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About the Book
Washington’s rise constitutes one of the greatest self-reinventions in history. In his midtwenties, this third son of a modest Virginia planter had ruined his own military career thanks to an outrageous ego. But by his midforties, that headstrong, unwise young man had evolved into an unassailable leader chosen as the commander in chief of the fledgling Continental Army. By his midfifties, he was unanimously elected the nation’s first president. How did Washington emerge from the wilderness to become the central founder of the United States of America?
In this remarkable new portrait, award-winning historian David O. Stewart unveils the political education that made Washington a master politician—and America’s most essential leader. From Virginia’s House of Burgesses, where Washington learned the craft and timing of a practicing politician, to his management of local government as a justice of the Fairfax County Court to his eventual role in the Second Continental Congress and his grueling generalship in the American Revolution, Washington perfected the art of governing and service, earned trust, and built bridges. The lessons in leadership he absorbed along the way would be invaluable during the early years of the republic as he fought to unify the new nation.
About the Author
After many years as a trial and appellate lawyer, David O. Stewart became a bestselling writer of history and historical fiction. The Wall Street Journal recently called his George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, “an outstanding biography,” with writing that “is clear, often superlative” providing “a narrative drive such a life deserves.” His other histories have explored the writing of the Constitution, the gifts of James Madison, Aaron Burr’s western expedition and treason trial, and the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He has won the Washington Writing Award for best book, the History Prize of the Society of the Cincinnati (twice), and the Prescott Award of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America.
David’s first novel, The Lincoln Deception, about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy, was called the best historical novel of 2013 by Bloomberg View. Sequels are The Paris Deception, set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and The Babe Ruth Deception, which follows the Babe’s first two years with the Yankees.
David was a member of the Washington Library's 2018-19 class of research fellows.