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5.27.2014

The Education of George Washington ~ Review and Spotlight

The Education of George Washington
By Austin Washington

The Education of George Washington is an intriguing and interesting look at the early life of the first president of the United States of America.  It looks at the times, situations, and educational tools that shaped this young man who would become a leader and who would help change the world of his day.

But this book doesn't look only at George Washington's childhood, it also looks at the man who helped shaped a rebellion that would be the beginnings of a new nation - a nation that would recognize the rights of others as equal to one's own.  It wasn't a smooth road but the bumps and troubles helped Washington to see what was important in becoming a nation of honor.

Men of honor were of absolute necessity for a nation to have honor and Washington found his role model early in life in a small book written in 1690 A Panegyrick to the Memory of His Grace Frederick, Late Duke of Schonberg written by H. de Luzancy.  This book is reproduced within The Education of George Washington and it makes for an interesting experience.

It is interesting how a single work can have such a profound effect upon one's life and that is the premise behind The Education of George Washington that this Panegyrick that George purchased and made note of was one of the great influences of his life.

This book would be an interesting addition to a high school history class or a Book Club selection.  This is not light reading and is a book you'll want to discuss, but it is well worth the time spent.

I was provided a copy of this book in conjunction with this PUYB virtual tour in exchange for my participation and honest review.


About the Author:
Austin Washington is the great-nephew of George Washington. He earned his masters and did post-graduate research focusing on colonial American history, and is a writer, musician, entrepreneur and global traveler. He returns to an old Virginia family home whenever he can. Austin's first book takes a common criticism of his academic writing - "You're not writing a newspaper editorial, you know!" - and turns it into a virtue, taking a subject dry and dusty in other's hands and giving it life. He has lived abroad much of his life, most recently in Russia, and visits friends from Sicily to Turkey to Bangladesh and beyond. His earliest influences as a writer were Saki, Salinger, and St. Exupery, although in more recent years he has got beyond the S's. As for historians, he is partial to the iconoclast Gibbon, who wrote history to change the future. 

His latest book is the nonfiction/history book, The Education of George Washington.

For more information, see author Austin Washington discussing his book in a video on his web site at www.austinwashington.com and also on You Tube at: http://youtu.be/1m6OvGRye9U.

About the Book:
In Austin Washington’s new book - - The Education of George Washington - - readers will learn all about President Washington’s true model of conduct, honor, and leadership, including the actual historic document that President Washington used to transform his life from a poorly educated child of a widowed mother, to the historic, curious, highly influential and awe inspiring figure he became and remains today.

Available for purchase at AMAZON

Discuss this book in the PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Title: The Education of George Washington
Author: Austin Washington
Publisher: Regnery History
Pages: 344
Genre: Nonfiction/History
Format: Hardcover/Kindle

Book Excerpt:
 “I Cannot Tell a Lie”— the Cherry Tree Story Is True (but Different from How You Heard It)

“What shall I say of the Nobleness of his Mind; and of that Character of 
Honor, Truth and Justice, which was so Natural to him . . . incapable of the 
Dissimulation, and other sordid Arts of Court. He could not promise what he 
did not intend to perform.” —H. de Luzancy, A Panegyrick to the Memory of 
His Grace Frederick, Late Duke of Schonberg

Parson Weems was married to the wife of a cousin of George Washington’s close friend, Dr. James Craik. Parson Weems knew George Washington. Parson Weems preached at George Washington’s church. So why all the hating? The tale of George Washington and the cherry tree has been mistold for two hundred years—and thus mistakenly criticized, as people have been criticizing a story that Parson Weems never told. Still, despite all the debunking, the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is almost as iconic in America as Santa Claus and his elves. It therefore seems worthwhile to spend a little time explaining how we can say with certainty that yes, Virginia, the story of George and the cherry tree is true (but no, it’s not the story you’ve heard). 

For those non-Americans out there, the story, in essence, is this: George Washington, when he was a small child, chopped down a cherry tree with a hatchet. When confronted by his father, he confessed, “I can- not tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.” 

That’s the story. (Not much of a story, is it? But the story of the story could change your life.) 

No one in America believes it any more. We’ve all been told ad nauseam that the whole story is a pious fable—a confabulation invented by Parson Weems. 

What’s wrong with the story? Why can’t we trust Parson Weems? 

We obviously can’t trust him because he admired George Washington. No, honestly, that’s a big part of the argument. Parson Weems is a fanboy and therefore can’t be trusted. The generally accepted idea, expressed by Wikipedia, is this: “Weems also called Washington the ‘greatest man that ever lived.’ This degree of adulation, combined with the circumstance that his anecdotes cannot be independently verified, demonstrates clearly that they are confabulations and parables.” 

But wait just a minute. 

1. I’d always thought ad hominem attacks were a logical fallacy. 
2. If something that cannot be independently verified is, ipso facto, not true, then all trees falling in all forests 
    are always silent. That’s just silly.
3. Actually, the story can be independently verified. Beyond that, it passes the sniff test. Pretty clearly.



Be sure to check out The Education of George Washington Tour Page for more tour stops.