Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgottenand often luridfacts of the Revolutionary War, Logan Beirne focuses on the nation’s first commander in chief, George Washington, as he shaped the very meaning of the United States Constitution in the heat of battle.
Key episodes illustrate how the Founders dealt with thorny wartime issues: Who decides war strategy? When should we use military tribunals over civilian trials? Should we inflict harsh treatment on enemy captives if it means saving American lives? How do we protect citizens’ rights when the nation is struggling to defend itself? Beirne finds evidence in previously-unexplored documents such as General Washington’s letters debating torture, an eyewitness account of the military tribunal that executed a British prisoner, Founders’ letters warning against government debt, and communications pointing to a power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress. Continue reading →
In this thought-provoking look at George Washington as soldier and statesman, Richard Brookhiser traces the astonishing achievements of Washington's career and illuminates how his character and his values shaped the beginnings of American politics.
An entertaining and erudite history that offers a fresh look at America's first founding father, the creation of his legend, and what it means for our nation and ourselves
George Washington's death on December 14, 1799, dealt a dreadful blow to public morale. For three decades, Americans had depended on his leadership to guide them through every trial. At the cusp of a new century, the fledgling nation, caught in another war (this time with its former ally France), desperately needed to believe that Washington was—and would continue to be—there for them.
Thus began the extraordinary immortalization of this towering historical figure. In Inventing George Washington, historian Edward G. Lengel shows how the late president and war hero continued to serve his nation on two distinct levels. The public Washington evolved into an eternal symbol as Father of His Country, while the private man remained at the periphery of the national vision—always just out of reach—for successive generations yearning to know him as never before.
Both images, public and private, were vital to perceptions Americans had of their nation and themselves. Yet over time, as Lengel shows, the contrasting and simultaneous urges to deify Washington and to understand him as a man have produced tensions that have played out in every generation. As some exalted him, others sought to bring him down to earth, creating a series of competing mythologies that depicted Washington as every sort of human being imaginable. Inventing George Washington explores these representations, shedding new light on this national emblem, our nation itself, and who we are.
“The most comprehensive and authoritative study of Washington’s military career ever written.”
–Joseph J. Ellis, author of His Excellency: George Washington
Based largely on George Washington’s personal papers, this engrossing book paints a vivid, factual portrait of Washington the soldier. An expert in military history, Edward Lengel demonstrates that the “secret” to Washington’s excellence lay in his completeness, in how he united the military, political, and personal skills necessary to lead a nation in war and peace. Despite being an “imperfect commander”–and at times even a tactically suspect one–Washington nevertheless possessed the requisite combination of vision, integrity, talents, and good fortune to lead America to victory in its war for independence. At once informative and engaging, and filled with some eye-opening revelations about Washington, the American Revolution, and the very nature of military command, General George Washington is a book that reintroduces readers to a figure many think they already know. Continue reading →
From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of George Washington.
In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. Continue reading →
Advance Praise for The Unexpected George Washington
"This is a biography that unquestionably lives up to its title. Readers will discover numerous, often touching traits that they never knew about the Father of the Country. Harlow Unger has written a one-of-a-kind book that will please and fascinate everyone."
—Thomas Fleming, author Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge Continue reading →
Before he became “the Father of our Country,” George Washington was the Father of the American Army. He took an army that had no experience, no tradition, and no training, and fought a protracted war against the best, most disciplined force in the world—the British Army. Deftly handling the political realm, Washington convinced Congress to keep his army supplied—a difficult task when the country was really just a loose confederation of states with no power to tax.
Washington influenced every phase of the Revolutionary war, from beginning to end. He left his mark with strategies and a vision of the Revolution as a war of attrition. His offenses were as brilliant as they were unpredictable, such as his legendary Christmas Day strike at Trenton, and a bold foray through the fog to nearly drive the British from the field at Germantown. It was an aggressive attack that helped convince the French that the American Army was worth supporting. In Washington, award-winning author Gerald M. Carbone argues that it is this sort of fearless but not reckless, spontaneous but calculated, offensive that Washington should be remembered for–as a leader not of infallibility but of greatness.
Become a part of history with this interactive book about George Washington! From the documents that drafted a nation to hand written notes from George Washington himself, this book is a treasure trove of historical information. Opening with a detailed description of Washington's death from a common infection and his harrowing final moments, each chapter is meticulously researched and documented with reference material and fascinating details of Washington's life. Inside hidden pockets and envelopes are documents, letters, and interesting facts guaranteed to keep even the most jaded readers enthralled as they learn about one of America's founding fathers and the first president of the United States.
America's victory came as a surprise to many people. How did untrained American generals, essentially military amateurs at the outbreak of war, and their ragged, half-starved troops manage to defeat British professionals? To what extent did the quality of British military leadership affect the outcome? Was the American success due to the British commanders' incompetence and faulty strategy, or were timing and opportunity more responsible for Washington and his colleagues' achievement? This book provides superbly balanced portraits of the British and American leadership. Renowned historians have contributed concise, remarkably informative, and authoritative essays on generals of both sides. The military gallery includes such Americans as George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, Benedict Arnold, Marquis de Lafayette, and eight others. The British are well-represented by Thomas Gage, Sir William Howe, Charles Lord Cornwallis, and seven others.Each piece not only explores the subject's personality and exploits, but interprets his contribution to victory or defeat. In the process the scholarship never loses sight of the brave, touchy, brilliant, and flawed personalities who fought beside and against one another. Rarely, if ever, has one volume offered such stimulating commentary and insights into key commanders of the Revolutionary War.
This volume tells about considerably more than half George Washington's life, the forty-three years that elapsed from his birth to his acceptance, at the outbreak of the American Revolution, of the command of the Continental Army.