"Bred a gentleman and man of honor in the free school of Virginian society," Washington came of age with the first stir of revolutionary events. His training as a surveyor made him an expert woodsman and hardy traveler, qualities that served him well during his rough apprenticeship in the French and Indian War. At the age of 44, the Revolution found him an experienced commander who organized and trained the army in addition to fighting in its battles and serving as a symbol of organized resistance. After his selfless resignation of power upon achieving victory, Washington was compelled to take on a task even harder than those of wartime: the formation of a unified national government.
This edition of Wilson's scholarly yet readable biography is splendidly illustrated with portraits and maps as well as illustrations by Howard Pyle, among others, who collaborated closely with the author on depictions of episodes from Washington's extraordinary life.
As editor of the award-winning Library of America collection of George Washington’s writings and a curator of the great man’s original papers, John Rhodehamel has established himself as an authority of our nation’s preeminent founding father. Rhodehamel examines George Washington as a public figure, arguing that the man—who first achieved fame in his early twenties—is inextricably bound to his mythic status. Solidly grounded in Washington’s papers and exemplary in its brevity, this approachable biography is a superb introduction to the leader whose name has become synonymous with America.
New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming realized that finding the truth was no simple matter. Opinions of Washington varied sharply. Some historians made him godlike while other writers invented moralistic fables about him.
Fleming discovered the real George Washington by reading what the men and women who knew him said about him in their letters and journals as well as through Washington's own correspondence. Slowly, the remarkable person behind the legend emerged.
In this book, anecdotes from friends and enemies alike give a firsthand vision of Washington's character. Little-known and colorful incidents - from Washington as an untutored boy of eleven to the seasoned general and statesman he grew to be - make First in Their Hearts fascinating and memorable reading.
– Douglas Brinkley
For all his fame and familiarity, George Washington remains something of an enigma - the stiff portrait on the dollar bill. But his story is full of drama. Here, acclaimed historian Richard Ketchum brings America's first president’s life to vivid life.
Based largely on Washington’s personal papers, this engrossing book paints a vivid, factual portrait of a man to whom lore and legend so tenaciously cling. To Lengel, Washington was the imperfect commander. Washington possessed no great tactical ingenuity, and his acknowledged “brilliance in retreat” only demonstrates the role luck plays in the fortunes of all great men. He was not an enlisted man’s leader; he made a point of never mingling with his troops. He was not an especially creative military thinker; he fought largely by the book.
He was not a professional, but a citizen soldier, who, at a time when warfare demanded that armies maneuver efficiently in precise formation, had little practical training handling men in combat. Yet despite his flaws, Washington was a remarkable figure, a true man of the moment, a leader who possessed a clear strategic, national, and continental vision, and who inspired complete loyalty from his fellow revolutionaries, officers, and enlisted men. America could never have won freedom without him.
A trained surveyor, Washington mastered topography and used his superior knowledge of battlegrounds to maximum effect. He appreciated the importance of good allies in times of crisis, and understood well the benefits of coordination of ground and naval forces. Like the American nation itself, he was a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts–a remarkable everyman whose acts determined the course of history. Lengel argues that Washington’s excellence was in his completeness, in how he united the military, political, and personal skills necessary to lead a nation in war and peace.
At once informative and engaging, and filled with some eye-opening revelations about Washington, the war for American independence, and the very nature of military command, General George Washington is a book that reintroduces readers to a figure many think they already know.
From the Hardcover edition.
Fishman, Pederson, Rozell, and their contributors examine the legacy of Washingtons presidency. Leading political scientists and historians describe and evaluate the impact of Washington's leadership on the institution of the presidency and on those who have since occupied the Oval Office. In the contemporary era of almost endless speculation about the role of character in presidential leadership, an analysis of Washington's character and the model he established is especially germane.
The chapters provide diverse interpretations of the value of understanding Washington's leadership and the character of the modern presidency. Some of the scholars conclude that Washington indeed laid the foundation for good character and strong leadership in the presidency. Others take a more critical approach and see Washington, like many of his successors, as a fallible human being who possessed both character strengths and weaknesses. The lasting value of this analysis for political scientists, historians, and other students of the American presidency is that it demonstrates the continued vibrant debate over Washington's authentic legacy to the office.