic and not getting into an accident! There can be a lot of information being thrown around during the descriptions of the battles and the passing of the many laws. This is not Chernow's fault! It is mine.

However, the parts I was able to follow along with were great and informative. I finished the book with a new found appreciation and respect for Washington. He has always been just a face on the dollar bill for me. I learned that as a person, he was a passionate but quiet man. Sometimes his emotions betrayed him. In public, he kept an austere and rigid demeanor. In private, his journals exhibited a man who very much cared about the state of his country, was obsessed the keeping up with his Mount Vernon estate, and very much loved his wife Martha. He had only a few men he could truly call his 'friend.'

One piece of information that struck me was his constant inner battle with slavery. He owned slaves, about 200 of them. He wrote many times about his troubled conscience when thinking about the morality of human bondage. He constantly went back and forth about why keeping slaves was financially important and was also explicit about the ethics of keeping fellow humans in captivity.

Not long before he passed away, he re-wrote his Will in secret and stated therein that when he died, his slaves were to be freed. The younger ones were to be educated and taught to read and write; the older and sickly were to be cared for, fed and clothed. Washington was a Virginian slaveholder and to say and perform these actions was a HUGE deal. It was unheard of.

I want to revisit Ron Chernow's fantastic autobiography. Reading the book instead of listening should help me with retaining the information and keeping up with names. I find taking notes easier with books than with audiobooks.

It wouldn't be fair to give this a rating without a proper reading and digesting. I shall revisit this one soon.
  ProfessorEX | Apr 15, 2021 |
At 900-odd densely packed pages, “Washington” can be arid at times. But it’s also deeply rewarding as a whole, and it does genuinely amplify and recast our perceptions of Washington’s importance.
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (4 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Ron ChernowHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Brick, ScottErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Simple truth is his best, his greatest eulogy.
- Abigail Adams, speaking of George Washington after his death
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To Valerie, in memoriam
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(Prelude) In March 1793 Gilbert Stuart crossed the North Atlantic for the express purpose of painting President George Washington, the supreme prize of the age for any ambitious portrait artist.
The crowded career of George Washington afforded him little leisure to indulge his vanity or gratify his curiosity by conducting genealogical research into his family.
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In "Washington : a Life" celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation, dashing forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man, and revealing an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people.

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