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Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels With George...is quintessential Philbrick -- a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement." --Boston Globe Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former coloni NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels With George...is quintessential Philbrick -- a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement." --Boston Globe Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative. When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing--Americans. In the fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called the infant woody country to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife Melissa and their dog Dora, Philbrick follows Washington's presidential excursions: from Mount Vernon to the new capital in New York; a month-long tour of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island; a venture onto Long Island and eventually across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington's and Philbrick's eyes. Written at a moment when America's founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with Washington's legacy as a man of the people, a reluctant president, and a plantation owner who held people in slavery. At historic houses and landmarks, Philbrick reports on the reinterpretations at work as he meets reenactors, tour guides, and other keepers of history's flame. He paints a picture of eighteenth century America as divided and fraught as it is today, and he comes to understand how Washington compelled, enticed, stood up to, and listened to the many different people he met along the way--and how his all-consuming belief in the Union helped to forge a nation.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels With George...is quintessential Philbrick -- a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement." --Boston Globe Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former coloni NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels With George...is quintessential Philbrick -- a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement." --Boston Globe Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative. When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing--Americans. In the fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called the infant woody country to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife Melissa and their dog Dora, Philbrick follows Washington's presidential excursions: from Mount Vernon to the new capital in New York; a month-long tour of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island; a venture onto Long Island and eventually across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington's and Philbrick's eyes. Written at a moment when America's founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with Washington's legacy as a man of the people, a reluctant president, and a plantation owner who held people in slavery. At historic houses and landmarks, Philbrick reports on the reinterpretations at work as he meets reenactors, tour guides, and other keepers of history's flame. He paints a picture of eighteenth century America as divided and fraught as it is today, and he comes to understand how Washington compelled, enticed, stood up to, and listened to the many different people he met along the way--and how his all-consuming belief in the Union helped to forge a nation.

30 review for Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Giveaway Win! I've been meaning to read Nathaniel Philbrick for some time. All of his book have sounded super interesting but for some reason I just hadn't gotten around to read any of them. But then the universe decided to step in and ensure that I finally read some of his books. First I found the Young Adult version of his book Mayflower in my local Little Free Library. And then the Second thing that happened was I won this book Travels with George through Goodreads. The universe had spoken and Giveaway Win! I've been meaning to read Nathaniel Philbrick for some time. All of his book have sounded super interesting but for some reason I just hadn't gotten around to read any of them. But then the universe decided to step in and ensure that I finally read some of his books. First I found the Young Adult version of his book Mayflower in my local Little Free Library. And then the Second thing that happened was I won this book Travels with George through Goodreads. The universe had spoken and so I read this book not too long after it had arrived at my house. George Washington was the first President of the United States and even before he became President he was a war hero and celebrity. In today's world despite our tendency to revisit and recontextualize our history, George Washington is still considered above reproach. It's as if its been decided by everyone that you're just not allowed to question anything this man did. I still remember being taught as a fact...In History Class that George Washington had chopped down his father's cherry tree. IN HISTORY CLASS! The myths and straight up lies that are taught as fact are unsettling. Nathaniel Philbrick set out to learn even more about a man that he already written 3 books about, by retracing his steps across the 13 colonies. This book is part travel log, part biography of George Washington and part biography of the author himself. We get to meet Philbrick's wife, father and his dog Dora. Nathaniel Philbrick doesn't sugarcoat the horrific views George Washington had or the terrible things he did. Washington was a slave owner and he wasn't a "lenient" slave owner either. Philbrick seeks to paint a more well rounded portrait of America's first President. And I think he succeeds. I don't really know alot about Washington because he's never really interested me after finishing this book I definitely want to pick Nathaniel Philbrick's other books about Washington. Travels with George is the perfect book for people who don't normally read nonfiction. It's a fast read and it didn't even feel like a history book as I read it. The writing style was easy to read and I had fun. I would definitely recommend this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Michaud

