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George Washington's Farewell Address

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
On September 19,1796, George Washington announced that he would leave the presidency. His famous farewell address encapsulates a view of the Union, the Constitution, and good citizenship that is an important part of American political thought today. In this amazing letter to all of us, almost everything that we debate as a nation today has been advised.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published July 17th 1913)
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John Yelverton
Dec 02, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The greatest speech from the greatest President.
Sep 20, 2016 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Jason by: "Today in history" in the newspaper
Shelves: history, 2016
Read in The Constitution of the United States of America and Selected Writings of the Founding Fathers.

Five stars for content, but I had some problems with it so it's getting three instead. Today is the 220th anniversary of this being published in newspapers across the country (though my book has September 17th, 1796 above the address), so I decided to read it to smarten myself up a bit.

This was written by Madison with additions from Hamilton, and they will insist on using 100 words when 10 woul
Apr 26, 2010 §-- rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I had ignored this for awhile because Washington was not exactly a thinker, especially not when compared to his erudite compatriots Madison and Jefferson. But, that is precisely the strength of this little speech, which has become a large part of his legacy, read annually to Congress. I'd seen so many references to this speech that I finally had to read it.

It is not profound. It is, however, good commonsense advice, and we need to be reminded of these things continually. We do not need to be re
Lisa N
Oct 18, 2012 Lisa N rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parting wisdom from one of history’s greatest statesmen. I wish I could take the time to give this the review it deserves, but these are some of his key points:

Advocates strong, united government
“Moderate the fury of party spirit”
Pay off debt during times of peace
Necessity of checks and balances
Religion and morality are necessary for government

A couple of key passages--

“Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian.”

“Of all the
Sep 17, 2013 11 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glimmer-of-hope

George Washington is also known as "the father of our country” in the USA. He left office in September of 1796, and on the occasion of his departure, he gave this farewell address. In it, he does indeed sound fatherly. Unfortunately, as happens with so many parents, most of his good advice went unheeded, and his kids have succeeded spectacularly at fucking up their lives.

George Washington: You kids don’t know how good you have it! (view spoiler)
Aug 25, 2016 DougInNC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is politics made poetic, a short treatise written with beauty of word and carefulness of thought, from unprecedented experience and virgin love of country. Lyrical are these words, expansive yet poetic all the same. The actions suggested or implored beseech one country, under God, to realize the ambitions and potential inherent in an infant nation. How amazed would be Geo Washington, though saddened so greatly by the Civil War and politics of late, to see what has been wrought and endured.

Sep 20, 2016 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult read. I would love to see this translated into modern english.

This is, perhaps, the most important speech ever given by a President of The United States of America. It seems bold, but only because it reveals how far we have strayed from the path, even the vision, that George Washington had for this country.

In a time when partisan politics threaten to tear us apart, this address can remind us of the wisdom that we were offered in old times, but didn't accept. Yet, we still could, if
Some very powerful lines that show Washington as completely dedicated to the service of the country he helped to create, rather than asking the country to serve him. We need more leaders like our Founding Fathers.
Beautiful. His parting hopes for a solid republic: no foreign alliances, and no divisive political parties. His principles, voice, and warning is still current today.
Jun 22, 2016 BookDrunkard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With this being an election year, I'm drawn more than usual to history and events that shaped our nation. Having read this, I'm interested to read other farewell addresses.
Apr 30, 2009 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Washington humbly gave parting advice to Americans. He advised that virtue and morality are necessary to a freedom. He warned against those who would undermine the Constitution and recommended avoiding political parties and permanent alliances with any foreign nation. Unity was key. Did he for see the Civil War? Maybe. For sure he saw a lot of rivalries and discord in his time. He was a classy man of character who demonstrated great leadership. He truly wanted what was best for his country and s ...more
Jul 07, 2015 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every American should read. I found it moving and with a few concise insights
Jun 04, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sep 21, 2009 Zinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2004, 2006, 2009
The advice Washington gives is timeless. Each citizen should study and understand what he said. Every politician should reread this right before they take their sacred oath to defend the U.S. Constitution so they would get a glimpse of what they ought to be doing. In fact, every politician shouldn't go to work each day until they have read it each morning.
Mar 16, 2009 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a humble man. He deeply cares for the people and states his worries for the future of the country. He is very against political parties because they tend to divide the nation and not allow us to work together for the greater cause. He foresaw many things that could go wrong with our country; some of which have already occured.
Chris Johnson
Feb 10, 2011 Chris Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Washington was a president that had just about everything right. Since this was not written mainly by him but these were his ideas nonetheless this is a great work. Anyone interested in American politics and/or Foreign Policy should read this. It hits at the heart of what America was built on and how far we have strayed.
Nov 19, 2013 Galicius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, non-fiction
Washington’s “Farewell Address” advocates strong, united government, moderating “fury of party spirit”, paying off debt during times of peace, necessity of checks and balances, and teaches that religion and morality are necessary for government.
Probably beautifully written at the time, but rather stiff and formal today. Still, some very interesting advice on how to live in a republic which is still pertinent.
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Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman.

He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indi
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“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” 35 likes
“...overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.” 20 likes
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