If you’re looking for the best George Washington biography, you’ve come to the right place.
In the wide, wide world of books on George Washington, there’s literal libraries full of works exploring the General’s life. To help fellow lovers of history and great books, I’ve put together a list of my favorites.
From his early military career to his time as the first president of the United States, these titles will give you a comprehensive overview of Washington’s life and times. Plus, they’re all enjoyable reads!
Alexis Coe’s You Never Forget Your First is a charming and funny look at one woman’s quest to find the perfect George Washington biography.
Poe is a gifted storyteller, and she weaves together her own search for the right book with an insightful history of our nation’s first president. From his days as a young man in colonial Virignia to his rousing victories as the American commander-in-chief during the American Reovlution, Poe explores the mulifaceted nature of Washington and the times he lived in.
Along the way, she creates one of the most readable presidential biographies I’ve ever encountered. Sprinkled with wit and humor, and unafraid to pull any punches when it comes to Washington’s policies on slavery and relations with Native Nations, You Never Forget Your First presents a full, and wildly entertaining, view of George Washington.
Ultimately, she comes to the conclusion that the best George Washington biography is the one that resonates most with the reader. Whether you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud read or a thought-provoking look at American history, You Never Forget Your First is definitely worth picking up.
When it comes to biographies of George Washington, there are certainly no shortage of options. However, in his book Young Washington, Peter Stark offers a fresh and unique perspective on the life of America’s first president.
Drawing on George’s letters and diaries, Stark paints a vivid picture of Washington’s early years, from his upbringing as a Virginia gentleman in British North America to his military career during the French and Indian War.
In addition, Stark provides new insights into Washington’s character, revealing a man who was not always the confident and decisive leader that he is often portrayed as.
As a result, Young Washington is an essential read for anyone interested in getting a deeper understanding of one of America’s most iconic figures.
George Washington’s Surprise Attack: A New Look at the Battle That Decided the Fate of America takes a fresh look at one of the most important battles in American history.
The book challenges the traditional view of the battle, and instead argues that it was George Washington’s surprise attack that ultimately decided the fate of the American Revolution and the nation.
In addition to providing a new perspective on the battle, the book also includes previously unreleased documents and eyewitness accounts that help to support its argument.
If you’re interested in learning more about one of the most pivotal moments in American history, then George Washington’s Surprise Attack is definitely a book worth checking out.
This also made our list of best Revolutionary War books!
If you’re looking for a good book about George Washington, you can’t go wrong with Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow.
Chernow is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, and he definitely brings his A-game to this book. It’s an exhaustive (but never boring) look at Washington’s life, from his childhood in Virginia to his military career and time as president to his retirement at Mount Vernon.
And Chernow doesn’t shy away from the difficult moments in Washington’s life, like his involvement in the slave trade or his sometimes strained relationship with his wife, Martha.
If you want to learn more about our Founding Father, you won’t go wrong with Chernow.
Even though this isn’t, strictly speaking, a book about George Washington, I can’t miss an opportunity to plug David McCullough, one of my all time favorite writers.
1776 by David McCullough is one of the most popular books about the American Revolution. And for good reason! From Fabian tactics and hellish winters to surprise victories, McCullough explores the ups and downs of George Washington and the Continental Army as only the two time Pulitzer Prize winner can.
The book is full of fascinating details about the war, and it also paints a vivid portrait of life in 18th-century America. Best of all, it helps readers to understand why the fight for independence was so important.
If you’re looking for George Washington books that are both informative and enjoyable, 1776 is a great choice.
Edward G. Lengel’s George Washington: A Military Life is one of the most comprehensive and well-researched biographies of our nation’s first commander-in-chief.
Lengel does an impressive job of not only chronicling Washington’s life and military career, but also providing insights into his motivations and thought processes.
The result is a detailed and nuanced portrait of a complex man. In addition to providing a thorough account of Washington’s military exploits, Lengel also sheds light on his private life, including his relationships with his wife and family.
This addition to the list of George Washington books is essential reading for anyone interested in learning more about His Excellency.
Washington’s Crossing is one of the most famous and well-known episodes of the Revolutionary War.
In December of 1776, George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River in a surprise attack on the Hessian army stationed in Trenton, New Jersey. The victory was a much-needed morale boost for the Continental Army, and it helped to turn the tide of the war in favor of the Americans.
