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Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  193 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgotten—and often lurid—facts 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. ...more
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Encounter Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jun 26, 2016 Libby rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Professors/Fans of U.S. Colonial, Revolutionary, Constitutional & Military History; Politicians
Shelves: free-review-copy
"This book analyzes George Washington's specific actions and beliefs as he forged the very meaning of our Constitution amid the heat of battle for independence" (8). The domestic issues pertaining to fighting foreign-intruding terrorism and facing combat in the United State's current era also existed as consistent themes in its colonial times. "Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency," by Yale Olin Scholar and Juris Doctor Logan Beirne, began with an analogy of th ...more
Mark Mortensen
Like a superior law scholar author Logan Beirne displays full command of the English language along with a multitude of adjectives to describe the highlights of the American Revolutionary War. Beirne brings George Washington, America’s first commander-in-chief, to light in this vibrant 21st Century non-fiction book by filling a void in such a grand subject. Each concise chapter is a revelation of its own enticing one to read on. I savor the final notation in the book, a remarkable quote by ...more
Mylan Dawson
Aug 27, 2013 Mylan Dawson rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I do not care, generally, to write a review of a book I did not enjoy; I simply admire and respect the process of writing and those that complete a book of this magnitude. I am here only because there are so many positive reviews that I am sure this one will be lost in the shuffle.

I was intrigued by the premise of this book and was very interested to read about G.W. and his role in establishing the Presidency. However, while the research seemed to be complete, the writing was more in line with a
Wisteria Leigh
When Independence Day approached this year, I searched my backlog of TBR books and without hesitation selected BLOOD OF TYRANTS. Skeptics may question whether another book about our first president would offer new insight. Logan Bierne has written a dramatic and entertaining history of George Washington pulled from his research. It is a completely enveloping read, with lesser known anecdotes and stories about George Washington to satisfy the curious. For example, Did you know his teeth were made ...more
Will Mitchell
Sep 21, 2013 Will Mitchell rated it it was amazing
This is a book to be reckoned with. Reading this stirs up all one's lost interest in governmental history without the boredom that went with it. His writing style is lively, fluid and factual without being sterile. His descriptions draw vivid images of our forefathers hard at work freeing themselves from British rule, but not in the way our high school textbooks describe it. This Revolutionary War is fraught with unique and interesting descriptive anecdotes and side notes. It's like going back ...more
Oct 01, 2013 Bob rated it it was amazing
This was a very novel approach to recounting the history of the revolution. Much of what is available in the History aisles today is very sanitized. We see George Washington as someone who told no lies. He had no warts or blemishes. He was the perfect ideal for the founder of our country.

But, understanding reality would dictate that this cannot be true. Like you and me, Washington was first a human being, and humans are flawed.

What I found most interesting is the relevance the topics covered ha
Cary Kostka
Mar 23, 2014 Cary Kostka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
“Blood of Tyrants” was a fantastic journey in the mindset, thoughts, and actions of George Washington, as well as his interactions with our Founding Fathers. The author’s writing style pulls you in and keeps you engrossed in the history; it was quite masterfully presented, and “Blood of Tyrants” can readily be used as an example of entertaining and audience captivating non-fiction writing.

This beautifully constructed history dives into the many nuances and maneuvering that then General Washingto
Sam Honeycutt
I loved this book!!!! It was well written and researched. Even the notes are entertaining as well as informative. Can't wait till he writes another one. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
May 07, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book on George Washington and how he led the contiential army to fight for American independence from Britain and became our first president.
Jan 12, 2014 Jerome rated it really liked it
A very readable and interesting book on the evolution of Washington’s own views on various thorny wartime issues. Beirne’s narrative is engaging. At school we learn a lot about Washington’s establishment of “precedent” , but always in reference to how his own presidency forged that institution for future presidents, not on how his own wartime experiences forged the institution itself. As the narrative progresses, complex issues are illuminated more and more.

The book reveals how Washington faced
May 12, 2014 Melinda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers approach to government and this historys impact on today.

This masterfully written nonfictional book tells the facts both unknown and known of the Revolutionary War primarily focusing on George Washington, our country's first commander in chief. We learn of how the constitution was established during trying times in vivid detail.

We have a clearer understanding of the issues Washington faced in dealings with the Continenta
Peter Mcloughlin
This book focus on the great achievement of our most well known founder and the early republic. The rights and shape of the U.S. government in the great but flawed constitution (Slavery, rights of women, native Americans not withstanding)were forged in the experience of the Washington and the continental congress fight for independence. The revolutionary war was as brutal as any war engaged in by the U.S. Questions about the limits and scope of government and the rights of the people were ...more
Teri Beckelheimer
Oct 28, 2013 Teri Beckelheimer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Logan Beirne's Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency is a Pulitzer Prize nominated look into George Washington, the American Revolution and the start of a new nation and a new political power. Through little known details and stories, Beirne vividly chronicles key themes in Washington's military career and in the molding of the new nation.

This book has become the modern day equivalent of the "glasses" that Washington wore in 1783. It has allowed us to see the hu
Oct 29, 2013 Todd rated it it was amazing
As time rolls on, I think we have a tendency to look back at the past as clear cut black and white. The right decisions were obvious, and the good guys were clearly separated out from the bad guys. Our present may be murky, the right decisions may have to be sorted out through a big mixture of grayish haze, and the line between the good and bad guys may be finer than we'd admit; but the past, now THAT was clear.

