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Washington

A Life
Chernow, Ron (Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Washington
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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.
Authors: Chernow, Ron
Statement of Responsibility: Ron Chernow
Title: Washington
a life
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2010
Characteristics: xxi, 904 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Summary: 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.
Subject Headings: Washington, George, 1732-1799 Presidents United States Biography
Topical Term: Presidents
LCCN: 2010019154
ISBN: 9781594202667
1594202664
Branch Call Number: B Washington C
Research Call Number: JFE 11-67
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Apr 21, 2013
  • pokano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Chernow's LONG book attempts--mostly successfully--to put flesh and blood on the guy on the dollar bill. The reader learns that Washington was a very fastidious man, but enjoyed such things as dancing, flirting with attractive women,and living beyond his means. He was courageous but could not come to grips with slavery until shortly before his death. The book destroys the illusion that the founding fathers were in agreement as to what the new nation should look like and how it should operate. Washington and Jefferson were bitterly opposed to one another. The reader also wonders how it is possible that American forces were able to win the Revolutionary War, being grossly underclothed and underfed. All in all a very worthwhile and informative book,which could have benefited by more judicious editing to cut the length.

I commented on this under the general library comments

Jun 28, 2011
  • Bill_R rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Did a great job of covering a long and complex life. Definitely adds dimensions to the usual cardboard cutout.

While it does try to get into people's heads it seems to me it does so with careful research into what people wrote for publication and in letters to many audiences public and private, including reports of who-said-what-to-whom. Nothing can be as simple as "just the facts" with real history because its all about imperfect human beings operating on imperfect information.. In order to learn from the times it is necessary to dig deeper.

Mar 04, 2011
  • debwalker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ron Chernow has won the American History Book Prize, sponsored by the New-York Historical Society, for Washington: A Life. The Society said the biography of George Washington will "undoubtedly become the definitive life of our first president."

Included in the White House Library presented to President Obama on January 20, 2011, by the American Booksellers Association.

Jan 03, 2011
  • theresalynn615 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I suppose this was ok. I don't enjoy biographies that purport to tell us what was in the person's mind and heart when they did whatever it was that made them celebrated enough to rate someone writing their biography. Just the facts, please.

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