This volume makes the perfect primer on why we should care about Washington. It is not a biography per se, but it seeks to rescue Washington from the caricature that he has too often been presented as. I actually read this when I was in my late twenties, but I still recall the impact it made. I had read a biography of Washington in High School, though I have since forgotten the author, that I enjoyed. Too often, however, I reduced Washington to the Parson Weems recreation as cherry-tree chopper instead of the vibrant man he was. Washington is anything but cardboard and cold!
Brookhiser holds conservative principles that some will dislike, but only made the book better for me. He drew a good parallel between Washington and today and illustrated where we ought to return to the wisdom he showed. The 20 years that have passed since he wrote this book only make it more so.
It was this book that taught me that reading about presidents beyond textbooks could be both enjoyable and rewarding. I can’t imagine how you could not enjoy this book.
Find others in the series here.