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The Education of George Washington

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George Washington—a man of honor, bravery and leadership. He is known as America’s first President, a great general, and a humble gentleman, but how did he become this man of stature? Washington’s Code answers this question with a new discovery about his past and the surprising book that shaped him. Who better to unearth them than George Washington’s great-nephew, Austin Wa George Washington—a man of honor, bravery and leadership. He is known as America’s first President, a great general, and a humble gentleman, but how did he become this man of stature? Washington’s Code answers this question with a new discovery about his past and the surprising book that shaped him. Who better to unearth them than George Washington’s great-nephew, Austin Washington? Most Washington fans have heard of �The Rules of Civility” and learned that this guided our first President. But that’s not the book that truly made George Washington who he was. In Washington’s Code, Austin Washington reveals the secret that he discovered about Washington’s past that explains his true model for conduct, honor, and leadership—an example that we could all use.


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George Washington—a man of honor, bravery and leadership. He is known as America’s first President, a great general, and a humble gentleman, but how did he become this man of stature? Washington’s Code answers this question with a new discovery about his past and the surprising book that shaped him. Who better to unearth them than George Washington’s great-nephew, Austin Wa George Washington—a man of honor, bravery and leadership. He is known as America’s first President, a great general, and a humble gentleman, but how did he become this man of stature? Washington’s Code answers this question with a new discovery about his past and the surprising book that shaped him. Who better to unearth them than George Washington’s great-nephew, Austin Washington? Most Washington fans have heard of �The Rules of Civility” and learned that this guided our first President. But that’s not the book that truly made George Washington who he was. In Washington’s Code, Austin Washington reveals the secret that he discovered about Washington’s past that explains his true model for conduct, honor, and leadership—an example that we could all use.

30 review for The Education of George Washington

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Malandrinos

    If you are looking for a dull and dry academic biography on America's first president, you won't find it in The Education of George Washington. What you will find is a book that entices even those not truly interested in reading about history to pick up a biography on one of America's most influential historical figures. The author spends a good deal of time putting George Washington's life and actions in the context of the world in which he lived: how Washington's life was impacted by the death If you are looking for a dull and dry academic biography on America's first president, you won't find it in The Education of George Washington. What you will find is a book that entices even those not truly interested in reading about history to pick up a biography on one of America's most influential historical figures. The author spends a good deal of time putting George Washington's life and actions in the context of the world in which he lived: how Washington's life was impacted by the death of his father; how living in rural Virginia led him to develop a certain mindset and talents; and what living in America during those early years was like. The book captures the everyday dangers of Colonial America that modern readers can tend to forget. A unique aspect to The Education of George Washington is that the author connects the reader to the Father of Our Country by talking about how Washington's character developed and how the reader can also develop an equally fine character. In essence, this is not only a biography, it's to some degree a self-help book. Washington's love of history shines through on every page. And though his style is more witty and clever than one might expect from someone with a masters degree and who has performed postgraduate research that focused on Colonial America, it is exactly his ability to connect with modern readers that makes this a winning book worth every penny spent on it. I would read it again in a heartbeat if I had the time. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    So much better than what you were taught in school. I loved it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tex Reader