    Giveaway review: If your a Philbrick fan (as I am) this will be a different in kind of read. While his American Revolution trilogy (centered on George Washington) was fantastic history , this was history with personal memoir which I did enjoy but wasn't used to from him. To follow the routes of GW sounds like a really cool idea that maybe I'll do one day... This is a good read but did find it boring in some parts. Also deals with Washington and slavery very honestly and fairly. Overall would rec Giveaway review: If your a Philbrick fan (as I am) this will be a different in kind of read. While his American Revolution trilogy (centered on George Washington) was fantastic history , this was history with personal memoir which I did enjoy but wasn't used to from him. To follow the routes of GW sounds like a really cool idea that maybe I'll do one day... This is a good read but did find it boring in some parts. Also deals with Washington and slavery very honestly and fairly. Overall would recommend. Now that his work on the Revolution appears to be done , can't wait to see what he does next.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    "We cannot remake our country's past, but we can learn from it, and all of us still have a lot to learn from George Washington" ― Nathaniel Philbrick, Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy "We cannot remake our country's past, but we can learn from it, and all of us still have a lot to learn from George Washington" ― Nathaniel Philbrick, Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy

  4. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    It's a nice mix of a light-hearted travel romp and some serious and medium-depth history. On the travel romp? Philbrick is consciously riffing on Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley," to which he refers more than once. He does Steinbeck one better by taking his wife as well as their dog. The history? About a year or so after becoming president, and having healed from an operation to remove a major carbuncle from his thigh, George Washington undertook the first of four tours of the new US under the Co It's a nice mix of a light-hearted travel romp and some serious and medium-depth history. On the travel romp? Philbrick is consciously riffing on Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley," to which he refers more than once. He does Steinbeck one better by taking his wife as well as their dog. The history? About a year or so after becoming president, and having healed from an operation to remove a major carbuncle from his thigh, George Washington undertook the first of four tours of the new US under the Constitution. That was to New England, but minus Rhode Island, which had not yet ratified the Constitution. This was by land, with two different routes in and out. Next was a pure enjoyment trip all around Long Island that included visiting some of the spies that had helped him in 1776 during and after the battles for New York City. Then, after it signed off, he went to Rhode Island. Finally, with North Carolina, like Rhode Island, having joined the Union, Washington went South. As Philbrick notes, this was actually more virgin territory for him than New England. Pre-Revolution, he'd been a bit in North Carolina. Never in South Carolina or Georgia. Along the way, Philbrick meets descendants of people closely connected with Washington's visits. He also, tying it back to today, has a critical, in the best sense, nuanced, non-whitewashing, but not randomly bashing, look at George Washington, slave owner. == Sadly, Goodreads' owner, Yellow Satan, won't let me post a review there because of wingnuts 1-starring the book, claiming Philbrick is "woke."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andy Gruenbaum

