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George Washington: A Biography Paperback – August 22, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 790 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805936
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Cambo on December 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Washington Irving's biography on Washington is by far the most detailed review on our first President from youth through his post Presidential years. Given that Mr. Irving personally met George Washington at the young age of 7, Irving's book has all the more relavence than today's revisionist historians can ever provide. However, the "old english" that Washington used in his correspondence makes for difficult comprehension. It is interesting to note that by 1850 the change to a more modern writing style by Irving presents a clearer picture of Washington's time, but it still requires an occasional re-read to fully understand Irving's point. A person with a limited interest in the Revolutionary War may be better suited to purchasing a more contemporary biography for ease of reading.
However, this book does provide such insite into the minds of Washington and those around him and it allows the reader to finally start to understand why our Founding Fathers risked all for the sake of freedom and liberty from the English. Today we take for granted rights that never existed anywhere in the 1770's and such historical works penned in the mid 1850's provides an insite that should be required reading for both liberals and conservatives. Overall, the book is long and difficult to read, but well worth the time, effort and cost.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
This edition of Washington Irving's biography of George Washington has been substantially reduced in size via editing from the original editions, published in the 1850's. Irving was one of, if not the first American author to receive literary acclaim in the salons of Europe. This book was Irving's life's dream. The book details Washington's life, military career, and political thoughts in a very deferential way, as the author appears to have remained in awe of the "Great Man" who had patted him on the head when he was but a child. Irving seems incapable of finding any fault with Washington, and his conclusions on that score probably do not fully reflect later historical thinking. The book does suffer from a lack of maps, as the stories of the military campaigns of the Revolutionary War are recounted in great detail. In addition, having been written almost 150 years ago, there is a substantial amount of archaic word usage that could give your dictionary a workout, if you are so inclined. In addition, the book treats the latter stages of Washington's life thinly, due largely, I believe, to Irving's declining health as the last editions of his multi-edition biography was being written. Thus, if your focus is on Washington's Presidential years, look elsewhere. Otherwise, one could hardly choose a better biography of Washington; it is probably the oldest biography of Washington that is easily accessible to the average reader today. Overall, the book was very enjoyable to read.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Frederick L. Merritt Jr. on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
The life of Washington should be required reading for everyone. The amount of difficulty he faced throughout his life is unimaginable to modern man. Washington had a life of privilege which is the main reason he was placed in a position of responsibility so early in life. However, in all of his campaigns he was dealing with shortages, sicknesses and other difficulties that make our own seem not so difficult.
Reading this work will provide the reader with an understanding how lucky America was to have a man of such temperament at her founding. Washington was a man of great intellect. He proved that by defeating the British on a number of occasions. He was a man of high honor which he proved when the various cabals tried to remove him from his office and he answered them with excellent performance and an absence of the acrimony so many would have used. He was a man of incomprehendable determination. The crossing of the Deleware, the winter at Valley forge and hundreds of other examples prove this. He was a man of tremendous resourcefulness as is shown by his ability to field an army when provisions were always in want for many years and at the same time attend to so many other details.
Washington Irving's work will provide the reader with an excellent understanding of all of these qualities. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Washington's life. The vast majority of this work deals with the revolution so if you are interested in the early years or the later years you will not find a great deal of detail in this particular work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frederick L. Merritt on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
The life of Washington should be required reading for everyone. The amount of difficulty he faced throughout his life is unimaginable to modern man. Washington had a life of privilege which is the main reason he was placed in a position of responsibility so early in life. However, in all of his campaigns he was dealing with shortages, sicknesses and other difficulties that make our own seem not so difficult.
Reading this work will provide the reader with an understanding how lucky America was to have a man of such temperament at her founding. Washington was a man of great intellect. He proved that by defeating the British on a number of occasions. He was a man of high honor which he proved when the various cabals tried to remove him from his office and he answered them with excellent performance and an absence of the acrimony so many would have used. He was a man of incomprehendable determination. The crossing of the Deleware, the winter at Valley forge and hundreds of other examples prove this. He was a man of tremendous resourcefulness as is shown by his ability to field an army when provisions were always in want for many years and at the same time attend to so many other details.
Washington Irving's work will provide the reader with an excellent understanding of all of these qualities. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Washington's life. The vast majority of this work deals with the revolution so if you are interested in the early years or the later years you will not find a great deal of detail in this particular work.
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