Not only is historian Alexis Coe one of the only women to ever write a biography on George Washington, she’s one of the only female historians to do so in over one hundred years. Drawing back the curtain on one of America’s original “Great Men”, Coe engages with archival sources to reveal the man behind the mythic figure. For example, one of the most popular enduring (and silly) myths is of Washington’s teeth being wooden. The truth is far more ghastly; the teeth came from slaves. Coe’s analysis coupled with her accessible writing style makes this the perfect introduction into presidential biographies for those often intimidated by the male-dominated genre. Her writing challenges us to question as to how men of American history are molded and warped into mythic figures, propped up as infallible figures of god-like proportions. We’re asked to challenge our belief in these figures and how we use their legacy. This biography properly introduces us to George Washington as he was and challenges how we remember and learn about the American Revolution and the men who led it.
Get this book at Loyola University Chicago Library.
Review by Erin Witt