    The writer's dog and Washington's connections to slavery were more prominent than I preferred. The writer's dog and Washington's connections to slavery were more prominent than I preferred.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I really enjoyed "In the Heart of the Sea", but other Philbrick books have been a struggle for me. I had higher hopes for "Travels with George", however the transitions between Washington's journey and Philbrick's travels with his wife made it difficult for me to stay interested in the book. I enjoyed hearing about Washington's time in various locations as well as the commentary about those locations today, but other anecdotes disrupted the flow of the book. Nathaniel Philbrick definitely knows I really enjoyed "In the Heart of the Sea", but other Philbrick books have been a struggle for me. I had higher hopes for "Travels with George", however the transitions between Washington's journey and Philbrick's travels with his wife made it difficult for me to stay interested in the book. I enjoyed hearing about Washington's time in various locations as well as the commentary about those locations today, but other anecdotes disrupted the flow of the book. Nathaniel Philbrick definitely knows his history, but this book just wasn't for me. Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    I have been doing online movie and book reviews for about 25 years --- long enough to know that the best place to post movie reviews was a Usenet group that allowed for links into the fledgling Internet Movie Database. During that time, I learned that there are such things as fair criticism and unfair criticism; the latter happens when you complain that your expectations have been subverted. I am not quite sure what I expected from TRAVELS WITH GEORGE, in which Nathaniel Philbrick, master of the I have been doing online movie and book reviews for about 25 years --- long enough to know that the best place to post movie reviews was a Usenet group that allowed for links into the fledgling Internet Movie Database. During that time, I learned that there are such things as fair criticism and unfair criticism; the latter happens when you complain that your expectations have been subverted. I am not quite sure what I expected from TRAVELS WITH GEORGE, in which Nathaniel Philbrick, master of the narrative historical form, traces the routes taken by George Washington across the newly created United States in the early years of his presidency. I suppose I should have anticipated something along the lines of Sarah Vowell’s book, LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES, in which she puts a very modern, jaundiced spin on the French patriot and his journeys through revolutionary and post-revolutionary America. Or something elevated, similar to an expert-level class in American history --- like something out of the Ken Burns studio or the Kenneth Clark “Civilisation” series. What I wasn’t expecting was the story of how Philbrick and his wife took their very active and furry dog on an outing, which led the pooch to jump into a stagnant pond filled with green goo. The Philbricks tried to clean their pet in a hyper-modern, bone-white hotel room, with predictable and messy consequences. TRAVELS WITH GEORGE is just that, placing the travels (and real travails) of George Washington throughout New England and Long Island alongside trips taken by the Philbricks using the same route (or close enough). There is a lot of history in the book; Philbrick does an outstanding job telling the story of Washington’s first inauguration in New York, detailing the triumphal journey through Philadelphia and Trenton, and the political calculation of the brown suit (crafted in America) that he wore to the ceremony. All of that is coupled with a good bit of interesting historical travel guidance. There are several places that Philbrick visits where I plan to go myself once we get past the pandemic. But a lot of the story is about the issues that Philbrick, his wife and his dog experience along the way --- including the harrowing tale of their sea voyage from Nantucket to Newport that was interrupted by a tornado of all things. It is not necessarily bad criticism to point out that if you are someone who would roll your eyes about Philbrick stopping the narrative to tell a (hilarious) story about his dog, you are going to have an issue. But I think it is unfair criticism to say that this sort of thing is wrong, or even self-indulgent. Even if you were to say it is self-indulgent (and you might not be wrong), I mean, come on. This is Nathaniel Philbrick we’re talking about. If you or I had put together a body of historical literature to rival his, we might be self-indulgent, too. However, the focus of the book, where it should rightly be, is on George Washington. Philbrick quotes the various legends where a young patriot, brought to view the famed general, blurts out that Washington is “just a man.” Philbrick portrays him as very human --- annoyed by sub-par hostelries and snubbed by John Hancock, and subject to disease and tooth decay. And he does not shy away from the long shadow cast over Washington’s reputation by the enslavement of his fellow men and women, focusing on his abuse of his presidential power in attempts to recover a fugitive from Mount Vernon. Still, the star of the narrative is not really Washington, Philbrick or the dog. It is the growing country, the fledgling States becoming United, the reunions of Washington with his doughty soldiers, the little towns that preserved mementoes of the visit, the young people who remembered seeing Washington for the rest of their lives. It is these stories that make TRAVELS WITH GEORGE memorable and vital. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Travels with George By Nathaniel Philbrick This was a fun travelogue and history lesson in a fun narrative by Philbrick. I learned a lot in this insightful book so well researched and equally so well written. I am somehow inspired to visit that part of the country that follows Washington's visit during the time and looking forward to what it had been over 200 years later - from Mount Vernon through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Through historic homes and si Travels with George By Nathaniel Philbrick This was a fun travelogue and history lesson in a fun narrative by Philbrick. I learned a lot in this insightful book so well researched and equally so well written. I am somehow inspired to visit that part of the country that follows Washington's visit during the time and looking forward to what it had been over 200 years later - from Mount Vernon through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Through historic homes and significant historical landmarks, meeting people that keep these historical stories alive such as the re-enactors, tour guides and others, we are able to first hand see the path forged by our founding fathers. I enjoyed the writing and the insight of how history has shaped our country to what it is today.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Russell

