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His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis
George Washington has taken on mythical or legendary status in the United States, and his real story is often lost within the legend. In His Excellency, Joseph Ellis shows Washington as a plantation owner, military leader, and president of a young and fragile country. He was not a genius at many of his endeavors. He needed the slaves to stave off bankruptcy and he lost more military battles than he won. Yet he was a man aware of his place in history and careful to not let his own role obscure the efforts to launch a new country. Joseph Ellis doesn't just repeat the details of George Washington's life, but he shows how they shaped him as a man and a leader. His Excellency has received positive reviews with the New York Observer saying, "Brave without foolhardiness, spiritual without zealotry, and always willing to change course after a mistake, George Washington strikes us, once again, as an American we can learn from."