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George Washington: The Founding Father

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  299 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
George Washington is by far the most important figure in the history of the United States. Against all military odds, he liberated the thirteen colonies from the superior forces of the British Empire and presided over the process to produce and ratify a Constitution that (suitably amended) has lasted for more than two hundred years. In two terms as president, he set that C ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Eminent Lives
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(showing 1-30 of 637)
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Samer Zydia
جورج واشنطن ...كنت ولا أزال مفتونا بهذه الشخصية من شخصيات أيام الصبا والحقيقة منذ قرأت كتاب المئة الاوائل لمايكل هارت

حاولت "وطبعا لا أزال" ان اجد شخصا يمكن أن أتشبه به ووجدت أنه اذا استثنينا الأنبياء لأني لا أستطيع أن اكون نبيا فقد ختمت النبوة واستثنينا الذين حباهم الله بمقدرة استثنائية "معجزة الموهبة" والتي لم أجدها لدي إلى الان

فكان جورج واشنطن مثالا جيدا فهو كسيرة حياه شخص عادي ولكنه متميز ...فضلا عن أنه مؤسس أمريكا وما أدراك ما أمريكا

للأسف كانت نسختي الالكترونية ناقصة ولكني تممت الاجزاء ال
Mar 01, 2009 James rated it really liked it
Over the years, I have read several volumes of Paul Johnson, and I have enjoyed his easy and readable style. He does not disappoint in his small volume on George Washington. The father of our country is revealed as a man of wisdom, great character and leadership. Johnson depicts Washington in a variety of roles—soldier, farmer, commander, leader of the Constitutional Convention, president, and entrepreneur.

Thanks to my education, I always had a better grasp on the intellectual founding of Ameri
Feb 18, 2011 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This is a nice little book to get at the meat of Washington's life by an excellent historian.

George Washington's church attendance was 50% or less. He was impatient with long sermons and never read religious works. In twenty volumes of correspondence, there is not a single mention of Christ. In no surviving letter of his youth does the name Jesus appear, and only twice thereafter. "Providence" occurs more frequently than God. He was more inclined to freemasonry than to Christianity.

He was a se
I cannot imagine a better succinct overview of George Washington’s life and impact.
Anthony Cimitile
What made me choose this book, was curiosity. Because during school I didn't really learn much on this president, so I wanted to learn more about him. I also chose this book, because I thought that it looked like a good read, not too long, not too short, and I in turn liked reading about this president.
One thing that I liked about this book, was that it didn't just talk about George Washington during his presidentcy, but it also talked about him before and after he was President. I liked that t
Susan B.
Feb 17, 2008 Susan B. rated it liked it
This book might seem like an odd choice, but I'm writing a paper on YouTube treatments of masculinity, paternity, and the Founding Fathers, so I had to get a good sense of the original biographical lore being parodied (And hey, tomorrow is President's Day, so the timing seemed especially good :) The basic thesis of the paper is that mash-ups and parodic treatments of these topics on the intenet can help us to move beyond stale scholarly debates about the Founding, providing an interesting, popul ...more
Erez Davidi
Feb 11, 2016 Erez Davidi rated it liked it
This is a decent introduction of Washington covering most important events of his political life, while ignoring most of Washington's private life. Johnson's conservative and Tory ideology is fairly visible throughout this short introduction, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but one ought to keep it mind. (I don't really believe a historian can be truly unbiased since everyone is shaped by his education and life events). I also found his bias against Jefferson quite amusing; Johnson is cons ...more
May 20, 2008 Bethany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a quick biography of GW
Despite his godlike aura in American political mythology, George Washington was, in the opinion of the excellent historian Paul Johnson, a rather neglected figure. Though countless volumes have been written about this father of the country, no one reads them because they are COUNTLESS VOLUMES. Johnson decided to write a quick but still insightful biography of GW that might actually get read and would hopefully deepen our understanding of the man behind the myth. He accomplished that objective, b ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Steven rated it it was ok
Shelves: biographies
This is the 3rd book in the Eminent Lives series I’ve read and the first one that seems to suffer from its short format. Much of that is due to the author though. He made the case for certain things without supporting them with Washington’s own words, as in the interpretation of how the 1st amendment pertains to religion. Johnson spent 2 pages going over how Washington viewed America as a Christian nation beholden to a god without backing that up with any quotes. And that whole bit seemed to sma ...more
This generally complimentary biography of Washington is fairly brief but hits all the major points of his life. It's an interesting read for someone who doesn't want to go deep but get a general sense of Washington's life and the times he lived in.
The only fault I found with this book was that the author could of added more details of Washington's life. An increase of 50 pages plus over the current 125 would be nice. Other than that small criticism I thought Mr. Johnson's book on George Washington was excellent. The author covered Washington's career, from the early time when he was a surveyer, his service in the French and Indian War, and then he moved into Washington's command of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and the ...more
Jeffrey Zygmont
Jul 13, 2013 Jeffrey Zygmont rated it it was amazing
This is a very short and digestible biography of one of the most important figures in the history of the world. Indeed, you could make the argument that Washington is the most important figure in the history of the world, or at least the most important military and political figure.

It gets back to the famous quote by England's King George III after Washington's ragtag Continental Army finally defeated the British, at the time the most formidable military power on earth. I'll quote the passage a
Nov 16, 2010 Brad rated it did not like it
There can be little doubt that Washington was an immensely influential figure during the formation of the United States, and that his strategic skill in war combined with, at the very least, the great respect afforded to him in affairs of state, were instrumental in the early success of the nascent nation. Johnson, however, in this biography, fails to do the great man justice.

