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Download Washington: The Making of the American Capital Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Washington: The Making of the American Capital Audiobook, by Fergus Bordewich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (96 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fergus Bordewich Narrator: Richard Allen Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781400177448
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Washington, DC, is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call DC—a place one contemporary observer called a mere swamp “producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size),” a district that was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and a target of unbridled land speculation—our nation’s capital?
In Washington, award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns his eye to the backroom deal making and shifting alliances among our Founding Fathers and in so doing pulls back the curtain on the lives of the slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening and well-researched book are not only surprising and exciting but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate speculation, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a “banana republic” than an emerging world power.

In an engrossing work that reveals the hidden and unsavory side of the nation’s beginnings, Bordewich once again brings his novelist’s sensibility to a little-known chapter in American history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bordewich tells a fascinating tale, and tells it well.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aliza | 11/4/2013

    " I really enjoyed the beginning and the end, ie the parts about DC. There was way too much tangential storyline about slavery and I felt the narrative was too much about African Americans and the capital. The book's title could have been about that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 9/13/2013

    " I actually never finished it. Interesting but not gripping. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 8/14/2013

    " This is quite a tale: political machinations, unfunded real estate speculation (how timely) and slave labor are all featured in this biography of the capital city. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 4/5/2013

    " Okay so far it is interesting. It was last months book club book.I got to page 68 and have retired it to the bathroom. It has interesting facts that I didn't know, very wordy. I think the book could be half the size. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JGP | 10/7/2011

    " A bit dry in places but very interesting overall. I learned a lot about how the location for the capital was selected and how the city was ultimately designed and built. Intriguing part of our history that many of us never learn about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Converse | 10/9/2010

    " How the site of the U.S. capital was decided, the failed attempt to fund its construction through private real estate development, and its consequent rocky start until government money was appropriated. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mr. | 9/30/2009

    " This book really pales in comparison with "Grand Avenues". That book, primarily because of it's focus on L'Efant and his plan really hits the mark...this one just does not do the same. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah | 6/7/2009

    " Slightly more enjoyable than the weather during a typical DC July. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vince | 2/11/2009

    " Top notch book. The author artfully moves back and forth from the numerous personages involved in the project. Well researched and factually incredible I highly recommend this book. "

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About the Author

Fergus M. Bordewich is the author of several books, including Bound for Canaan, Killing the White Man's Indian, and My Mother's Ghost, a memoir. The son of a national civil rights leader for Native Americans, he was introduced early in life to racial politics. As a journalist, he has written widely on political and cultural subjects in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, American Heritage, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Reader's Digest, and many other publications. He was born in New York City, and now lives in New York's Hudson River Valley with his wife and daughter.

About the Narrator

Richard Allen is an accomplished and respected theatrical actor whose work includes Ragtime and PBS’ Great Performances: Play On! His voice can be heard on numerous television and radio productions, as well as the animated series Jumanji.