    1.5 of 5 stars – Very Disappointing – Biased as History & Weak as Self-Help. (I was glad to win this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Austin.) To me this was more propaganda than an objective history or self-help, and I was very disappointed that it was not good on either of the latter. As a fan of history, particularly the revolutionary war (having read a few good bios of George Washington-GW), I found this one was a biased, unbalanced view, written by a partial, distant relative with a 1.5 of 5 stars – Very Disappointing – Biased as History & Weak as Self-Help. (I was glad to win this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Austin.) To me this was more propaganda than an objective history or self-help, and I was very disappointed that it was not good on either of the latter. As a fan of history, particularly the revolutionary war (having read a few good bios of George Washington-GW), I found this one was a biased, unbalanced view, written by a partial, distant relative with an agenda. And as a psychologist, I think it was weak as a self-help – not explaining how one might go about developing the principles he identifies and gives anecdotes for. While it may be partially informative for those unfamiliar with that era, this was far outweighed by the disadvantages, making me fight the book the whole way. Too often I found it a bit biased, exaggerated, mythologizing, overgeneralizing, unproven, simplistic, repetitive, selective, misleading, contradictory, inaccurate, cynical, flippant, insulting, opinionated, preachy, self-congratulatory, and propagandizing. Unfortunately, I have examples for each of these (see below), and sadly it didn’t have to be to still tell an approachable, interesting story. Even his “amazing new discovery” that the bio Panegyrick… was “a secret key that changed [GW’s] life” was unproven conjecture. Then at the end he ultimately reveals that all along he’s been advancing the purpose of the Society of the Cincinnati – to maintain true American ideals. This may have been tolerable if he didn’t often lapse into cynical, sometimes extreme opinions: “the Constitution [has been] destroyed, giving us a totalitarian nanny state;” “our once great American republic [has] descend[ed] into the cesspool of an unexceptional democracy;” and “The destruction of all that the founders fought for is most clearly the result of the utter and frightening ignorance on the part of most people alive today of the values and ideas upon which our country was founded.” Bottomline, if you want a history lesson or self-help (sans politics), I’d steer clear of this one. - - - - - - - - That was my initial summary, and for those interested, I’d like to explain my comments further. From my view, as a historian he needed to apply the discipline of at least attempted objectivity, facts, crosschecking and non-selective use of info. Let’s start with his assuming without evidence that what GW mentions as “a secret key that changed his life” was Panegyrick. Then to compound things, I thought he was too self-congratulatory, mentioning a number of times how “amazing” his own supposed discovery was. Using the author’s own approach of applying common-sense (vs. evidence) to make a case, if it was so significant, wouldn’t it have been at least mentioned once by GW or in stories by those who knew him? If fact, when GW bought it, why couldn’t one of the other two books he bought have been the key, or more likely maybe it was something else altogether, not even a book (e.g., Cincinnatus, whom GW admired and in ways admittedly modeled himself after)? It’s not unusual that the values in Panegyrick run parallel with GW’s – even the author says they are values of the time, so they’d be espoused in many publications, just pick one and you’ll find a correlation. As a depiction of GW it falters because it feeds the myths (even calls it “un-demythification”), reversing the modern historians attempts (which I think are valid) to humanize our legends. From the view of a descendent, GW could do no wrong, and even stories where he did (chopping a cherry tree) end up embellishing his character (I can’t tell a lie). Much better would be to refer to such works as (to name just a couple) The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon by John Ferling, and Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution by Benson Bobrick. Such works show how GW and others the author mentions multiple times didn’t always follow these high values – Franklin was a great self-promoter (e.g., wearing a coon skin cap in Paris), Jefferson was two-faced and conniving (I did not have sexual relations with that woman – in his case, his slave), and GW has been shown to have been at times misleading, self-protective, politically motivated, deceptive, selfishly maneuvering, and spun events to shape his image and legacy. It doesn’t mean they weren’t great, but I think they need to be portrayed in a balanced way. I also didn’t like that many times the author credited GW with why (implying solely or at least the main reason why) we won the revolution; instead, I think it was actually “led by good, great, and wise” men, not just “a…man … winning for us all.” He does mention often the trio of GW, Franklin and Jefferson, but with them he definitely needed to include (vs. ignore) Adams, the main man who more than Franklin or especially Jefferson pushed for independence, promote GW and held things together once declared (then again, he wasn’t as self-promotional as these other three, so I guess the myths aren’t there for the author to un-demythify.) To add to this, there are the times when I felt the author’s historical statements were unproven, contradictory, only part of the story, depending on what case he’s making. Just a few examples: He said GW was a “poor” and “disadvantaged kid”; later that his family was in the “upper class”, “relatively wealthy”, and “large landowners”. Regarding “jealousy? No. People loved GW,” despite what bios show about his opponents. Stated that Americans went to war over just the tax on tea. Or said that the era was a time of gentlemanly honor, then later to prove another point showed how they weren’t – with affairs and bastardly behavior. While the author varied on how he viewed the past (often with rose-colored glasses), he was always negative about the present, using multiple sarcastic asides and cynical jibes at our modern society. At first it was mildly amusing, then a bit of a stretch and trying too hard, and finally old and irritating. It became more and more opinionated, not a history or self help at all. Near the end I felt set up, when the author revealed that in “writ[ing] these words” he was “doing my own small part” in advancing the purpose of the Society of the Cincinnati “to maintain true American ideals,” and “by [our] reading these words, [we] are helping make the effort successful.” The quotes I gave above show how extreme some of those opinions were. Yeah, I’d pass on this one, assuming you don’t want a book that reinforces standard prejudices about today and myths of the past, but want an enlightened, balanced history to learn from without having to sift through opinions and exaggerated truths about a great great-uncle.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This was my second book on Washington and it read so different than the first. I wasn’t expecting it to be witty and as fun as it was. It gives you that family feel with some of the side stories and views that only a relative could use to describe someone. So glad I read this. I highly recommend it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Pace

