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Ron Chernow On George Washington

Biographer Ron Chernow says our first president was a passionate man, not the waxwork saint of our schoolbooks.

George Washington, in a 1795 portrait by Gilbert Stuart. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The great biographer Ron Chernow sees many reasons to respect George Washington. 

But Washington, he says, was not the man you may think. Never mind the cherry tree story – no evidence. And the wooden teeth – they were walrus and ivory. Even the calm, triumphant general on horseback was a staged image, he says. 

Washington was a great man, and a vital first leader. Yet he lost more battles than he won, and behind the cool facade he was roiled with passion. 

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest:

Ron Chernow, award-winning biographer of Alexander Hamilton,  John D. Rockefeller, and many others. His new book is “Washington: A Life.” You can read an excerpt here.

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