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Citizen Washington

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  410 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
He became the nation's first hero. …But before that, George Washington was just a man. And in his youth, he was a man on the make. He wanted to serve the king, so he donned a red coat and fought the French. He loved another man's wife but yearned for status, so he married a rich widow. He dreamed of wealth, so he accumulated land and slaves. He accumulated enemies, too…

Paperback, 784 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Forge Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Feb 01, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Author essentially does a “360” on Washington, telling us about him from the perspective of those who knew him from each of their own, unique perspectives, including characters both historic (Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, Lafayette), and every day citizens like his personal slave, a warrior Indian and Dr. James Craig, his private physician.

The beauty of the book is in the excellent job Martin does of getting inside the heads of each of these narrators so that we really feel we know them
I got this at a museum bookstore, (was it Valley Forge?) and it was a great find. Told from the perspective of several people in George Washington's life - his personal slave, an early rival, his wife and a couple others, it is a unique look at a familiar character. I found it very interesting and an informative and enjoyable read.
Aug 11, 2010 LemonLinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great blend of fact and fiction giving us George Washington, the young man trying to find his way in the world, the young officer blindly leading a militia against the French and the Indians, the young statesman realizing that the yoke of the British must be cast aside, the more established soldier as General of the Continental Army, the president of the Constitutional Congress uncovering how the new nation was to be governed, the first president feeling his way with dignity and ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thomas by: a friend
This is a well constructed, fictionalized biography of George Washington. The premise of the book is this: Hesperus Draper, publisher of a Republican newspaper, calls in his nephew Christopher in 1800 and tells him to find out what was in the letters from George to his wife, Martha. Martha burned the letters after her husband's death. Hesperus wants to find something to make Washington look bad,and therefore the Federalists and John Adams, running for reelection as President, just as bad.
Sep 18, 2012 Janellyn51 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't go out of my way to read a book about Washington, but for the fact that I enjoy William Martin's books so much. Citizen Washington didn't disapoint at all. I had read a book not too long ago about the Founding Fathers, so I was somewhat familiar with Washington's bearing and people's perceptions of him...that he didn't say a lot, listened much....and it was all about his reputation, and honor. The book is well written with characters that you care about. I ...more
Jackie Kenney
Sometimes a little too dry, but I enjoyed the building of the portrait of our first president. And from the time he crossed the Delaware I couldn't put it down. Wonderful descriptions of life in the period and the changes in thinking, and the rising patriotism of those around him.
Serena Gulledge
Jul 04, 2015 Serena Gulledge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging tale of Washington's life as told through those who knew him. While some aspects of the story are largely fictional, it's a great read if you're an American history buff. William Martin maintains the voices for each narrator, and Washington brilliantly comes to life on the page. Highly recommended.
Kara Mayfield
Jul 07, 2016 Kara Mayfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author's books. He does historical fiction so well!
Lynne Radcliffe
Apr 08, 2013 Lynne Radcliffe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved this novel about George Washington. William Martin uses the letters and interviews of the people that knew and worked with Washington to tell a story of the man. I have always enjoyed reading about our first president and this historical fiction gave a snap shot of Washington that I found interesting. The format of this book worked extremely well for me.
Aug 04, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly enjoyed this book. As a history buff, this novelization of Washington's life is greatly entertaining, as well as informational. Great stuff.
Oct 04, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of being a typical third-person biography, supported by sterile excerpts from historical documents, Citizen Washington is a fictional account, as told by a local reporter who is doing a story on Washington's life. The reporter, hunting down information like a detective and working in the days immediately following Washington's death, interviews the people who knew Washington personally and he gradually builds up the story of Washington's life, seen through the eyes of those who knew him. ...more
Elaine Cougler
Aug 08, 2016 Elaine Cougler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Citizen Washington is masterfully crafted by William Martin. The format of remembrances by individuals being bound together by a descendant of one of the players, and then pushed back a few more generations by putting the manuscripts in a safe, is absolute genius. Martin knows his craft and has created a balanced, insightful and intriguing account of Washington and his times. A great read.
Mar 31, 2008 Vicky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history lovers who don't mind non-fic
It is scary to me how much of my reading seems to be tied to movies and tv ;D I've had this book a long time, and I always get it out and read it around the 4th of July. This time I was watching "John Adams" on HBO, and since the docudrama is really crap, I got this book out again to read and make me feel better. An exceptional novel, much of it is historically based, and is in a format that really makes the people and history of our country come alive. Each section is narrated by someone who kn ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Martin chronicles the life and career of our first president through the voices of various people who were close to Washington. The story begins in 1799 shortly after Washington has died. An ambitious reporter sets out to write Washington's biography, portraying him not as a national hero but as the flawed and all too human man he was. It took me a little while to get into this novel, but enjoyed it overall. I learned some interesting bits of American history, thanks to Martin's careful ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read for historical fiction fans. Provides an interesting perspective of Washington and our country's early days.
Mar 17, 2014 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 2 favorite William Martin books.....
Citizen Washington and Cape Cod!
Apr 05, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was interesting learning about history in a different way! I like how when the slaves talk it is written in their dialect!
Nov 10, 2011 Leelan rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Only a few chapter in and I am really enjoying it! The words and images just flow by. This looks to be a very enjoyable book.


