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George Washington

William Roscoe Thayer

Book Overview: 

One of the finer single volume biographies of Washington, Thayer makes ample use of Washington's letters and writings yielding a rich portrait of the man behind the legend.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .n display any doubt either of his patriotism, or of the course which every patriot must take. To his intimates he spoke with point-blank candor. Years later, George Mason wrote to him:

I never forgot your declaration, when I had last the pleasure of being at your house in 1768, that you were ready to take your musket upon your shoulder whenever your country called upon you.

Some writers point out that Washington excelled rather as a critic of concrete plans than of constitutional and legal aspects. Perhaps this is true. Assuredly he had no formal legal training. There were many other men in Massachusetts, in Virginia, and in some of the other Colonies, who could and did analyze minutely the Colonists' protest against taxation without representation, and the British rebuttal thereof; but Washington's strength lay in his primal wisdom, the wisdom which is based not on conventions, even though they be laws and constitu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I enjoyed reading about George Washington - this bio was written almost a hundred years ago. At times it was a little dry and hard to read, but overall it was incredibly interesting - especially the section describing his final moments.

Quick to read. Not too long. Reminded why George Washington was so highly revered in life, and still so honored in death.

A Biography

A well written, but wandering biography of Washington. It is to know a man that is needed of a biography, and this fulfills it perfectly.

A decent work on Washington's life. Certainly not the most in-depth that I've ever seen, but if you're wanting a quick overview on the life of Washington, this is one that I would recommend. If looking for something more in-depth, pick up Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life.

A reasonable overview.

Too much butt kissing. Where is the recognition of the contribution of the French? What happened to the Tories after the war?

A wonderful biography if you want a quick way to learn about Washington's life. Childhood, youth in the French-Indian war, family-life, the revolution, the presidency — everything is touched upon with a fact-based and honest approach. To give us an image of who Washington was Thayer quotes letter...more

OK read,
I now know more about George than I did before I read this, even though being a history major in University, what I learned about Mr Washington through 18 years of school in America, was minimal. Not particularly well written with little insight and examination of what George did in his l...more

So far, I like Thayer's approach. The Revolutionary War is just beginning. Washington is the kind of leader this county needs.

I read this over July 4th weekend. This book gives a great sketch of Washington's life and social interactions. It covers his impressive career as one of the great, if not the greatest, founders. It finishes with a rather dramatic and tragic ending that I never learned about from school. Best of...more

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