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George Washington Paperback – March 1, 1996
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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The D Aulaires researched this classic biography of the Father Of Our Country by traveling in the very footsteps of Washington across Virginia territory, absorbing the essence of this great man. Beautifully illustrated in full color. Recommended in Laura Berquist Syllabus Grades 2, 3 and 4 Author: Edgar D Aulaire Grade: 1-6 Pages: 60, Paperback Publisher: Beautiful Feet Books ISBN: 0-9643803-1-5
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William Roscoe Thayer wrote this biography in 1922, and the reason for him to do that is stated in the preface, in his own words:
"I was interested to discover, if I could, the human residue which I felt sure must persist in Washington after all was said. Owing to the pernicious drivel of the Reverend Weems no other great man in history has had to live down such a mass of absurdities and deliberate false inventions."
The author also feels he should
"...warn the reader that this book aims only at giving a sketch of George Washington's life and acts."
Well, he succeeded in this, and I did enjoy reading it, also because of the style and language used. There were many words I had to look up, not being at all familiar with military terms (furlough? That certainly wasn't part of the curriculum when I learnt English at school several decades ago!), and Mr. Thayer must have done a lot of research; there are footnotes on almost every page, and an extensive source register makes up the last 10 % of the book.
What he did not manage to do, at least not for me, is to convey a clearer picture of George Washington as a person. Yes, his character, his habits (apparently, he was very fastidious with his clothes), his looks and his way of dealing with problems are thoroughly described, as are the military campaigns and political events he was part of. But if I had to sum up in one word what I feel is lacking here, that word would have to be "atmosphere".
You know when you can really delve into a book, into a story, the characters becoming real for you, the places being conjured up in front of your inner eye, complete with sounds and scents? That did not happen for me here, and I certainly do not blame the author; he probably never intended to create something so personal and atmospheric - after all, he said it himself, the book was supposed to be a sketch.
And at that, it is very good.
No notes, no bibliography. From Wilson I would expect a scholarly work, not something that seems to be written for high schoolers.
Not much space on six years as a General, as the President of the Constitutional Convention or as the first President. Not much information in the military or surveying preceding them.
Most recent customer reviews
I feel this book gives good perspective to the life and character if George Washington.