Mount Vernon welcomes author Robert O'Connell to the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium to discuss his book Revolutionary: George Washington at War on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

About the Book

From an acclaimed military historian, a bold reappraisal of young George Washington, an ambitious if reckless soldier destined to become the legendary general who took on the British and, through his leadership, defined the American character

How did George Washington become an American icon? Robert L. O’Connell, the New York Times bestselling author of Fierce Patriot and The Ghosts of Cannae, introduces us to Washington before he was Washington: a young soldier champing at the bit for a commission in the British army, frustrated by his position as a minor Virginia aristocrat. Fueled by ego, Washington led a disastrous expedition in the Seven Years’ War, but then the commander grew up. We witness George Washington take up politics and join Virginia’s colonial governing body, the House of Burgesses, where he became ever more attuned to the injustices of life under the British Empire and the paranoid, revolutionary atmosphere of the colonies. When war seemed inevitable, he was the right man—the only man—to lead the nascent American army.

In his trademark conversational, witty style, Robert L. O’Connell has written a compelling reexamination of General Washington and his revolutionary world. He cuts through the enigma surrounding Washington to show how the general made all the difference and became a new archetype of revolutionary leader in the process. Revolutionary is a masterful character study of America’s founding conflict filled with lessons about conspiracy, resistance, and leadership that resonate today.

About the Author

Robert L. O’Connell  was educated at Colgate University and the University of Virginia, where he received a Ph.D. in history.  He worked for three decades in the U.S. Intelligence Community, before becoming a Visiting Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California.  He has two grown children and lives with his wife in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of six published histories and one novel.

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