Finalist for the 2018 George Washington Prize
By Kevin F. Hayes. ISBN 978-0-19-045667-2. Copyright 2017. Hardcover with 390 pages including notes and index.
George Washington is known more for his solid common sense and strength in battle but he also had an active intellectual life that has gone largely unnoticed in conventional narratives.
He read primers, periodicals, conduct books, and classic eighteenth-century novels such as Tom Jones in his early life and his attention to reading and writing continued to grow throughout his presidency and retirement to Mount Vernon. This study of Washington's own library is a glimpse Washington's views on foreign policy, economics, the law, art, slavery, marriage, and religion-and how those views shaped the young nation.