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I recently started a project to read a biography about every U.S. President. While surfing the net looking for a general consensus on who has written the best book on Washington, Flexner's four-volume biography popped up on most of the lists I consulted. As a Washington novice, I did not having the stamina to digest a four volume set so it was a relief to learn that Flexner made this 400+ page digest version. The writing is fluid and was just about the right length for my needs, although probably too superficial for Washington buffs. The book shines brightest when revealing intimate slices of Washington's life; he was a bit of a ladies man, insecure about his manhood as a result of being childless, and was a savvy real-estate player in Virginia. Ultimately I came away with a respect for Washington as a man apart from his accomplishments and legend. The power he found himself with after The American Revolution was a burden - managing the competing interests of Federalist and Republicans was probably as tough as anything the British threw at him. His misgivings about slavery are moving. He knew the institution itself was wrong but pragmatically he had to accept that it was beyond his ability to end it. Ultimately the book made me appreciate that such a decent man was the Father of Our Country 5/5/2013 

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