    Part first-person travel reporting, part history of the founding of the United States, part reflection on current political upheavals, "Travels with George" is the story of the author retracing several tours George Washington took in the first year or so of being President. Accompanied by his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick drives across the states that Washington would have recognized. Washington's purpose was to familiarize himself with the inhabitants and conditions in the natio Part first-person travel reporting, part history of the founding of the United States, part reflection on current political upheavals, "Travels with George" is the story of the author retracing several tours George Washington took in the first year or so of being President. Accompanied by his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick drives across the states that Washington would have recognized. Washington's purpose was to familiarize himself with the inhabitants and conditions in the nation as a whole. Philbrick's purpose is to gain an appreciation of Washington's character and deep contributions to the founding of the nation, as he sees Washington's trips also serving to help bind the country together around himself as a tangible symbol of the United States. As Philbrick travels, he reflects on the current shattered unity in our country, wondering if it can ever be regained.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zachary

    If you were curious what it is like to travel with Philbrick's dog, mixed in with some of his musings about John Steinbeck, his favorite type of car, etc. this may be the book for you. There are a few bright spots in the book, but those are drown in irrelevant tangents and his own unsupported speculations about George Washington. Based on the title and description, I thought this book might be a little like "How the Word is Passed," explaining the authors journey, while also diving into the hist If you were curious what it is like to travel with Philbrick's dog, mixed in with some of his musings about John Steinbeck, his favorite type of car, etc. this may be the book for you. There are a few bright spots in the book, but those are drown in irrelevant tangents and his own unsupported speculations about George Washington. Based on the title and description, I thought this book might be a little like "How the Word is Passed," explaining the authors journey, while also diving into the historical subject. If that is what Philbrick was attempting to do here, he failed, this is just his journey, without facts. A couple examples. He talks about how George Washington's dog, Cornwallis, may have acted, compared to the authors own dog. Philbrick then reveals that the dog version of Cornwallis is a myth. He just wanted an excuse to talk about his dog more. Additionally, he speculates about historic facts, like the authorship of various documents, without any support. If you are interested in learning about Washington, you can find a much better book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    An entertaining and different take on George Washington. We often forget that people traveled a lot- a lot- in the 18th century, despite the lack of an interstate highway system and Google Maps. Philbrick, his wife Melissa, and, of course, their dog Dora travel in Washington's footsteps in this well researched mix of history and memoir. This offers a fresh take on how Washington got to his position and stayed there, traveling throughout the new nation in an effort to unite the population. And, P An entertaining and different take on George Washington. We often forget that people traveled a lot- a lot- in the 18th century, despite the lack of an interstate highway system and Google Maps. Philbrick, his wife Melissa, and, of course, their dog Dora travel in Washington's footsteps in this well researched mix of history and memoir. This offers a fresh take on how Washington got to his position and stayed there, traveling throughout the new nation in an effort to unite the population. And, Philbrick does address the slavery issues so many others have avoided, I enjoyed the perspective offered by, for example, the reenactors. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. It's an amiable travel book as much as anything but a good read that offers a bit of insight and comparisons between then and now.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Dobihal

    Most excellent story of Washington's ventures into the realms of the new nation. Filled with wonderful stories of characters past and present including glimpses into the life of the author. Read this book! Most excellent story of Washington's ventures into the realms of the new nation. Filled with wonderful stories of characters past and present including glimpses into the life of the author. Read this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Narrated by Nathaniel Philbrick and borrowed from NYPL. Nathaniel Philbrick is one of those authors that I would love to share dinner with.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Shaw

