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Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  516 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
This book explores Washington s role as a general, his part in the writing of the Constitution, and his years as president. It also details his private life, his character, his strong sense of duty, and his constant struggle to hold his temper in check so he could be an effective leader. Finally, the author describes Washington s role as the father of his country. Recommen ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 22nd 1997 by Free Press (first published 1996)
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Erik Graff
Dec 02, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
This is a hagiography of George Washington written by a conservative American journalist. Not having read any biography of Washington since elementary school and having an occasional penchant for reading authors of the political Right, I opened it prior to essaying a more substantial, scholarly study.

There are a few pointed remarks concerning contemporary politics, but generally author Brookhiser sticks to his subject, painting "the father of our country" in broad, very complimentary strokes. I
Jimmy Reagan
Jul 25, 2015 Jimmy Reagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This volume makes the perfect primer on why we should care about Washington. It is not a biography per se, but it seeks to rescue Washington from the caricature that he has too often been presented as. I actually read this when I was in my late twenties, but I still recall the impact it made. I had read a biography of Washington in High School, though I have since forgotten the author, that I enjoyed. Too often, however, I reduced Washington to the Parson Weems recreation as cherry-tree chopper ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of the appeal of studying American history for me, has always been in looking for ways to apply lessons learned about our past to today’s issues. Partly for that reason my favorite form of historical reading is the biographical. It helps personalize history, and allows me, when trying to think about issues facing us today, to ask the question; “What would (fill in the blank) do?” At the top of the list for me is imagining how George Washington would have dealt with issues of prime importanc ...more
Dec 19, 2016 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Richard Brookhiser's Founding Father in 2016 was interesting. If you want to see what the opposite of what George Washington is, just look at Donald Trump. Brookhiser explores three aspects of Washington: his career, his character, and his role as the founding father. In every chapter, we see Washington as a man who could control his passions, who was unfailingly polite, who literally put himself in the trenches with the men he commanded. In 2016 we've elected a man who has public temper ...more
Jake W.
Oct 04, 2012 Jake W. rated it it was amazing
Jake Wayda
B-5 English

My book is called "Rediscovering George Washington Founding Father". It obviously is about George Washington. The main reason why I chose this book is because I went back to Washington D.C. this summer and i also went to Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is where George Washington lived and died. The house itself was very cool and so was the rest of the estate, i saw the room in which Washington died. I saw where his first tomb, they moved him in 1831 to his current location on
Dec 11, 2016 Jonathon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
George Washington was apparently an idiot...
from an academic stand-point. He had the level of education equivalent to an eighth grader (most of the founders had advanced college degrees). He was a military guy, super rich landowner, and a common guy intellectual. What he lacked in intellect, he made up in virtue and morality...

As a leader he was amazing! He was brave, extremely humble and practiced humility (stepping down from being a third term pres though the entire country
Dec 17, 2008 Selena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I took a citizenship test not too long ago and had to memorize silly facts about the United States of America. One of the questions was about who the first president of the United States was. It was hard to miss this one. I live in Washington, afterall. And aside from knowing his name, that he fought in the war and had wooden teeth, I realized I didn’t know much about the man. Or any of our presidents for that matter. So I decided to do something about it. (That is where the challenge comes in - ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Marley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I visited Mount Vernon several lyears ago . Like most, I suppose I saw it as a Sunday outing. I was therefore surprised when I felt emotionally overcome by the place. Standing in Wshington's bedroom I wanted to cry when I saw the bed he died in. (As a sidenote, I was surpirsed at how small it was inside compared to how it looks o the outside. Washington was plagued with visitors who would come to stay for weeks at a time, and I can't imagine where they ut them all).

Like other reviewers here , I
Jul 07, 2014 Dale rated it really liked it
An interesting biography, a valuable perspective

Founding Father
is not a long biography (199 pages), but it is an interesting piece of writing. It is split into 3 areas - about one-half of the book is straight biography, about one-third is an analysis of the character of our first president and the balance is an analysis of what it means to be a founding father, how Washington measures up to that ideal and what kind of "father" he was.

The biography section is great - straightforward and written
Urey Patrick
What a wonderfully warm and honest reminder of Washington - the man and the giant historical figure. Not so much a biography as a character study and a compelling reminder of the real man behind the legend. Brookhiser explores aspects of Washington's life and career - his indispensable service as the commander in chief of colonial forces during the Revolutionary War; his indispensable support for the creation of the constitution and the new central government; his indispensable service as our fi ...more
Mike Prochot
As more information about George Washington is coming to light as a result of the internet, through cross referencing of published, not published and out of print works, journals and letters, we are getting a fuller picture of the man and I think it is high time we look at him again and get to know him. The fact is, the more we get to know him, the more there is to appreciate.

