Frank's Reviews > Washington: A Life

Washington by Ron Chernow
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's review
Dec 26, 2010

it was amazing
Read in March, 2011

Absolutely marvelous biography about George Washington. This was definitely a thrilling read until the end. I found this particularly interesting because while I had studied more about the other founding fathers (Jefferson, Adams, Madison), Washington still remained a closed book to me. Therefore it was great to read more in depth about his early life, and some speculation (evidence supported of course) about his motivations in fighting for independence and working as the first President. It is fascinating to note that Washington was responsible for developing a good deal of the powers and limitations of the executive branch, and fought to maintain its power versus that of Congress. My only real concern about this book is that at times it seems to dip into hero worship of both Washington and Alexander Hamilton (of whom the author had written an earlier biography). I would be interested in seeing a biography of him about Jefferson or James Madison to see if the same bias would exist (both of which were slightly demonized in this book as they grew to politically oppose Washington). Despite the apparent bias, Chernow's claims are well supported by his extensive research.

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Reading Progress

01/09/2011 page 30
3.0% "So far I've learned that 16-year old Washington was infatuated with his best friend's wife and he had freakishly large hands."
01/25/2011 page 186
19.0% "An excellent read so far. Up to the start of the American Revolution now."
02/06/2011 page 253
26.0% "1776! Declaration of Independence! Battle of Brooklyn! Unfortunately, all of this section was better told by David McCullough in 1776, but still good here."
02/21/2011 page 473
49.0% "Now George tries to live as a private citizen, but he is still the new nation's greatest superhero!"
02/26/2011 page 523
54.0% "Off to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to replace the broken Articles of Confederation."
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