    Extremely boring account of Washington's travels around the states after his election so that he could "take the pulse" of the peoples in the various states in order to form a more perfect union. Extremely boring account of Washington's travels around the states after his election so that he could "take the pulse" of the peoples in the various states in order to form a more perfect union.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda Sullivan

    Enjoyed this travel biography of George Washington and in parallel, the author Nathaniel Philbrick. Provided insight into Washington's character and goals during the first two years of his presidency as he made a progress through the 13 new states. Many interesting anecdotes about Washington that I hadn't heard before. Fun to follow with a map. Enjoyed this travel biography of George Washington and in parallel, the author Nathaniel Philbrick. Provided insight into Washington's character and goals during the first two years of his presidency as he made a progress through the 13 new states. Many interesting anecdotes about Washington that I hadn't heard before. Fun to follow with a map.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary Robinson

    This was a delightful look at George Washington outlined as the author traveled the routs Washington himself traversed during the first years of his presidency. All the while, the author debunks some urban legends we all know about our first president and delves into what he might have thought of the United States today. Very well researched and written, it is still quite an enjoyable read and very approachable. From the epilogue, Philbrick concludes "If our country is ever going to improve in t This was a delightful look at George Washington outlined as the author traveled the routs Washington himself traversed during the first years of his presidency. All the while, the author debunks some urban legends we all know about our first president and delves into what he might have thought of the United States today. Very well researched and written, it is still quite an enjoyable read and very approachable. From the epilogue, Philbrick concludes "If our country is ever going to improve in the future, we need to look the past full in the face today, and there, at the very beginning, is our first president: a slaveholder, a land baron, a general, and a politician, who believed with all his soul in the Union" Highly recommend!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alisa

    Probably best for readers already familiar with the geography of the east coast of the U.S. as well as those with an interest in reading the travel journal of an older couple and their dog. For this west coaster, the history was dry, the modern day travel too filled with quotidian details, and there were not enough pictures or maps for context. Did not finish

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    As someone whose college degree centered on the Revolution, I wasn't sure there would be many new things for me to learn about George Washington but I was thrilled to be proven wrong. I have enjoyed many of Philbrick's works in the past but this combination of history and travelogue is probably my new favorite! As someone whose college degree centered on the Revolution, I wasn't sure there would be many new things for me to learn about George Washington but I was thrilled to be proven wrong. I have enjoyed many of Philbrick's works in the past but this combination of history and travelogue is probably my new favorite!

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Burris

    Nathaniel Philbrick has written another exciting and entertaining book as he and his family travel the journey which George Washington took as he sought to unite the new nation as their first president. I learned historical things I did not know and felt I was welcomed to ride along with the Philbricks as they investigated. Great book and a must read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ned Frederick

