The First of Men: A Life of George Washington
Written by John Ferling, one of America's leading historians of the Revolutionary era, The First of Men offers an illuminating portrait of George Washington's life, with emphasis on his military and political career. Here is a riveting account that captures Washington in all his complexity, recounting not only Washington's familiar sterling qualities--courage, industry, ability to make difficult decisions, ceaseless striving for self-improvement, love of his family and loyalty to friends--but also his less well known character flaws. Indeed, as Ferling shows, Washington had to overcome many negative traits as he matured into a leader. The young Washington was accused of ingratitude and certain of his letters from this period read as if they were written by "a pompous martinet and a whining, petulant brat." As commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, he lost his temper more than once and indulged flatterers. Aaron Burr found him "a boring, colorless person." As president, he often believed the worst about individual officials. Ferling concludes that Washington's personality and temperament were those of "a self-centered and self-absorbed man, one who since youth had exhibited a fragile self-esteem." And yet he managed to realize virtually every grand design he ever conceived. Ferling's Washington is driven, fired by ambition, envy, and dreams of fame and fortune. Yet his leadership and character galvanized the American Revolution--probably no one else could have kept the war going until the master stroke at Yorktown--and helped the fledgling nation take, and survive, its first unsteady steps. This superb paperback makes available once again an unflinchingly honest and compelling biography of the father of our country.
What people are saying - Write a review
The first of men: a life of George WashingtonUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Ferling's Washington is driven, fired by ambition, envy, and dreams of fame and fortune. He could be rash, even reckless, in pursuit of his goals; his formidable temper erupted at real and fancied ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Adams addition American Revolution arrived attack Boston Braddock Britain British British army campaign Charles Willson Peale Clinton Colonel colonial commander Congress Continental army Cornwallis delegates Dinwiddie early fact Fairfax Federalist Ferry Farm fight finally Flexner force France Freeman French frontier Gates George Washington governor Greene GW to John GW to Lafayette GW to PC Hamilton headquarters Howe's ibid Indian ington Island Jay Treaty Jefferson Jersey John Adams Joseph Reed July June knew Knox land late later learned letter March Martha miles military months Moreover Mount Vernon moved never officers once ordered Pennsylvania Philadelphia planter political Potomac president Randolph redcoats River Rochambeau Sally Fairfax seemed Sept slaves soldiers soon South Sullivan thought Treaty Trenton troops United Valley Forge Virginia Wash weeks West winter York young