Beirne does an incredible job of bringing George Washington to life, and laying out
victor harris
Jun 14, 2013 victor harris rated it liked it
Part hagiography of Washington and part history, it seeks to demonstrate how Washington established the precedent for the role of Commander In Chief via his conduct in the Revolutionary War. Although repetitive in spots, it does a good job of showing the power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress. Power that would eventually shift to Washington's control. For a lesser man, this would have been dangerous, Washington used such amassed power prudently. He was certainly admirable ...more
I really enjoyed this book. The introduction immediately engages you by showing all sides of this great leader, from his early inexperience and own inner conflicts to how he ends up pulling the country together. This book highlights how our forefathers and George Washington encountered similar political issues that we still face today, from the role of torture in warfare to addressing the national debt. Berne shows you just how fragile the founding of our great nation was and even at times ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I've read several books where George Washington was the main character. 1776 by David McCullough, Almost A Miracle, Angels in The Whirlwind, to name a few. Forgive me if they aren't cited properly. Logan Beirne brought new life to a fun subject. It's great to read these accounts with all of their different perspectives. Logan brought a new perspective in a very engaging, readable format, with new insight that I hadn't experienced before. He sums it all up by bringing the story full circle ...more
Dec 01, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Logan Beirne writes a vivid, compelling, engaging analysis of George Washington and how he would set the precedent for the presidency. Drawing on today's parallels, such as the hot button issue of the legality of torture, Beirne carefully guides the reader through history without injecting bias. The story of Washington is a fascinating tale that has been told countless times but this book presents a different way of telling the story. While the author goes into much detail about the ...more
Nicholas Aune
Jun 03, 2014 Nicholas Aune rated it liked it
Another conflicting read about the Founding Fathers. Beirne has a very provocative reason for writing this book:To piss off originalists. Beirne thoughtfully argues that if originalists looked at the primary source documents of the Revolutionary War, they wold see that advancing beyond a poorly organized militia system, establishing spy networks, and utilizing "advanced interrogation methods" were all precedents set by General Washington during the War, and that by examining the documents you ...more
This book was given to read by the history bookclub. I would like to extend my thanks to the group and the author. Onto the book itself.

I was impressed by the author's ability to frame the actions of General Washington into how we our new Republic would form its government. This so far has been the only book on the American Revolution to pursue this course of thought. Using some obscure portions of the Revolutionary War the author provides numerous examples to give his theories factual evidence.
Oct 20, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Blood of Tyrants was an extremely interesting and enjoyable read following the early career of George Washington prior to his ascension to the Presidency. Many of the decisions he made are analyzed and left up to debate if they were the proper course of action or a necessary evil. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in U.S. History, the Revolutionary War, or George Washington and the founding fathers. Thank you to Goodreads and the History Book Club for the opportunity to read this ...more
Marguerite Barrett
Sep 01, 2013 Marguerite Barrett rated it did not like it
I was disappointed with this book. I was intrigued by the premise, but found the results did not live up to expectations. I felt a lack of true analysis here - too much of the book devolved into Washington:good, British: bad. And where Beirne did touch on some of Washington's less exemplary actions, I felt they were often glossed over as "of course he was forced into these actions, but they went against his nature..." The result is more hagiography than what could have been an interesting study ...more
Paul Arbogast
Oct 17, 2013 Paul Arbogast rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. The intent is to show how George Washington set the precedent as 'commander in chief', and how some of his decisions relate to modern times. But I found it far more interesting in just the stories it told of decisions he made through the course of his life and the Revolutionary War. I think it was very interesting reading and included quite a bit of history that I had not previously read about.
Josh Blackman
Aug 26, 2013 Josh Blackman rated it it was amazing
I have read nearly every book about the Founding Fathers, and this book stands out. Beirne has a unique talent of weaving together a gripping narrative, while offering the reader a treasure trove of knowledge. I would highly recommend this book to all students of history, and those who want to know how our Republic was established.
Heather Bennett
Feb 18, 2014 Heather Bennett rated it it was amazing
Blood of Tyrants is a historical thriller with facts.It draws you in and you can see the images in your mind.Logan Beirne takes us back in time on a journey to George Washington and the colonists.This is wonderfully written.
Oct 22, 2013 Tomi rated it it was amazing
Excellent book with lots of anecdotes about Washington, his times, and the Revolutionary War. I won this and participated in a Goodreads discussion, which was educational and fun.
Clayton Brannon
Sep 19, 2013 Clayton Brannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent short read on the powers of the President as Commander and Chief.
David Thomas
Oct 31, 2013 David Thomas rated it it was amazing
Excellent from start to finish
Nov 04, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while, a book comes along that challenges the reader or scholar to think beyond the confined years of the subject and consider its lasting impact. Logan Beirne has presented us with such a book in Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency. Washington has had a well examined life, if one considers the sheer amount of volumes on his life and Presidency. And one could be forgiven if they have begun to become wearisome at the many pedestrian biographies ...more
Jennifer Plummer
Jan 16, 2015 Jennifer Plummer rated it really liked it
Logan Beirne's book, Blood of Tyrants, gives an interesting look at the life of George Washington and those around him during the Revolutionary War. Upon first reading this book, I was very intrigued with the links between current political issues and the constitution. Perhaps I misread the description, and Part I, but I didn't feel this book quite delivered on that promise.

Blood of Tyrants was an interesting and even entertaining way to look at Constitutional politics. This day, you always hea
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Logan Beirne is an Olin Scholar at Yale Law School. Prior to this appointment, Logan practiced as an attorney with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and was a Fulbright Scholar at Queen’s University. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was a Coker Fellow and awarded the Edgar M. Cullen Prize for his constitutional scholarship. He and his writings have been ...more
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