    Travels with George tracks George Washington’s early days as first president of the republic. He spent much of his time wisely, visiting the states to get people behind the new government. This meant a lot of bad roads, pestilence, horrible weather, and a sometimes violently divisive electorate… pretty much same as today. Washington’s struggles with his divisive cabinet and the many states that didn’t buy into the federal style of government he was creating are well documented, as well as his pe Travels with George tracks George Washington’s early days as first president of the republic. He spent much of his time wisely, visiting the states to get people behind the new government. This meant a lot of bad roads, pestilence, horrible weather, and a sometimes violently divisive electorate… pretty much same as today. Washington’s struggles with his divisive cabinet and the many states that didn’t buy into the federal style of government he was creating are well documented, as well as his personal struggles with his innate reluctance to being treated as a monarch. A considerable part of the book deals with the issue of slavery and the deceptive and prejudicial treatment of indigenous peoples. These were personal demons for Washington as well as the nation. We’re also given regular updates on Philbrick’s travels as he and wife, Melissa, with dog Duda, travel to many of the same places on Washington’s itinerary. This “Travels with Charlie” theme is charming but off the mark for this reader. This is a nice way of saying unnecessary and largely a distraction. There are plenty of delicious historical snacks to consume to make the humdrum travelogue more palatable. But the book doesn’t really hang together all that well as an episodic travelogue. It’s disjointed and, frankly, there are too many important things going on with Washington and the fledgling government to worry about if Duda (lovely dog that she is) is going to find a place to pee. For fans of the newish, revelatory, soul-searching take on our early history, there are repetitive themes about Washington's modesty, anxiety and his contradictory attitudes and actions vis a vis slavery. Surprisingly, he was also a bit of a sleaze and not above making a buck, Trump-style, on real estate transactions that presented a conflict of interest given his presidential responsibilities. The reader can easily see the seeds planted in those early days that have grown into our current divisive and dysfunctional political system. I came away with a better understanding of our current predicament. For this I am thankful to Philbrick. But I would have preferred a more direct route to this destination.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Road trip with George Washington! This was an exceptionally bizarre concept for a book, but it worked beautifully. I loved this strange combination of travelogue, memoir, and history. Nathaniel Philbrick breaks from his typical style of chronicling history to bring us this delightful adventure, in which he, his wife, and his dog Dora embark on a road trip following the path of George Washington from the point at which he is elected the first President of the United States. I was unsure about the f Road trip with George Washington! This was an exceptionally bizarre concept for a book, but it worked beautifully. I loved this strange combination of travelogue, memoir, and history. Nathaniel Philbrick breaks from his typical style of chronicling history to bring us this delightful adventure, in which he, his wife, and his dog Dora embark on a road trip following the path of George Washington from the point at which he is elected the first President of the United States. I was unsure about the format at first, as I’m not big on memoirs and tend to be bothered when authors insert themselves into the narrative, but Philbrick’s participation in the story turns out to be one of the best parts of Travels with George. He does a fantastic job of making the book feel personal and like an adventure that comes to life for the reader without ever taking away from his primary subject. If you know a lot about Washington, some of the information included will be familiar to you, but some is entirely new, and the unique format made it such that even what I already knew about Washington felt new because of the way it was presented. Philbrick teaches the reader about a lot more than just the first President as well. From sailing to duck tollers, there’s all kinds of fun things packed into this delightful narration. Philbrick approaches Washington fairly and honestly, criticizing when modern standards require it, and also gently reminding the reader that we need to remember all of history, both the good and the bad, and that sometimes that means acknowledging both the good and the bad of one individual. If you want an informative but fun and adventurous look at our first President, I can’t think of a better place to get it than here in Travels with George. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Johnson

    Loved this book - loved the dustjacket for that matter. Page 302: From the Farewell Address, ghostwritten by Alexander Hamilton, "What worried Washington more than anything else was what might happen if a president's chief priority was to divide rather than unite the American people: It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. I agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, fome Loved this book - loved the dustjacket for that matter. Page 302: From the Farewell Address, ghostwritten by Alexander Hamilton, "What worried Washington more than anything else was what might happen if a president's chief priority was to divide rather than unite the American people: It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. I agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another." That pretty much describes where we find ourselves today. Though I would put Wealth itself as the endangering third party. "Wealth" can buy the government it wants to pass laws enhancing and strengthening its legal privilages. The book offered lots of interesting footnotes to history; such as, "Since 1776, the New Jersey state constitution had given voting rights to any adult-male, female, white, or African American-who had lived in NJ for a year and was worth at least fifty pounds." That lasted until 1807 when the Anti-Federalist state legislature restricted the vote to white males to enhance the opportunity for and Anti-Federalist to win the presidency. Not much new under the sun; is there.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    This book can be compared somewhat to Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck; Nathaniel Philbrick even mentions that book several times throughout his own book, even to telling a story at the end of sitting by Steinbeck's widow at a dinner. I enjoyed both books tremendously as it felt like I could see where they were visiting. Steinbeck took his dog on his travels, and Philbrick took his dog and his wife in 2019. As the author mentions, many have written about George Washington's travels pre-ina This book can be compared somewhat to Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck; Nathaniel Philbrick even mentions that book several times throughout his own book, even to telling a story at the end of sitting by Steinbeck's widow at a dinner. I enjoyed both books tremendously as it felt like I could see where they were visiting. Steinbeck took his dog on his travels, and Philbrick took his dog and his wife in 2019. As the author mentions, many have written about George Washington's travels pre-inaugural and continuing after his inauguration. He traveled with a small entourage including his white steed, and he rode in a open carriage. The trip was from April 16 1789-1791 from New England to Georgia broken up into different trips. Mr. Philbrick juxtaposes his time traveling with Washington's, which is very interesting and informative due to the fact that the author interviews people and visits places that are in the know about that history. He gives many anecdotes of his own and of the president's. He even goes into the political climate of that time--especially those involving Jefferson. Explaining slavery is quite well involved in this book, too. Evidently, Washington was the only one of the founding fathers who made provision to free his slaves (upon his death--it seemed pretty complicated due to the fact that his wife's slaves were from her former marriage).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Sickora

