Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Finally Finished

Today I finished listening to the recorded book Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow. I know I have blogged about this book before.

The book, in hardback print form, is 817 pages long. This does not include the Acknowledgments and Notes! After purchasing the book, I found it very difficult for me to read. The print is small and the volume is heavy. My usual compensation for my visual problems when dealing with small print is to close my central-vision-damaged left eye and hold the book quite close to my right eye. This works except in the case of a heavy book--my hands get very tired trying to hold the book in position.

But it was an interesting, well-written book.

So I purchased the Audible version for my Kindle Fire. The recording is 42 hours long; therefore, I listened to it in bits and pieces. It took a long time (I read and/or listened to many other books during that period also), but today I finished it!

Despite the fact that it happened over 200 years ago and I knew about it already, I found myself feeling very sad and very frustrated as I read about George Washington's final illness. He was 67, still strong and very active. With today's medicine he'd have been given a good round of antibiotics and been up and about in no time. Unfortunately, medicine was still in a very primitive state in Washington's day, and many of the common practices were based on ignorance and superstition. Washington was bled so much that it is estimated he was drained of half his entire blood supply. His doctors simply did not know what else to do, so they kept doing the wrong thing over and over. And so he died. Listening to it, I wanted to reach through time and yank those doctors away from him, with their gory bloodletting tools and basins!

There is such a vast amount of information in this book that I'm sure it could be read/listened to several times to absorb most of it. But, I will admit, that, as interesting as it was, I will probably wait awhile before delving into it again!

Now that I have finished the book, I would still highly recommend it.


  1. Replies
    1. If you are interested in reading it, Sue, I'd be glad to loan you my print copy!