Very well written. An easy and fun read. I don't think I have ever read a book written this way. Washington is described through the eyes and opinions of others. You never "hear" his side of things only his reactions to others or their memories of his words and actions. I may keep my eyes open for more books by William Martin.

- Leelan
Sep 17, 2013 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was more straightforward history than Martin's other books. This was classic historical fiction, putting a face on a real person living through real events in history. Martin does it very well. Martin deftly juggles multiple narrators providing multiple viewpoints, one working off the other. I do not think it was terribly exciting and was going to give it just three stars, but it was quite well executed. Washington's life is recounted from his teen years to his death.
Jun 25, 2011 Linn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a really interesting take on Washington - it was historical fiction - (although fact filled ) portraying him through interviews with different people in his life - from the viewpoints of slaves - his wife - political friends and enemies - Native Americans - many perspectives - no matter if his life was shaped by circumstance or choice - it was an important in shaping our country - an wonderful take on Citizen Washington - the man who would not be king.
Jul 25, 2009 Carmel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting to me because its a fictional version based on fact of how George Washington the man was. Not the war hero, not the president, but the man. as a husband, as a father, as a farmer. from different points of view, including from a slave, a fellow soldier, his wife, his kids...great book. again though, there is some strong language and some allusions to sex. again, I appreciate it for the more wholesome parts of the story.
Jan 24, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through this book, it was very detailed. I thought the last two hundred pages were the most interesting. I thought that the way the author had the story told from the different interviews of the people that knew Washington provided a unique perspective to the Washington story. It is the type of book that after I put it down, I have been thinking about it all day. Great for students of American history.
Sep 04, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
follows the historical record very closely but is still a fascinating read.
Jul 04, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the history that came to life in this novel. I loved it, but the language is crude and distracting at times. But the I loved the way the story of George Washington is told. It is amazing what a great man he really was. Not perfect, but perfect for the role he played in history. We are lucky we didn't end up with a dictator. Awesome book, but beware of the language.
Oct 08, 2012 Robin rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is the first time I've read a book about such a powerful founder of America. The book is narrated by a young reporter. He interviews many people who have been in Washingtons' life from the day he was born to the day he died. It is a collection of recollections from each person. This man fought tooth and nail for the Independence, Liberty and Freedom of America.
Val Crofts
Really liked it to start. Dragged a lot through the middle and became not as good.
Aug 16, 2011 Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful historical novel that tells the story of our first president without making him as grandious and un reachable a figure as so many others have. Citizen Washington is an apt title as it paints George Washington the citizen, the farmer, the husband and father well before the president and through the eyes of those around him. Friends and foes.
Apr 22, 2012 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creatively written life of George Washington told by a cast of mostly real characters of history. He was a man of honor, duty and strength of character. He saw the cecessity of action and carried it through to the end. He never quit. I especially enjoyed Part 5: The President and the Precedents. He was the First and it mattered!
Nov 25, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent portrait of our first President through the eyes of everyone who knew him. The entire narrative is done in interview style after Washington's death as a young reporter tries to capture who the real Washington was. Very dense, fact-filled and detailed it was a lengthy read but very worthwhile.
Jo Manne
Mar 08, 2015 Jo Manne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I've read a lot from this author and he never lets me down. I learned a lot about American History and George Washington. Mt. Vernon is now on my list to visit; also looking forward to reading more from this author. If you love learning history through a novel, I highly recommend this book.
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William Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of nine novels. He is best known for his historical fiction, which has chronicled the lives of the great and the anonymous in American history while bringing to life legendary American locations, from Cape Cod to Annapolis. He has also written an award-winning PBS documentary, one of the cheesiest horror movies ever made, magazine articles, and ...more
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