Download Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations Audiobook

Washingtons Farewell: The Founding Fathers Warning to Future Generations Audiobook, by John Avlon Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John Avlon Narrator: John Avlon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781508234449
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Makes a powerful case that the first president’s last public message deserves again to hold iconic status in the pantheon of our greatest founding documents.”

    Harold Holzer, Lincoln Prize-winning author

  • “Melds gloriously raw insight with the Farewell Address, revealing prophetic wisdom into contemporary American politics and the evolving Great American Experiment.”

    Mark Santangelo, chief librarian and archivist, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

  • “Engagingly traces the afterlife of the address, showing how subsequent presidents cherry-picked ideas consistent with their own political views…A thoughtful consideration of Washington’s wisdom that couldn’t be timelier.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Narrating his own work, author John Avlon takes another look at the Founding Father’s once-famous masterpiece…Once listeners have the background, the formal language of the speech—presented in full at the end—regains meaning and substance. Avlon ably reintroduces an important contribution to the shaping of our government.”


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About the Author

John Avlon is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast and a CNN political analyst. He is the author of Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell. He is also an editor of the anthology Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns. He was chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for Best Online Column in 2012.