12 Important Reads About George Washington

Are you looking for some new George Washington books to add to your reading list?

George Washington was the first President of the United States of America. He helped win the Revolutionary War, write the Constitution, and create a foundation for our country.

He's a man that achieved so much that you could easily read all of these books and still want to learn more!

Our list includes details on specific battles he led during the war and stories about his time as president. We think you are going to enjoy this list!

1. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Valiant Ambition

Written by: Nathaniel Philbrick

Published: May 10th, 2016

Pages: 427

George Washington and Benedict Arnold were significant players in the Revolutionary War, but their stories couldn't be more different.

One was considered a hero and one a traitor; one led his men to victory over the British army while the other attempted to hand them over. However, despite their differences, there's no denying that these two had some similarities: they both wanted fame and recognition for what they did in battle, and they both believed they knew what was best for the country.

Even after this, they still kept in contact until Benedict Arnold died in 1801.

>> More books about the Founding Fathers

>> More books about the American Revolution

2. His Excellency: George Washington

His Excellency: George Washington

Written by: Joseph J. Ellis

Published: 2004

Pages: 320

This biography of George Washington is an excellent read for anyone who wants to learn more about the man behind the myth. Written by historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Joseph J. Ellis, this book provides an intimate look into the life of our nation's first president and his struggle with leadership in revolutionary America.  

The book delves deep into Washington's personal life and his public role during the American Revolution.

It offers readers an intriguing perspective on how he might have felt when faced with monumental decisions such as establishing military justice, leading troops in battle at Valley Forge during winter months and being president and trying to build a new country.

3. The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

The First Conspiracy

Written by: Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

Published: January 8th, 2019

Pages: 413

George Washington was the first president of the United States and is considered one of the best presidents in history. But there's a secret plot to kill him that started during his second term as president.  

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch tells how spies were trying to figure out who could kill General Washington. Instead of this all being from outsiders, some of the attempted assassins included his bodyguards.

This book is perfect for those interested in a different view of Washington or those looking for an exciting novel unlike any other on this list.

4. George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

George Washington's Secret Six

Written by: Brian Kilmeade & Don Yeager

Published: November 5th, 2013

Pages: 235

George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger is a book that highlights the bravery of six patriots who risked their lives to spy on British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

These heroes, Abraham Woodhull, Robert Townsend, Caleb Brewster, Anna Strong, Samuel Culper Sr., and Austin Roe, were all part of what was known as "The Culper Ring," one of George Washington's most effective spying tools.

It was so effective that one of the members' names wasn’t even known until the 20th century. This book details how this group took advantage of their everyday lives to get information about British troop movements and supply lines while simultaneously avoiding detection from both sides.

5. In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

In the Hurricane's Eye

Written by: Nathaniel Philbrick

Published: October 16th, 2018

Pages: 366

George Washington was an American hero, but he wasn't always the most reliable leader. His troops often felt like they were following a "flying Dutchman" in battles, and his headquarters staff had to cover for him when he didn't show up at important meetings. 

But in 1781, Washington's genius finally came through in Yorktown when he planned out one of the most brilliant military campaigns in history. However, this would not have occurred if the French had not won the Battle of the Chesapeake before that.

Nathaniel Philbrick presents this fascinating story with rich detail that brings this pivotal moment of our early nation to life once again.

6. The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

The Return of George Washington

Written by: Edward J. Larson

Published: October 7th, 2014

Pages: 366

When George Washington left the presidency in 1783, he did so with a promise never to return. He famously stated that "I have no wish to be brought in an uncomfortable situation" when discussing his resignation from office.

He then retired and wanted to live the rest of his life in peace. However, the nation became fractured, and he realized he needed to return to Washington. Some of the founding fathers had a convention to revise some parts of the Articles of Confederation that had proven problematic during Washington's first term as president under them.

He returned and was elected unanimously by Congress on December 3rd, 1802, as president of the Constitutional Convention for a period lasting through May 5th, 1787.

7. The Real George Washington

The Real George Washington

Written by: Jay A. Parry, Andrew M. Allison, & W. Cleon Skousen

Published: December 28th, 1991

Pages: 928

The Real George Washington is a biography of the first president of the United States written by Jay A. Parry. The book attempts to separate fact from fiction to give readers an accurate account of George Washington's life.

Readers are taken through his upbringing, education, military career, and political accomplishments while exploring how he dealt with adversity and criticism throughout his life. This biography provides an invaluable understanding of one of America's most influential leaders.

It is a long book but well worth the time.

8. George Washington's Sacred Fire

George Washington's Sacred Fire

Written by: Peter A. Lillback,& Jerry Newcombe

Published: March 29th, 2011

Pages: 1187

George Washington was one of the most influential men in history. His efforts helped create the United States, and he is still well-known today for his honesty and integrity. To better understand this great man, it's essential to know about his life before becoming president.

His wife Martha gave him a Bible on their wedding day that George later used during his inauguration as president of the United States.

An example of this is it contains notes written by George throughout its pages, including what is believed to be some of his favorite scriptures, which have been marked with an X through them. You genuinely get to read what Washington thought about while reading it and so much more.

9. An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America

An Imperfect God

Written by: Henry Wiencek

Published by: November 15th, 2003

Pages: 404

This is a different view of President George Washington then you will get in the other books. He was the first president, he had one of the most extensive landholdings in the country, and his slaves were some of those who worked on these plantations. At this period, slavery was common practice among white landowners and accepted by most.

It should also be noted that Washington's views on slavery changed over time: from believing that blacks and whites should not intermingle to eventually freeing his slaves upon Martha's death. As Henry Wiencek writes in An Imperfect God, "...George Washington is often remembered for being a reluctant revolutionary... But what about George Washington, the slave owner?"

10. The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation

The Indian World of George Washington

Written by: Colin G. Calloway

Published: April 6th, 2018


This book takes another different view of Washington regarding race and culture. The Indian World of George Washington was written by Colin G. Calloway, a professor at Dartmouth College. This book is about the relationship between Native Americans and our first president. 

Calloway shows that many Natives viewed Washington as their friend, even though he fought against them in battle during the American Revolution.

The author reveals that these tribes saw Washington as an ally who could help them navigate American expansion into their lands after his presidency ended in 1796.  This book provides valuable insight into how America's indigenous people viewed one of its most famous presidents, along with explaining how they helped shape America's future from behind-the-scenes without much recognition for it today.

>> More books about Native Americans

11. You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

You Never Forget Your First

Written by: Alexis Coe

Published: February 4th, 2020

Pages: 261

In this book, Coe takes readers on an unforgettable journey from Washington's early years to his final days with anecdotes about everything in between, including his military successes and failures, family relationships, personal beliefs, and more.

We love this one because Coe has a great sense of humor and doesn't just stick to the well-known facts about the 1st U.S. President. If you want a little more fun in your books, you will want to check this one out.

12. Washington: A Life

Washington: A Life

Written by: Ron Chernow

Published: October 5th, 2010

Pages: 928

For the last book on this list, Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life, Chernow takes his time to explore every facet of George Washington's life from birth to death.  He has been immortalized in the history books and movies as a great general and president of our country, but how did he get there?

This biography is filled with interesting anecdotes and fascinating stories that make it easy for readers to understand why this Founding Father became such an important person in American history.