George Washington: Gentleman Warrior
Published by Quercus (2012)
'I am a warrior.' These were the uncompromising words that George Washington chose to describe himself in May 1779, at the height of the Revolutionary War against Britain. It's an image very different to the one that he has been assigned by posterity - the patriotic gentleman farmer who would become the dignified political leader of his country.
Stephen Brumwell's new biography focuses on the side of Washington that is so often overlooked. The feisty young frontier officer and the tough forty-something commander of the Continental army, not the venerated elder statesman of the Republic, champing self-consciously on his hippo teeth. It examines Washington's long and varied military career, tracing his evolution as a soldier, and his changing attitude to the waging of war. Ironically, it shows how Washington's reliance upon English models of 'gentlemanly' behaviour, and on British military organisation, was crucial in forging the army that won American independence.
Washington is a vivid recounting of the life and military career of 'The Father of his Country', following his journey from heart-racing border skirmishes with the French and their Indian allies to his remarkable victory over the British Empire, an achievement that underpinned his selection as the first president of the United States of America. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including original archival research, Stephen Brumwell paints a compelling and challenging portrait of this extraordinary man.
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