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Why Did I Choose to Write a Book about George Washington? by Stephen Yoch

SHORT ANSWER: George Washington has always been my favorite founding father and the story of his young life is as interesting as it is unknown.

LONG ANSWER: I have no special connection with either George Washington or Virginia, but I’ve always been fascinated with the Revolutionary period. A discussion of our founding fathers must, in my view, begin with George Washington because: 

First, as much as anyone in the Revolution, Washington risked everything by dedicating himself to the cause. One of the wealthiest men in Virginia and the general in charge of the Continental Army, he would have dangled on a British rope had the Revolution failed. 

Second, while far from a tactical genius, he understood the strategic situation. He recognized that the survival of his army was the best hope for prevailing in the Revolution. His long-term strategic approach of keeping his army together and avoiding defeat was essential.

Third, unlike many of his peers, Washington chose to repeatedly defer to the authority of Congress and managed to avoid overt political battles with the nascent legislative body. 

Fourth, Washington surrendered his sword as virtually no one else in history had done. Victorious generals always made themselves dictators and seldom deferred to the public will. Instead, Washington electrified the world when he returned to Mount Vernon at the end of the war. 

Fifth, Washington established the entire framework of the U.S. government. The Constitution is a loose and ill-defined document, which does not provide detail for the administration and building of a government. Nevertheless, over an eight-year period, Washington organized all the major departments of government, moved the capital, and established a functional democracy. In fact, while rivals Jefferson and Hamilton could agree on little, both agreed that George Washington was a great leader. 

Finally, even though he was unanimously elected president of the United States twice, Washington cemented his place in history by endorsing a peaceful transition of government, and willingly returned, again, to his beloved Mount Vernon.

So Washington is a remarkable man, but why this particular story of Washington?

The answer is simple: virtually no one knows about young Washington, yet almost all of his accomplishments in later life are traceable directly to his youth and his experiences in the French and Indian War. It is these formative years that transformed a fatherless and insecure boy into the man who would be the logical choice to lead the Revolutionary Army and the new democratic government. The opportunity to tell this story and humanize Washington is the starting point for the books I’ll be writing on the Revolutionary Period.

About the Author -- Steve doesn’t golf or fish, and is a below average hunter, but his love of history and writing compelled him to pick up his pen and tell the little known stories behind the men that made American history.  After years of extensive research, Steve wrote his first book on young George Washington.

Steve lives in a suburb north of St. Paul, Minnesota with his supportive wife and two fantastic teenage sons. He graduated with honors from Boston College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has enjoyed the last 20 years practicing law in the Twin Cities helping individuals and businesses solve complex problems.

About the Book

Becoming George Washington tells the largely unknown story of how an insecure fatherless boy rises to become our indispensable founding father. A far cry from the powdered haired General or President discussed in most Washington biographies, this book reveals young Washington as an “action hero” at the epicenter of the French & Indian War.

Becoming George Washington follows Washington through repeated harrowing battles as well as witnessing his success– and failure– leading an army in the field. The book also explores George’s complex relationships with his difficult mother and caring brothers.

Notably, the book contains an affair between George and Sally Fairfax. While highly controversial, the liaison is supported by documentation, including letters written by George.

Becoming George Washington includes detailed author’s notes providing sources and commentary on events so the reader may know and understand the real story.

Find out more – including excerpts at: www.becominggeorgewashington.com

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