Fischer’s book is a comprehensive and gripping account of the event, drawing on a wealth of primary sources to paint a vivid picture of what life was like for both Washington and his troops during that fateful winter.
Fischer’s clear prose and lively storytelling makes Washington’s Crossing an enjoyable and accessible read for both history buffs and general readers alike.
In His Excellency: George Washington, Joseph J. Ellis does an excellent job of humanizing Washington, painting a picture of a man who was far from perfect but who always had the best interests of his country at heart.
The book covers Washington’s entire life, from his childhood in Virginia to his time as a General during the Revolutionary War to his eight years as President.
Along the way, Ellis provides readers with fascinating insights into Washington’s character and how he helped to shape the course of American history.
This is an essential read for anyone interested in learning more about the founding fathers.
Washington’s Circle by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler that explores the relationships between George Washington and the members of his inner circle.
The book delves into the dynamics of these relationships, and how they impacted Washington’s decisions as president. In particular, the book looks at the role that Alexander Hamilton played in shaping Washington’s presidency.
The book is well-researched and provides insights into the characters of both Washington and Hamilton. It is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in American history.
Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader is about, well, exactly what the title says. Author Robert Middlekauff details George Washington’s formative years and how they led him to becoming the first leader of the United States of America.
Unlike many other books about Washington, Middlekauff’s focus is more on Washington the man than on his military exploits. This allows readers to get a better understanding of what drove him and what shaped his character. Even if you’re not particularly interested in American history, this is a book that is sure to please.
It’s well-written and thoroughly researched, and it provides a fresh perspective on one of America’s most iconic figures.
Travel’s With George chronicles Philbrick’s travels across the country in search of places associated with George Washington. He visits Mount Vernon, Washington’s home in Virginia, before making his way to New York, New England, and then back down south to the Carolinas and Georgia.
Along the way, he interviews historians and other experts on Washington, and he shares their insights in the book. Philbrick also provides his own thought-provoking commentary on Washington and his legacy.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in American history.
In The Return of George Washington, Edward Larson explores Washington’s return to public life after the Revolutionary War. Though he had originally planned to retire from politics, Washington was persuaded to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. There, he played a crucial role in shaping the new government.
After the Constitution was ratified, Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States. He served for two terms, setting a precedent of peaceful transfer of power. In addition to his political accomplishments, Washington is also remembered for his Farewell Address, in which he warned against partisan divisions and called for national unity.
The Return of George Washington is a fascinating look at one of the most important figures in American history, and a great addition to your collection of George Washington books.
George Washington is one of the most important figures in American history. As the first president of the United States, he played a crucial role in shaping the young nation. However, Washington was also a slaveowner, and his complicated relationship with slavery is explored in An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America by Henry Wiencek.
Wiencek paints a comprehensive picture of Washington’s views on slavery, both personal and political. He discusses how Washington dealt with slaves on his own plantations and how he navigated the issue as president. The book also sheds light on the lives of individual slaves, giving readers a glimpse into their day-to-day life.
An Imperfect God is a fascinating look at one of America’s founding fathers. It’s an essential read for anyone interested in the history of slavery and its place in early America.
Why Read a George Washington Biography?
When it comes to picking a George Washington biography to read, there’s a lot of options. In this post, I’ve tried to bring together the very best of these options. But why?
Well, Washington is a fascinating and inspiring figure, both for what he did during his life and how the story of his life has been used and told ever since.
Washington was not only the first President of the United States, but also a pivotal figure in American history, leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War and helping to establish the new nation’s political and social systems. By reading about his life, you can gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and triumphs that shaped the United States into what it is today.
A biography of Washington can also provide insight into the man himself. Despite his legendary status, Washington was a human being with flaws and imperfections, and studying his life can help readers to appreciate his accomplishments and understand his shortcomings. His unwavering dedication to his country, his persevering in the face of adversity, and his commitment to democratic principles continue to inspire people today.
Most relevant for our times, Washington began the tradition of American presidents giving up power. After defeating the British army in the American Revolution, Washington could pretty much do whatever he wanted – and some even tried to make him king. But you know what he did? After two terms, he left office and packed his bags for Mount Vernon to live out his days in retirement. Now that’s what I call commitment to one’s beliefs.
But how did become a man would could do what no other leader in recorded history is known to have done? Pick up a biography of George Washington (or two) and find out.