Richard Brookhiser does a great job of adding human features and foibles to those marble statues and currency images of
Gary Turner
If you are a fan of American history and especially George Washington, this is a nice read. Personally i enjoyed the later book written by Ron Chernow- Washington, A Life in 2010, but this is a nice book too. There were a few details i had not known. Richard Brookhiser does add some of his opinions to character of George Washington, and i appreciated his interpretations. On balance i feel he was fair, for to understand those times and actually be able to comprehend the magnitude of George Washin ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
This isn't so much a straight biography as a series of extended essays on the character and importance of George Washington. (It also stands as a short biographical sketch of his life.)

Brookhiser leaves us in no doubt as to Washington's status as the indispensible man, without whom American independence, the Constitution, or the secure establishment of the Republic may well have not occurred. The author also goes to great lengths to rescue Washington, the man, from our conception of Washington-a
Apr 26, 2012 Levi rated it really liked it
I was assigned this book for a US History class. It was interesting to learn about George Washington's life in more detail than just his major political accomplishments. Though he never wrote much about himself and therefore we can't know much about his personal thoughts, the accounts of his life as related by other founding fathers reveals the full extent of his leadership. Some people say the only reason Washington is remembered is because he came first. What I learned from this book makes me ...more
Larry Hostetler
Jul 21, 2016 Larry Hostetler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I have read biographies about George Washington.

This is biographical, but it is much more than a biography. It examines the character traits and other aspects (religion, politics, "father of the country", etc.) of Washington's life in detail, and gives much more a feel of the man than biographies sometimes can.

I found it educational, enlightening, and now I have a "feel" for the man that I never had. It is interesting and learned, fairly short (200 pages before notes and index) but packed with
Jun 18, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This was a short, but interesting, read about the character of our nation’s Founding Father. The book emphasizes the monumental character that is George Washington, and which undoubtedly enabled him to take the lead in the birth of the United States. I like that it also showed some of his flaws, and was not a complete hagiography. The point is that G.W. overcame these flaws to be the man he was for the generations that he led, and the generations that he continues to inspire. While we may not em ...more
This is a quick read which tries to break through the myth of who George Washington was to gain a better understanding of how he conducted himself - and why. RB, author, breaks down the book into sections of career, character, and role as a founding father. Each section provides a brief history, and analysis, supported by evidence, on how the brain in the first president came to work, and did work.

He seemed to be very in touch with the gravity of being the first president of a new and democrati
Mar 11, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short, concise revisiting of our first president (under 200 pages). The story of Washington proves fascinating with a fresh retelling of most of his life (especially remarkable is the career section) but, at times, Mr. Brookhiser's writing style can get bogged down by being a bit dry and too academic. While a decent read and I'm happy to own it, I'd recommend this book to other readers only as a supplement to many other outstanding books written about Washington.
Leif Erik
One day not that long ago I realized that I knew next to nothing about the life of George Washington. As I am a fairly well educated history major I was kind of appalled. So I picked up this little tomb to bring myself up to speed. He does love his subject quite a bit and the book is full of stories of Washington's daring and fortitude in the face of adversity. But I never got a sense of why the Revolutionary Generation gravitated to him.
Nov 06, 2013 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a biography of George Washington written along the lines of Plutarch's Lives. Topics covered include his career, his character, and his role as our Founding Father. Brookhiser brings together various sources to give a picture of Washington the man and the legend. In an era when patriotism and pride in our country seems frowned upon, this was an inspiring read.
Apr 17, 2008 Marilyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
I have decided to read biographies of all the presidents in chronological order. This book was a bit scholarly and not much on personal details of George's life. However, I don't know if there are any books about his daily life--this author made it sound like there is not much written about the private man. It was a good place to start.
Glenn Robinson
Sep 11, 2013 Glenn Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good bio that lives up to the title-"re-discover." a quick rehash of much of what we know with an added flair of George Washington love of the theatre. A quick read with not a great deal of new facts, just new ways of viewing whether he was actually a great leader or not.
Mar 22, 2016 Rob rated it liked it
Read as part of college curriculum. Brookhiser does a great job of bringing George Washington to life as a person & the legendary founder of our country.
Kirk Bower
Jul 29, 2011 Kirk Bower rated it it was amazing
Quick Read. I'm a Brookhiser fan - but I believe this is the best biography on Washington I have read!
Great read. Brookhiser convincingly shows that without Washington the Republic might have died in its cradle. Recommended.
Scott Montgomery
Oct 23, 2012 Scott Montgomery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better biographies of Geo. Washington and focuses stories and essays not readily available in most main stream histories. An informative, short, and inspiring read.
Tom George
Tom George rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2013
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Jul 18, 2011
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Feb 27, 2015
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Richard Brookhiser, author of Founding Father (Free Press 1996), is a senior editor at National Review and a columnist for The New York Observer.
More about Richard Brookhiser...

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