Genius of George Washington Book Review

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In the book, Genius of George Washington written by Edmund S. Morgan, George Washington is portrayed as a man of great military prowess, spirit, dignity, and honor. In the beginning the author talks about how we should not mistake Washington for arrogance because even though he craved honor and pursued it relentlessly, Morgan explained how Washington’s aloofness had nothing to do with his arrogance.

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Morgan also compliments him on his leadership and acknowledges the fact he took out the strongest military at the time, but at the same time Morgan says that even though everyone respects George Washington people tend to keep their distance. A particular person, who was named Governeur Morris, disagreed with Washington’s aloofness and was told to go casually greet Washington. Morris did as he was told and as soon as he said something to Washington, he looked at Morris with cold look, so Morris was embarrassed and had to leave. Even though Washington was a great general and leader he had a strong sense of being professional and anyone who did not do what was considered to be formal was quickly responded with an icy stare. All of this allowed him to be represented in the United States as the first President.

Analysis:

In this book Edmund S. Morgan portrayed George Washington as a great man and how he is a genius, but that’s not who George Washington was trying to be. Morgan was trying to glorify Washington as a great genius in warfare although he was a master in that specific category it was more his military prowess and leadership that really got everyone’s respect. All of this was written in a mere twenty-five-page book trying to explain his greatness, but that’s what is wrong with this book. The way the book is structured is massive negative and causes the book to be overlooked by other more informative book. The other part of this book I comprised of letters from Washington that really does not explain much about him. Morgan could have instead used the other part of his book for more information about Washington, for example his childhood or how he got to be such a great military tactician, but instead he chose another way to explain his opinion. Another problem with this book is the fact that it is completely biased on Washington. He talks in a way that Washington was this perfect man that had nothing wrong with him, the fact of the matter was Washington was like all human’s, imperfect. He owned slaves which was not a good thing and even though he was revered as military genius he did not win every battle in a war, for example a great loss was when the British took New York from Washington. The final complaint was that in certain parts of book there were some weirdly written statements, almost like they were old English and that is to be expected, but it makes reading the book hard. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they have a big interest in him, but to people who want a more informative book, steer clear of this one.

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