Washington: A Life

Front Cover
Penguin, Oct 5, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 928 pages

A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

“Truly magnificent… [a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography”
Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal

“Superb… the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.”
Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books

“A truly gripping biography of George Washington... I can’t recommend it highly enough—as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It’s as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels.”
Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more.

Ron Chernow's latest biography, Grant, is now available in paperback. 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fionaanne - LibraryThing

This must be the longest book I've ever read. A stunningly in depth chronicle of the first u.s. president which examines every aspect of his life in compiling a full profile of this mythical figure. I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbeveridge - LibraryThing

Ron Chernow may be the greatest historical biographer writing today, this side of Robert Caro. Recent Washington biographies of GW have inched their way toward bringing him back from iconism to ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Ron Chernow is the prize-winning author of six books and the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award, Washington: A Life won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Alexander Hamilton was the inspiration for the Broadway musical. His new biography, Grant, will be published in October 2017. Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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