Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Times Bestseller, a landmark biography of George Washington.
In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.
Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many Americans, worthy but dull. A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow dashes forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man. A strapping six feet, Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer, and tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life. Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax, and his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children and grandchildren. He also provides a lavishly detailed portrait of his marriage to Martha and his complex behavior as a slave master.
At the same time, Washington is an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but he also brilliantly orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency.
In this unique biography, Ron Chernow takes us on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its giant subject, Washington is a magisterial work from one of our most elegant storytellers.
Ron Chernow's new biography, Grant, will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017.
Thank you, Mr. Chernow
Ron Chernow's command of the English vocabulary is as engaging as his gift for storytelling. He is a portrait artist who loves his job and we're lucky to have him. I was just as wrapped up in Washington as I was with his Alexander Hamilton tome. I'll be reading everything else he's written and I'm already impatient for more.
Listened to it every chance I had.
I bought this because I wanted to learn more about G.W.. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I now have a good picture of who he was, how the revolution was won, and what his presidency was like. I found it all fascinating. He was and wasn’t the man I thought he was.
Washington’s Life Review
Ron Chernow is one of my favorite history authors, because of his excellent way of describing history. I loved reading the Alexander Hamilton book and then seeing the Hamilton Broadway Performance. It was very intriguing and impressive to think that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a script on it.
Anyway, Washington: A Life is very inspirational. While Washington was an amazing person, Chernow does show his flaws and difficulties. Chernow did extensive research and verified it as well. He admitted that some of the information might not be wholly true, but it’s still an intriguing book. He portrayed Washington as a person who makes mistakes and also a person who disliked fame or energy.
Keep on writing, Chernow!