Most helpful critical review
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2002
I found this biography very disjointed and empty. Flexner flies past Washington's youth, right into his life as general and president. While that was indeed much of his life, it was hardly all of it. Flexner also seemed like he has an axe to grind against John Adams. In what few references made about Adams, all but one was negative. In another instance, Flexner deviates for 5 or 6 pages on the dispute between Jefferson and Hamilton regarding fiscal policy. To take that many pages out of a 400 page biography is ridiculous, and it didn't make any change to the story of Washington. To top it all off, the chapters are not chronological, but jump here and there, in a general order of age. At least twice, I found myself reading text which had been covered not 20 pages earlier in a different manner, thus wasting more of the precious pages of the condensed biography. There are unforgivable factual errors, too. In one instance, an event occurs on Washington's 65th birthday, yet the year is pegged as 1795 (Washington was born in 1732)! All in all, I found the book generally helpful regarding Washington's outlook and demeanor, but it was the most painful biography I've had to read. Just mish-mashed. I hope to find a better bio of Washington...one certainly exists.