His Excellency- George Washington Book Review Essays

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His Excellency: George Washington

Joseph Ellis sets out to make George Washington, the person we think of as an icon, into a real person. He wants to show us what makes him tick. He wants to turn the marble into the man. So many students today see George Washington as a memorial, a monument, a face on a dollar bill, and the man who could not lie when he cut down the cherry tree. He wants to show us the man George Washington was in his day. Ellis’s method was to divide George Washington’s life into three main parts:

1. Events that transpired during the French and Indian War

2. His part as general in the American Revolution

3. His actions as President of the United States

When writing the biography of George
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His Excellency is divided into seven different chapters; 1) Interior Regions 2) The Strenuous Squire 3) First in War 4) Destiny’s Child 5) Introspective Interlude 6) First in Peace, and 7) Testament. Each chapter in the book covers a part of George Washington’s life. It begins with Washington as a 21 year old serving as a messenger in enemy terrain during the French/Indian war, which we have learned for our past test is also known as the seven year war. Instead of going to school like many men his age, George instead decided to fight in the war. All of the forces that were put under him were defeated and this upset and extremely frustrated him. He was forced to witness his own group of soldiers get massacred because of decisions he had made.

The following chapters portray the sections of Washington life when he was a soldier, his days as a general, and his duty as the president. The book details the military plights Washington faced as a leader. Ellis says that Washington “lost more battles than he won; indeed, he lost more battles than any victorious general in modern history.” The War for Independence emerged as the most significant milestone in George Washington's life, a time in which he evolved into a grown man, a notorious politician, and a national icon. Ellis does not take us through each battle in detail, but describes the events that shaped Washington’s life and made him a human

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