Today, let’s remember (and learn more about) our first president, George Washington. He was a leader, not a politician—maybe the only president who truly was a leader, sad to say. Ok, Lincoln had his moments too, I’ll give you that, but Washington was in a class all his own.
I found some deals on ebooks about Washington and his times. As of earlier today, these ebooks were on sale on Amazon at $2 to $5—up to an 80% discount—but act quickly if you want a bargain. These deals may only last a day or a week, you never know. If you’re in the browsing mood, check out last week’s ebook sales too—some of them may still be on sale.
Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner ($2.99)
This book made me the Washington fan-girl I still am.
“Flexner deftly ‘rescue[s]’ Washington from the grip of mythologies that showed him as merely a truth-telling tree-cutter or ‘a procession of mirrors reflecting’ people’s political attitudes, and situates him as “a fallible human being made of flesh and blood and spirit.’…With casual readers in mind, the author addresses crucial historical events, revolutionary personalities, key battles, and pressing political issues (while elucidating their contemporary contexts) in consistently crisp and lively language.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789 by Edward Larson ($2.99)
“Larson’s compulsively readable history shines new light on a little-discussed period of Washington’s life, illustrating his role as the indispensable American….After eight years of leading the fledgling colonies in their war for independence, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief in order to return to private life. Yet the difficulties of establishing a new nation drew Washington back, and historian Larson…vividly recounts those events that led to Washington’s election as the first president of the United States.” (Publishers Weekly)
Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations by John Avlon ($3.99)
“Avlon’s timely book makes a strong case for bringing Washington’s final public message back into the national consciousness as a way of strengthening the frayed political fabric of the aging republic. With input from both James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s Farewell Address called for amity between native-born and immigrant citizens, counseled constant vigilance against the dangers of foreign meddling in the U.S. political process, and warned against the corrosive effects of habitual partisan rancor on the institutions that make democracy work. Avlon hopes that a rediscovery of such wisdom might strengthen the union to which Washington dedicated his life; many readers of this powerful and well-argued book will hope the author is right.” (Foreign Affairs)
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis ($4.99)
“Few can tell a historical tale as well as Ellis…True to form, here he reviews this short but important time in America’s history through the eyes of its major figures—George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison… Ellis brings alive what otherwise might seem dry constitutional debates, with apt quotations and bright style. There may be equally solid surveys of ‘the second American Revolution,’…but this one will be considered the standard work on its subject for years to come.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817 by Myron Magnet ($1.99)
“Myron Magnet has produced an excellent book from this excellent idea: We can better understand the Founders, who shaped how we live, if we better understand how they lived in the homes they designed and social circles that radiated from those homes. The American Revolution, he argues, was a success because of its moderation, and this virtue suffused the Founders’ lives.” (George Will, Amazon)
Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard Beeman ($4.99)
“A scholarly yet lively account of the Constitutional Convention that emphasizes the craftiness and craftsmanship that went into each of the compromises. This saga has been often told,… but Beeman’s work is distinguished by a gently judicious tone that allows us to appreciate, and draw some lessons from, the delicate balances that emerged out of that passion-filled Philadelphia crucible…It is so useful to have narratives, especially authoritative and readable ones like Beeman’s, showing how the men who gathered that summer in Philadelphia struggled so hard, and in most cases so wisely, to get the balances right.” (New York Times)
Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall ($2.99)
“A revealing but measured biography of the younger Founding Father…who mixed Clintonesque appetites for pleasure and policy-wonking while busily putting the new republic’s economy on a sound footing…Before he fell, Hamilton crafted several institutions—among them the national bank and the germ of the IRS—that prove him a modern man indeed, for better or worse.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love plunging into a past era and learning about life back then through the eyes of real and/or fake characters. Here are two set in Washington’s time.
Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard by Sally Cabot ($1.99)
“History doesn’t identify William Franklin’s mother, but Cabot imagines a strong, courageous and intelligent woman named Anne…in pre-Revolutionary Philadelphia…Cabot shines in her descriptions of colonial life, in her fictionalized rendition of Ben Franklin’s charismatic personality and wide-ranging intellect, but especially in interpreting Franklin the man through Anne, a fully-realized, memorable character. It is Anne who brings imagined reality’s magic to the narrative.” (Kirkus Reviews)
The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss ($1.99)
“In his fifth novel,…David Liss delves once again into the financial intrigues of an earlier century and the effects they had on his cast of characters, both fictional and real, in post – Revolutionary War America…Liss deftly ties together…two elaborate plots, displaying his familiarity with 18th-century financial history, and offers a fascinating look at the factions vying for power in the early years of this country’s existence.” (BookPage)
Creative Commons licensed image of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (1798-1800), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you!