Washington: A Life – What I listened to to Start the Year
I started this year listening to Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow.
For the first forty or so days of 2017, I listened to a fantastic biography of George Washington. I typically listen to books for an hour each work day during my commute. This one is forty-one hours long, but it’s worth the investment of time!
The narrator, Scott Brick, has the perfect voice for reading history or biography. He isn’t overly emotive, a good thing for this category, but he’s compelling and adds weight to everything.
Ron Chernow gives a clear portrait of General Washington from his early years through his death. Our first President was an amazing human being. His self-discipline, charity, ethics, and ambition were astounding. Reading this book, I can’t help but feel that were it not for Washington’s providential placement in history, the United States would have fractured and gone down as a failed experiment. And yet, the research is careful not to create a false god out of Washington. His blindness, even double-mindedness, about slavery is detailed, but thankfully without contemporary screeds. History is reported and explained without seeking to make points about any modern agenda. This is how I prefer it.
I found myself a little saddened when the book came to a close. It’s definitely one that I’ll listen to again some day.