Washington: A Life

Washington: A Life

Ron Chernow

Language: English

Pages: 928

ISBN: 0143119966

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

“Truly magnificent… [a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography” –Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal

“Superb… the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.” –Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books

“A truly gripping biography of George Washington... I can’t recommend it highly enough—as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It’s as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels.”  –Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more.

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hillside fence, Washington lengthened and strengthened the patriot line, instructing his men not to fire until told to do so. He exhibited exceptional sangfroid as he rode along the line. Then he personally led the charge up the hill, halting only when they had pushed within thirty yards of their adversaries. As he issued the command to fire, Washington, on his white charger, was such a conspicuous target that Fitzgerald clapped his hat over his eyes because he couldn’t bear to see him shot. When

officially elected to the post. During the winter of 1776-77 the British sent out foraging parties from New York to raid the New Jersey countryside, and Washington directed the militia to “harass their troops to death” in what became a conflict of “daily skirmishes.”12 This small-scale warfare whittled away British power as the militia gathered horses, cattle, and sheep to feed the American army. Thomas Jones, a Loyalist judge in New York, wrote that not “a stick of wood, a spear of grass or a

Washington was even blunter with Hamilton, warning him that soldiers weren’t “mere puppets” and that the army was “a dangerous instrument to play with.”47 The officers continued to believe that Philadelphia politicians remained deaf to their pleas, and Washington had no inkling that they would soon resort to more muscular measures. In his general orders for March 10, he dwelt on a mundane topic, the need for uniform haircuts among the troops. Then he learned of an anonymous paper percolating

perfectionist than Washington, Houdon toiled for years over the Richmond statue, which wasn’t set in the capitol rotunda until 1796. In the final version, Houdon played on the Cincinnatus theme of Washington returning to Mount Vernon and divesting himself of the instruments of war. Still dressed in uniform, his outer coat unbuttoned, Washington seems quietly self-possessed, his great labor finished. He has exchanged his sword for a walking stick in his right hand while his left arm rests on a

Columbia University Medical Center; Dr. Daniel Tarsy, professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Carlos Singer, professor of neurology at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. It turned out to be a fascinating, if inconclusive, exercise, and I am indebted to the neurologists in question for their generous cooperation. Late in the writing of this book, I suffered a severe orthopedic injury that nearly derailed the project. For that reason, I would

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