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George Washington: The Founding Father (Eminent Lives) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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|Length: 146 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Despite his importance, Washington remains today a distant figure to many Americans. Previous books about him are immensely long, multivolume, and complicated. Paul Johnson has now produced a brief life that presents a vivid portrait of the great man as young warrior, masterly commander-in-chief, patient Constitution maker, and exceptionally wise president. He also shows Washington as a farmer of unusual skill and an entrepreneur of foresight, patriarch of an extended family, and proprietor of one of the most beautiful homes in America, which he largely built and adorned.
Trenchant and original as ever, Johnson has given us a brilliant, sharply etched portrait of this iconic figureboth as a hero and as a man.
Discover More Eminent Lives
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Publication date : March 17, 2009
- File size : 316 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2009)
- ASIN : B000JMKT4G
- Print length : 146 pages
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #547,526 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But who exactly was he, and why was he so admired? This had eluded me, until I read Paul Johnson's superb short biography.
The short answer is that George Washington was a great man --- great in leadership and also pretty big physically. (De Tocqueville remarked that he had never seen a man with a larger pair of hands.) It is fairly accurate to say that, wherever he went, he dominated, mostly through his moral and ethical qualities. He did not desire political power, but he desired with all his soul and all his being a happy future for America and the American people. He was a genius, and he worked harder than most of us can imagine.
Here's one point that really impressed me: Washington's conduct of the Revolutionary War. Gore Vidal, in one of his "historical" novels, absolutely flays Washington alive as a nincompoop and a loser, a "general" who couldn't win a single battle. It is surprising (and educational) to learn from Paul Johnson that Washington was, on the contrary, a brilliant strategist. His strategy was simply to outlast the British by fighting a war of attrition. (Note well: this is something like the strategy employed by Ho Chi Minh against US!) He calculated, accurately, that within 4-5 years the British would tire of the "quagmire" and sue for "negotiations." Which happened, and the USA won the war in the negotiations. (Gore Vidal, of course, omits to mention the tiny detail of George Washington actually winning the war.)
Washington was an impressive man, on many different levels, and this book is a masterpiece at revealing the multiple facets of one of the greatest men America ever produced.
I must also say that I really appreciate a SHORT biography. I would never read seven volumes of anyone's life, and I am thoroughly fed up with the biographers who feel they must devote a thousand pages to the life of (say) LBJ. "Brevity is the soul of wit," gentlemen!
A very high recommendation! I will add, uselessly, that all Americans should read this book.
The writing has the flavor of an unbiased account of George Washington's life and dispels a number of falsehoods propagated by bebunkers. The author could have added some critical remarks about Washington's military blunders in the battle of Long Island while balancing those remarks with a description of his remarkable tenacity in maintaining favor and position with the Second Continental Congress. I would have appreciated more detail about how he kept his loose cannon Alexander Hamilton pointed in wise directions, but the element I missed most was a description of how Washington achieved the highest pinnacle of power in the rough new country without acquiring a hunger for more than what the later Constitution intended. The author points out some significant words from King George III: when told that Washington intended to go back to farming after the end of the war, George III said that if Washington does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.
I would also have appreciated some explanation of how Washington recognized the unmatched heroics of energy that John Knox had at his disposal for getting Fort Ticonderoga's guns moved to a Boston overlook and how he recognized and utilized Nathaniel Green's pivotal capabilities.