It may be a pet peeve of mine not shared by others, but I found Johnson’s relations of events and people to be distastefu
Mike W
Feb 22, 2013 Mike W rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
For those, like me, who are impatient with 800 page biographies that list every detail of a person's life, this book is a relief. In it, Paul Johnson, an eminent British historian, encapsulates the life of a great man succinctly and ably.

Johnson depicts George Washington as prudent and pragmatic--perhaps less erudite than John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, but well-read and thoughtful in his own right. And he was a man of many talents: A capable administrator of his own estate, who managed to mak
Jul 20, 2011 Booker rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This slender volume outlines the major events that shaped Washington's upbringing, military and political career. At the heart of each of these was Washington's character as the guiding principle during America's impressionable beginnings. A contrast is often drawn between Washington's behavior and that of another strong personality, Napoleon. And, as a result of the difference in how each man chose to carry himself, the countries themselves went in different directions. The section on the Ameri ...more
Mark Valentine
Jan 31, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
Johnson's brief biography presents the key details in his life but he also included the political atmosphere of the age and Washington's influence on the writing of the Constitution and the Presidency. For a quick grasp, a summary, or a sense of the man, I recommend it.
Mark Casey
Jan 13, 2016 Mark Casey rated it really liked it
A great introduction to Washington, who, if anything, seems underrated among the founding fathers of the USA. Next step is to read something far more substantive and detailed.
Rachel Boling
Apr 23, 2015 Rachel Boling rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoires, poli-sci
This was a brief, and perhaps biased, portrayal of George Washington. The major points of George Washington's life, and his involvement in the development of America, were discussed. The author would sometimes refer to arguments made by those who review George Washington in a negative light, and then explain why they were incorrect.

While most of the book talked about the good things that George Washington did, the author did say that he believed failing to abolish slavery was George Washington's
Doug Taylor
Jan 08, 2016 Doug Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good overview, left me wanting more about Washington. It covered the Revolution from 1777 to Yorktown in less than a page, though enough has probably been written on that subject as it is. A nice biographical sketch.
Oct 03, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it
This short (123 pages) biography of Washington from the Eminent Lives series is just the ticket for someone wanting a concise, yet interesting, look at our first president. I came away with a real sense of the interests and values as well as the experiences of Washington. The bonuses were understanding his approach to winning the Revolution and a look into the relationships of some of our more prominent founding fathers during the early years of our nation. I like biographies but they are often ...more
Martin Whatwouldthefoundersthink
This was a pretty disappointing book. It was based solely on secondary sources and really had no insights to offer.

Johnson is a great writer and historian, but he mailed this one in.

I'd normally say that in a 120 pages, you can't expect too much, but after reading Conor Cruise O'Briens book on Washington, First in Peace. This is clearly not the case.

Skip this, unless you don't want to read the much better Chernow (much longer), or just about any other biography.

This is the first of the Eminent
Rob Lever
Oct 25, 2015 Rob Lever rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, history
Enjoyable in its brevity and its openness to actually promote a pro-founding father biographical opinion, more meaningful given Johnson's British citizenship and heritage. What the piece picks up in brevity (123 pages) and patriotism, it lacks in details and critical analysis of Washington's key decisions, positions, and socio-political context. Johnson's love for Washington is balanced by his open disdain for Jefferson and contempt for Adams. At the end of the day, a good starter piece on Washi ...more
Ruth Ellen
Jul 21, 2015 Ruth Ellen rated it really liked it
I found this a very interesting and informative bio.
Aug 02, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
A slim and very reader-friendly biography of George Washington. If you haven't read anything about the first president since high school, this is an excellent venue in which to reacquaint yourself with the most eminent and important of the Founding Fathers. He was much more than wooden teeth, the cherry tree and Valley Forge. Come, learn and enjoy. Johnson does him proud, as he does with every other subject he chooses to write about.
Sep 26, 2011 May rated it liked it
Shelves: history-american
I received this piece from a friend who is a poli-sci history buff. It was interesting to note why Washington was chosen, the combination of his demeanor and his abilities as a leader. It's always fascinating to view the founders as a band of misfits that somehow achieved greatness, led by a true sort of father figure. This is an easy and educational read.
Oct 27, 2011 Terry rated it it was amazing
I have read many accounts of Washington and the American Founding, but Paul Johnson has accomplished something unique. More than just the story of his life, this book is an illumination of Washington's character. Our Founding Father seems more like a father figure worthy of every American's love and respect, and less like a stone monument.
Jun 21, 2013 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a audio CD while working out at the gym. It is part of the Eminant Lives of the Presidents series. It was a good high level biography of Geo Washington ... the man. Short and sweet as is typical of Johnson. But I did learn some new characteristics of Washington in this book. It is worth the effort of reading it.
Jan 16, 2012 Pam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, bios-memoirs, pam
Paul Johnson has done an excellent job making George Washington's life come to life. This short, concise book avoids the problem of most authors, who write 500 + pages and subsequently lose their readers half way through. I highly recommend this book!
Jonah Young
Nov 13, 2008 Jonah Young rated it really liked it
Excellent book of well researched and well organized history. Our first President was truly a great man with a great vision. Johnson describes Washington's life extrordinarily within the frame of approx. 120 pages.
Jun 22, 2010 Ethan rated it liked it
A pretty good book. Almost exactly what I expected. It is very obvious that Johnson does not believe Washington was a Christian, as Peter Lillback's "George Washington's Sacred Fire" clearly showes.
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Paul Johnson works as a historian, journalist and author. He was educated at Stonyhurst School in Clitheroe, Lancashire and Magdalen College, Oxford, and first came to prominence in the 1950s as a journalist writing for, and later editing, the New Statesman magazine. He has also written for leading newspapers and magazines in Britain, the US and Europe.

Paul Johnson has published over 40 books incl
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