    REVIEW This book was an amazing historical read with some humor in it. I found myself turning the pages, not knowing what would be next. George Washington's life took many twists and turns during his life. I found it amazing that the author, Austin Washington found a document that was written in George Washington's own hand. The document had been over looked for two centuries by historians. The document tells exactly how George Washington changed from a poor boy into a hero. I found the story maki REVIEW This book was an amazing historical read with some humor in it. I found myself turning the pages, not knowing what would be next. George Washington's life took many twists and turns during his life. I found it amazing that the author, Austin Washington found a document that was written in George Washington's own hand. The document had been over looked for two centuries by historians. The document tells exactly how George Washington changed from a poor boy into a hero. I found the story making me think about the life George Washington led. "The Code of Civility' was a book mainly sold to grandmothers to hopefully get the children to want to follow the footsteps of Washington. It was also a writing exercise used in George's school. That wasn't what totally made the man. The book takes a look at "A Panegryric to the Memory of His Grace Frederick, Lat Duck of Schonbert". George Washington used parts of the book and used them in developing his behavior and personality. Being the first President of the United States wasn't his only success. I believe a much more important thing he did was to be one of our founding fathers. Some of Washington's ways were described in the book. Both him and the Duke had some of the same traits. Such things as discipline, devotion and looking a little into the future. I found out that George Washington was not perfect. He had a temper which led to a lot of mistakes. I found this book interesting and educational. It was interesting to discover that Washington was known a "Dr. Love." I won't go into that and let the reader find out more. Many of the stories went from his childhood through his adult years. I thought that many of the traits that George Washington possessed are no longer what most men possess today. I believe it is because of the lack of discipline, the modern technology of today's' times, and the attitudes many have. They don't possess the qualities to become great men. There is a real lack of concern for our fellow man, lack of self and no vision. I believe that is what George Washington had was "vision" and what it took to get to that vision. I'm not saying everyone is this way, who knows, the little boy playing ball or the little girl with her pig tails may become another person with a vision and the qualities to learn what is takes to become a great person who want. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes history, our first President of the US and what it took to become that great person. I was given a complimentary copy of The Education of George Washington by Austin Washington from Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours for my view of the book. No other compensation took place.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    First, I should disclose that I won a copy of this book via a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Have you ever heard of Frederick Duke of Schonberg? Do you know what a panegyric is? I didn't. In "The Education of George Washington, How a Forgotten Book Shaped the Character of a Hero" George Washington's great, great, etc...nephew, Austin Washington, makes the claim that a book titled, "A Panegyrick (sic) To the Memory of His Grace Frederick Late Duke of Schonberg" was instrumental in shaping the man First, I should disclose that I won a copy of this book via a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Have you ever heard of Frederick Duke of Schonberg? Do you know what a panegyric is? I didn't. In "The Education of George Washington, How a Forgotten Book Shaped the Character of a Hero" George Washington's great, great, etc...nephew, Austin Washington, makes the claim that a book titled, "A Panegyrick (sic) To the Memory of His Grace Frederick Late Duke of Schonberg" was instrumental in shaping the man that George Washington was to become. A panegyric is a speech or piece of writing in praise of a person or thing. Frederick Duke of Schonberg was a 16th century general in the French, Portuguese and English armies. "A Panegyrick (sic) To the Memory of His Grace Frederick Late Duke of Schonberg" was a 40 page book published in praise of the Duke after his death at the Battle of the Boyne as second in command to William of Orange. Austin Washington links the discovery of a bookkeeping entry that a young George Washington made of a purchase of three books (one of which was noted as Schonberg) from his cousin Baily with George's lack of formal higher education and therefore self-taught learning to arrive at the conclusion that the panegyric was instrumental in providing a role model or blueprint of the ideal man that George Washington wanted to become. Austin then outlines George Washington's life using excerpts from the panegyric to introduce each chapter of the book. It's an interesting take on explaining how George Washington became George Washington. The author's use of current pop culture references may be off putting to some readers. It was a little jarring to read passages such as, "every time I say 'temperate', you think "chillin' and willin' to be so cool that I rule" when discussing George Washington's temperament, but it may draw in younger readers who otherwise wouldn't get engrossed in a more traditional book about George Washington. The author's views on the state of the country and how far we've descended from the ideals of the founding fathers also make their way into the book. I happen to agree with his views, but some readers may not agree and might not enjoy the book for that reason. I found the book to be an enjoyable read. I would especially recommend it for younger readers who have an interest in our first president and the founding of our country.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This is one of those books where I wish we had the ability to award half-stars, because I'd prefer to give it a 3.5. I enjoyed it and I learned some new things about our first President. It's an engaging read and downright hilarious in some points. But I also feel it doesn't really live up to its claim. There's nothing that shows George Washington ever even read this book that was supposed to have shaped his whole life. I mean, just because it was on his bookshelf at some point in his life doesn This is one of those books where I wish we had the ability to award half-stars, because I'd prefer to give it a 3.5. I enjoyed it and I learned some new things about our first President. It's an engaging read and downright hilarious in some points. But I also feel it doesn't really live up to its claim. There's nothing that shows George Washington ever even read this book that was supposed to have shaped his whole life. I mean, just because it was on his bookshelf at some point in his life doesn't mean he ever actually read it. Or that he read it at a young enough age for it to have influenced all the things the author claims it did. There was no citation to mentions of the book in letters or any other correspondence. As a bit of an academic, this lack of support bothered me. After all, I probably could take two dozen great figures from American history and find examples in their lives of the virtues extolled in the Panegyrick. That said, Mr. Washington clearly cares passionately about what our Founding Fathers fought for and believed in when creating our nation. He fervently believes that any single one of us can make ourselves great, no matter our wealth or background, simply by being good and virtous people, as his great-uncle strove to be. And I can't argue with most of his frustrations when he goes on the occasional rant about how disgusted George, Ben, and Thomas likely would be with what we've done with their carefully crafted republic over the years. I learned quite a bit and finished the book feeling like I can make a difference. Since I suspect that was the author's goal in the first place, I guess the book served its purpose. So, to sum up: Disappointed that there was not more historical evidence to support the claim that this one small Panegyrick really did change George Washington's life, but would still recommend this book to anybody with an interest in our Founding Fathers, the ideals of our country at its birth, or our history generally. I will probably circle back to this book when my children are old enough to really understand it. I think this quote, the final sentence of the book, sums up perfectly the author's wish for his readers: "If you trust in Providence, and keep an eye on the past to guide you, while you keep another eye on your goals, then you, too, can be good and great, just like George Washington."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mareena

    When we hear the name George Washington, we immediately think of America's first president - a man of honor, bravery and leadership - a great general, and a humble gentleman. While he most certainly was all these things, as well as so much more; it is sometimes difficult to see the man through the blindingly brilliant glare of his reputation. But the father of our nation didn't emerge fully formed in commemorative marble and coated in Revolutionary glory. George Washington created America. But w When we hear the name George Washington, we immediately think of America's first president - a man of honor, bravery and leadership - a great general, and a humble gentleman. While he most certainly was all these things, as well as so much more; it is sometimes difficult to see the man through the blindingly brilliant glare of his reputation. But the father of our nation didn't emerge fully formed in commemorative marble and coated in Revolutionary glory. George Washington created America. But what made George Washington the man he was? How did he become this man of such stature - who, even in his own time, was regarded as the embodiment of honor, courage and integrity? Who better than George Washington's own great-nephew, Austin Washington, to reveal the secret that he has discovered about Washington's past that explains his true model for conduct, honor, and leadership - an example that we could all use. As an historian, Austin Washington has discovered the answer. It lies in a book - a book that was crucial to the formation of George Washington's character - but was subsequently forgotten for generations. Now this lost source has finally been uncovered and explored, and Austin Washington has found the key to his great-uncle's tremendous achievements - all within the pages of a simple book - one that changed George Washington's life; and ultimately all of us as well. The Education of George Washington: How a Forgotten Book Shaped the Character of a Hero by Austin Washington definitely took much longer to read than I was expecting, although I'm entirely certain that this is due to my own slow reading pace, and has absolutely nothing to do with the book itself. I enjoyed reading this book very much. I appreciated the easy writing style that the author used, and must say that to me, George Washington became more of a living and breathing person, and less of the dry historical figure who is portrayed in most history books. I give this book an A! and I look forward to reading more from Austin Washington in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I received "The Education of George Washington" by Austin Washington through Goodreads Giveaways and was very intrigued by the structure and breadth of the work. "Education" looks at a novel "A Panegryric to the Memory of His Grace Frederick Late Duke of Schonberg" that George Washington pulled instruction and behavior patterns from. George Washington's great (etc.) nephew Austin Washington recounts elements of this novel and how G. Washington took the behaviors from Panegryric to heart and used I received "The Education of George Washington" by Austin Washington through Goodreads Giveaways and was very intrigued by the structure and breadth of the work. "Education" looks at a novel "A Panegryric to the Memory of His Grace Frederick Late Duke of Schonberg" that George Washington pulled instruction and behavior patterns from. George Washington's great (etc.) nephew Austin Washington recounts elements of this novel and how G. Washington took the behaviors from Panegryric to heart and used them to shape his behavior, personality, and therefore his success as one of the founders of the United States of America. A. Washington takes the time to describe the different traits (such as piety, temperance, discipline, long range insight, etc.) that both the Duke and G. Washington displayed. He explains how these traits were the element that lead to success of various historical peoples throughout time. The book also contains stories of G. Washington's exploits throughout his child, youth, and adulthood. A very intriguing read though slightly dry. It's is purposed at least at some level as an instructional guide on the behaviors necessary to be the same type of successful type of man or woman that G. Washington was. In the end though it does seem that times have changed so much that the prowess that led men to be great in the past may no longer be achievable due to the modernization of the world. Who knows though? Perhaps the next George Washington is out there just waiting to learn the necessary traits that lead to success. This book would help them or any individual looking to be more successful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that I did not have the desire, or the stomach, to finish this book. Even though I wanted to - I really did, I promise - persevere and finish it, I realised early on that I would regret the time I wasted reading this drivel instead of something else a bit more worthwhile. And so, I abandoned it on page 33, after two incongruous mentions of "Brad and Angelina," a quote from Wikipedia, an allusion to Britney Spears, and, finally (the last straw for this In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that I did not have the desire, or the stomach, to finish this book. Even though I wanted to - I really did, I promise - persevere and finish it, I realised early on that I would regret the time I wasted reading this drivel instead of something else a bit more worthwhile. And so, I abandoned it on page 33, after two incongruous mentions of "Brad and Angelina," a quote from Wikipedia, an allusion to Britney Spears, and, finally (the last straw for this already-exasperated reader), a paragraph about Honey Boo Boo. At first, I considered awarding Mr. Washington one more star, because the premise he posits - that GW based the meticulous cultivation of his character, honour, and integrity on the inspiration of a book popular in his youth - is interesting, and one I have not heard. But the tone he takes throughout his narration (or, at least, throughout the first 33 pages) is so gratingly obnoxious as to smother any new insight he may provide. It reads like a lecture from one of those professors who tries too hard to be "hip" that he forgets to teach. Every sentence is punctuated by a distressingly self-satisfied joke that you know he imagines to be followed by a laugh track - a kind of nudge, nudge, look at me I'm so funny I'm awesome ha ha ha that gets old by page two. The only thing really worth reading is the aforementioned book popular in GW's youth, which is reproduced in full as an appendix. But really, George Washington deserves better treatment than this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    Who knew that a book with the word "education" in the title and of "George Washington" no less would actually be such a downright entertaining read? There are asides referencing contemporary icons for comparative purposes and the vocabulary collecting part of my brain found a smattering of new words to graze on. Why should you read this if you are not an educator, a Washington scholar, or are doing a research paper on these two topics? Surprisingly, it's a "how to" prescription for discovering a Who knew that a book with the word "education" in the title and of "George Washington" no less would actually be such a downright entertaining read? There are asides referencing contemporary icons for comparative purposes and the vocabulary collecting part of my brain found a smattering of new words to graze on. Why should you read this if you are not an educator, a Washington scholar, or are doing a research paper on these two topics? Surprisingly, it's a "how to" prescription for discovering and polishing in oneself the same success principles which George Washington stumbled upon at the age of eleven years. If this is "medicine" there's plenty of sugar here to "help it go down", as the song goes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    a throughly entertaining biography and history. Washington's treatment of his great (etc.) uncle, George Washington, brings to light the true nature and character of the Father of our Country, flaws, heroism, and all. Filled with refreshingly sarcastic truth, and a firm understanding of how knowing Washington the man impacts our country and freedom today, this has been the most enjoyable biography I have read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Parrott

    The Education of George Washington offers good insights into this remarkable man. Education seeks to offer advice on values to live by through examining the guiding principles of George Washington. The author uses pop culture references to point out how much life and culture have changed in two hundred years. This works well, but overused as to be distracting. The author puts too much of himself and his opinions in to be truly unbiased. My copy came through Goodreads First Reads.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I just can't. I only read the Prologue and the first chapter, so my rating may not be fair. To me, the book is just too wordy and I don't love the author's style. In the 26 pages about the cherry tree, he repeated himself so many times that I caught myself skimming to find anything new.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    http://sveta-randomblog.blogspot.com/...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tedd Bergeron

  17. 4 out of 5

    Norm

  18. 4 out of 5

    Austin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krista Roy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Huneke

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  24. 4 out of 5

    LLL Reads

  25. 5 out of 5

    Austin Washington

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah.M.Hubergmail.Com

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Downing

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason

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