Kristen: George Washington

His Excellency: George Washington, by Joseph Ellis

Joseph Ellis did a great job of telling the story of George Washington’s life. I’m amazed by how much I had forgotten (or never learned?!) about one of our most important Founding Fathers. Although there were parts that dragged on for me—mostly the battles—I still learned a lot about GW. I was especially interested in the politics of the day and the inner-workings and backstabbing that went on within his own cabinet. I also never realized the complexity of the relationships between some of the most famous players of the day (Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, etc). History sort of glosses over those relationships (at least the way I learned about it in school!)

I would have liked a little more information on his early years and how he was raised but I think I read somewhere that there’s not much information available. I also would have liked a little more insight into his personal life with Martha, but since GW was very conscious of how future generations would be viewing him, most of his most telling correspondences were burned. Overall, I think this was a great book to start the challenge with and I’m excited to learn about John Adams as I continue the challenge!

Original Review


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