In Travels With George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy (9.5 hours), author and narrator Nathaniel Philbrick retraces his adventure, beginning in the fall of 2018, to follow the trail of George Washington’s presidential excursions after his 1789 inauguration. Through observing the landscapes and towns he visits and interviewing the people he meets, Philbrick compares and contrasts our history with our present moment, and ponders the strengths and fragility of our nation. As he recounts his travels, including fond anecdotes of his dog, Dora, Philbrick examines who Washington was—as a man, a plantation owner dependent on the labor of enslaved people and a reluctant president facing complex social issues.
A natural storyteller, Philbrick switches seamlessly between Washington’s voice and his own personal reflections, revealing a profound respect for the country, its history and the lessons it imparts to us. His fascinating journey will appeal to travelers and historians, but his likable performance as an audiobook narrator will engage even those typically averse to historical narratives. Travels With George is as insightful and thought provoking as John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley.