You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

In a genre overdue for a shakeup, Alexis Coe takes a closer look at our first—and finds he's not quite the man we remember

Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, chased rich young women, caused an international incident, and never backed down—even when his dysentery got so bad he had to ride with a cushion on his saddle.

But after he married Martha, everything changed. Washington became the kind of man who named his dog Sweetlips and hated to leave home. He took up arms against the British only when there was no other way, though he lost more battles than he won. Coe focuses on his activities off the battlefield—like espionage and propaganda.

After an unlikely victory in the Revolutionary War, Washington once again shocked the world by giving up power, only to learn his compatriots wouldn't allow it. The founders pressured him into the presidency—twice. He established enduring norms but left office heartbroken over the partisan nightmare his backstabbing cabinet had created.

Back on his plantation, the man who fought for liberty finally confronted his greatest hypocrisy—what to do with the hundreds of men, women, and children he owned—before succumbing to a brutal death.

Alexis Coe combines rigorous research and unsentimental storytelling, finally separating the man from the legend.

Title:You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780735224100
Format Type:

    You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington Reviews

  • Jasmine Guillory

    What an engaging, fascinating, funny, educational book! I wish more history was written like this — entertaining, accessible, and deeply researched all at the same time. I learned so much about Geor...

  • Scott

    "He is a complete gentleman . . . He is sensible, amiable, virtuous, modest and brave." -- Massachusettes delegate Thomas Cushing, regarding Washington commanding the new Continental Army, in 1775When...

  • Mari

    I picked this up on a whim after I was looking at a list of recent releases. I've always had a vague interest in reading presidential biographies, and I loved the way that this one was framed. I was n...

  • Tatiana

    This may be the only presidential biography I will ever read. As the author rightly noted, who has the time for 1,000-page tomes written by white about white presidents? This book is only, mercifully,...

  • The Colonial

    George Washington stands near the beginning in a line that features a continuous number of biographies on famous and infamous historical figures, though his latest chronicle from historian Alexis Coe ...

  • Amy

    I had high hopes for this book. By the end, however, I was regretting the money I’d spent on the e-book. There’s $13.99 I will never get back.It probably didn’t help that the author starts off b...

  • Jackie

    Won this in a goodreads giveaway. Wonderful book! Extremely interesting and shows how old history books need to be rewritten ...

  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    The first biography of George Washington written by a female historian in...damn near forever, Alexis Coe seeks to accomplish three things:1. Break down the myths and reverence surrounding and cloudin...

  • Madeline

    I never thought I'd answer the question "So what are you reading?" with "A biography of George Washington." But I did, and am so glad I picked this one up! I was first drawn to it because of the title...

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 thought soon....