• Washington's Farewell

  • The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations
  • By: John Avlon
  • Narrated by: John Avlon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Washington's Farewell

By: John Avlon
Narrated by: John Avlon
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Publisher's Summary

George Washington's Farewell Address was a prophetic letter from a "parting friend" to his fellow citizens about the forces he feared could destroy our democracy: hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars.

Once celebrated as civic scripture, more widely reprinted than the Declaration of Independence, the Farewell Address is now almost forgotten. Its message remains starkly relevant. In Washington's Farewell, John Avlon offers a stunning portrait of our first president and his battle to save America from self-destruction.

At the end of his second term, Washington surprised Americans by publishing his Farewell message in a newspaper. The President called for unity among "citizens by birth or choice", advocated moderation, defended religious pluralism, proposed a foreign policy of independence (not isolation), and proposed that education is essential to democracy. He established the precedent for the peaceful transfer of power.

Washington's urgent message was adopted by Jefferson after years of opposition and quoted by Lincoln in defense of the Union. Woodrow Wilson invoked it for nation-building; Eisenhower for Cold War; Reagan for religion. Now the Farewell Address may inspire a new generation to re-center our politics and reunite our nation through the lessons rooted in Washington's experience.

As John Avlon describes the perilous state of the new nation that Washington was preparing to leave as its leader, with enduring wisdom, he reveals him to be the indispensable Founding Father.

©2017 John Avlon. All rights reserved. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Washington's Farewell

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very well written and performed

This is a well written and well read review of Washington's farewell address. As the author points out Washington's farewell address has had an enduring impact on Presidents to this day. The contents of the address are as relevant to the United States today as they were to Washington's contemporaries.

The author provides a thorough and very interesting review of the substance of the address including Washington's intended meaning as well as application through time. He provides just enough facts surrounding the drafting of the address and of the state of the country at that time to ensure that the reader understands the context of the address, without getting lost on tangents. I believe he achieved just the right mix.

Finally, often authors cannot do justice to their own work and would be better served by a professional. This is not one of those cases. The author does an excellent performance; as good as any professional reader.



5 people found this helpful

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Leftist Hack

The author brought too much of his leftist agenda nonsense and ruined the story. I absolutely do not recommend and I read 2 to 3 history books every week. This is one of the worst.

4 people found this helpful

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  • KR
  • 03-28-19

Fascinating treatment of something we all should know but don’t anymore

Great book! Interesting topic and a very “user friendly” treatment of it. I’m sad we don’t all spend more time studying this important address these days. Maybe if people did we’d be in a different place as a nation. I will look forward to listening to this one again!

3 people found this helpful

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horribe

horrible, run on and on, very boring tough read. I do not recommend it at all.

3 people found this helpful

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This book is the love child of passionate research.

Nothing but platitudes to John Avlon for producing a scholarly and thoroughly enjoyable book detailing the effort and results of Washington’s farewell address. The dots are all connected here and when finished the reader will appreciate the knowledge provided and the wonderful return on the investment of time. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 11-04-17

Simply Excellent

Avlon crafted an enjoyable and informative work - getting to look behind the curtain of the motivations and composition of the famous document was a treat.

2 people found this helpful

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Reassurance and understanding for these unsettling times.

I recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the circumstances surrounding our country's creation. You can read the Constitution, but Washington's farewell letter shows the issues he felt were important to the survival of the country. Reaffirms my confidence in our constitution, the procedure for amending it if necessary, and the value of checks and balances. If we participate, we should be fine.

2 people found this helpful

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The perfect book for our current political landscape

Washington's plea for us to remember before we are Northerners or Southerners, urban or rural, Republican or Democrat, we are Americans first is very pertinent to today. The book is well researched and well read.

2 people found this helpful

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A Needed Reminder

What a great reminder of our tremendous past and of our great heritage. Every part of this, historically, spoke to my soul. This is a wonderful review of a mostly forgotten treasure from the sacred history of our nation.

2 people found this helpful

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Deep insights into our first President

I have a degree in PoliSci and learned so much about the founding principles and struggles of our country, as well as the evolution that got us to where we are. This book should be required reading for and political candidate.

1 person found this helpful