• Mary Ball Washington

  • The Untold Story of George Washington's Mother
  • By: Craig Shirley
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Mary Ball Washington  By  cover art

Mary Ball Washington

By: Craig Shirley
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
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Publisher's Summary

The mother of the father of our country.

Mary Ball Washington was an unlikely candidate to be the mother of history’s most famous revolutionary. In fact, George Washington’s first fight for independence was from his controlling, singular mother.

Stubborn, aristocratic Mary Ball Washington was entrenched in the Old World ways of her ancestors, dismissing the American experiment even as her son led the successful rebellion against the crown. During his youth, ambitious George dove into the hard-scrabble work of a surveyor and rose through the ranks of the fledgling colonial army, even as his overprotective mother tried to discourage these efforts.

Mary’s influence on George was twofold. Though she raised her eldest son to become one of the world’s greatest leaders, Mary also tried many times to hold him back. While she passed down her strength and individuality to George, she also sought to protect him from the risks he needed to take to become a daring general and president. But it was this resistance itself that fanned the spark of George’s independence into a flame. The constant tug-of-war between the two throughout the early years helped define George’s character.

In Mary Ball Washington, New York Times best-selling author Craig Shirley uncovers startling details about the inner workings of the Washington family. He vividly brings to life a resilient widow who single-handedly raised six children and ran a large farm at a time when most women’s duties were relegated to household matters. Throughout, Shirley compares and contrasts mother and son, illuminating the qualities they shared and the differences that divided them.

A significant contribution to American history, Mary Ball Washington is the definitive take on the relationship between George and Mary Washington, offering fresh insight into this extraordinary figure who would shape our nation - and the woman who shaped him.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Craig Shirley (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Mary Ball Washington

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Misleading Title

Perhaps...
We’ll never know...
There are no letters...
Etc....
Estimating that 95% of this book covers colonial history and George Washington in the period ( ok, let the reader know that’s what they are in for)...and the remaining 5% deals with Mary but roughly about 2% of that is actually supported. Much of what addresses Mary is either conjecture or reference to the custom of the period and therefore attributed to her. It is frustrating and tedious to persevere through the book, expecting that the author will eventually reveal some newly discovered and real history or information about Mary Washington herself. Never happened.

Indeed it is evident that the author read the works of others about the Washingtons and the period as he freely references the books or works of credible authors. Sadly there’s not much here about Mary beyond supposition.

2 people found this helpful

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Read it - don't listen to it.

I had heard Craig Shirley in an interview and although I have a hard copy of the book I listened to it instead. Kirsten Potter was judgmental and clearly showed a bias of distain for Mary Ball Washington. Not at all the impression I received from the author.

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  • KW
  • 03-30-20

Great lesson in history

Wonderful narration. Great details of a person having great impact in our nations history l.

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Evan's Review

Great book for a person that loves US History. You a person wants to know more about early colonial life and more about George Washington early life and the man he became read or listen to this book.