George Washington: Recent Books

These books about the first President of the United States include recent biographies, examinations of specific aspects of his life, and more.

The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon
By John Ferling
Bestselling historian Ferling draws on his knowledge of the Founding Fathers to provide a fresh and provocative new portrait of George Washington. Ferling argues that not only was Washington one of America's most adroit politicians – the proof of his genius is that he is no longer thought of as a politician at all.

George Washington book jacket

George Washington: The Founding Father
By Paul Johnson
Washington is seen as one of the most important authors of the Constitution, in addition to his pivotal leadership of the Revolutionary War and a magisterial executive in the formative years of the new United States. Paul Johnson creates a brilliantly vivid, sharply etched portrait of the great hero as a young warrior, masterly commander in chief, patient lawmaker, and exceptionally wise president.

His Excellency: George Washington
By Joseph J. Ellis
With careful attention to detail and lyrical prose, Ellis draws from the newly catalogued Washington papers at the University of Virginia to present a full portrait of George Washington's life and career – from his military years through his two terms as president.

George Washington on Leadership
By Richard Brookhiser
With his trademark wit and precision, the author of Founding Father examines Washington's three spectacularly successful careers as an executive: general, president, and tycoon.

The Painter's Chair book jacket

The Painter's Chair: George Washington and the Making of American Art
By Hugh Howard
This book provides an eloquent new look at the beginnings of the American republic – through the portraits of its first icon, George Washington, and the painters who defined him.

Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington
By Peter R. Henriques
Focusing on George Washington's personal life and character, this book addresses subjects such as Washington and slavery, his troubled friendship with Thomas Jefferson, the probability of a long-term involvement with Sally Fairfax, the importance of his stable marriage to Martha Custis as a foundation for his public accomplishments, and Washington's religious beliefs, including a critique of characterizations of him as an evangelical Christian.

In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation
By François Furstenberg
Furstenberg offers a study of how Americans were bound together as a young nation by the words, the image, and the myth of George Washington, and how slavery shaped American nationalism.

The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West
By Joel Achenbach
Achenbach captures a Washington rarely seen: rugged frontiersman, real estate speculator, shrewd businessman. The general tangles with squatters; gathers data on trails, portages, falls, and rapids; and imagines a future Empire of Liberty.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.