Washington's Farewell

  • by John Avlon
  • Narrated by John Avlon
  • 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Marie

Thank you, President Washington

First and foremost, John Avlon should be commended for his research into George Washington's Farewell address, because his efforts certainly pay off. Also, Avlon does a terrific job narrating the story of the Farewell address, which continues long after our first President's passing.

Second, upon finishing Avlon's book, words cannot express my appreciation for everything George Washington gave to America. The first President's time in office was rife with policy disagreements, dangerous foreign influence over domestic issues, and bitter partisan in fighting that threatened to tear America apart. Amid all the chaos, Washington stuck to his principles as best he could and never faltered in his dedication to the American experiment. Washington imparted some final words of wisdom before he retiring and they are worth remembering, now more than ever. Beyond highly recommended.
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- David S. Mathew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio