Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father

Peter Stark. Ecco, $35 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-241606-3
Stark (Astoria) puts his background as an adventure writer to good use, bringing thrilling immediacy and literary flair to George Washington’s youthful exploits as a Western surveyor and eventual participant in the French and Indian War. Tracing Washington’s development from ambitious young soldier to disciplined military leader, Stark treats his subject’s life as an opportunity to delve into the customs of colonial society, America’s involvement in global power struggles between the French and English, and complex negotiations between colonists and Native Americans. The young Washington, inexperienced and fueled by an intense desire to make a name for himself, finds himself at the heart of these conflicts: in his eagerness to expand British holdings by evicting the French from the Ohio territory, he makes rash decisions that escalate fighting between France and England, as well as between colonial and British officers. Stark narrates Washington’s move toward greater self-control in three major sections, each of which focuses on a particular episode of the French and Indian War. While Stark did not conduct significant original research and often turns to imaginative speculation about Washington’s thoughts, his novelistic account is sure to entertain readers interested in the backstory of America’s first president. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-06-284599-3
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-241608-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-284745-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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