    Travel’s with George by Nathaniel Philbrick Travel’s with George was an amazing read! It has a unique twist with the way its written, its part biography for George Washington and the Author but its also like a travel log. We get to follow along as Nathaniel and his wife and their dog travel the same path as George Washington. The differences are amazing. I really liked how smoothly the timelines shifted! This is going to be a short review because honestly everything you have read about this book Travel’s with George by Nathaniel Philbrick Travel’s with George was an amazing read! It has a unique twist with the way its written, its part biography for George Washington and the Author but its also like a travel log. We get to follow along as Nathaniel and his wife and their dog travel the same path as George Washington. The differences are amazing. I really liked how smoothly the timelines shifted! This is going to be a short review because honestly everything you have read about this book is true and then add a little more and that is about where this book sits on a 10 scale. But also because there isn't really anything I can say that hasn't already been said and I'm sure whatever I do repeat won't do the book justice. My one piece of advice going into this book is forget all the myths and stories you have been told about GW because more than likely you are going to find out it was something totally different. This author had no problem talking about the more touchy subjects and I loved every minute of it! Happy reading everyone! Thank you Viking books for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This was so delightful I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on audiobook because the author reads it himself, I love when that happens! Despite some mixed reviews, I feel like this is a very nice mix of real history lessons sprinkled with a lighthearted adventure with Philbrick, his wife Melissa and Dora their dog, mimicking the travel book, “Travels with Charley” famously written by John Steinbeck. I really enjoyed the fact that they also set off to visit all the places that Washington had on This was so delightful I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on audiobook because the author reads it himself, I love when that happens! Despite some mixed reviews, I feel like this is a very nice mix of real history lessons sprinkled with a lighthearted adventure with Philbrick, his wife Melissa and Dora their dog, mimicking the travel book, “Travels with Charley” famously written by John Steinbeck. I really enjoyed the fact that they also set off to visit all the places that Washington had once visited. I think that had this been all history I wouldn’t have liked it as much. I do like a good history book with lots of details and interesting facts about the given subject, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes history books can be too bogged down in information or too dry in my opinion so this brought a nice transition between his personal travels and those of America’s Father, George Washington. It almost makes me want to partake in this same journey! As I have not read any of Nathaniel Philbrick’s other books, I will be eager to pick up another historical tale in the near future!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is exactly the type of history book that I love. It's easy to digest, written in an anecdotal style, and, even being a huge Revolutionary War buff, I learned several things I didn't know about George Washington and the early days of our country. In a homage to John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, Philbrick takes his dog, Dora, (and his wife, Melissa) along for his recreation of Washington's inaugural tour of the country. They stop at the important places Washington visited and dispel many This is exactly the type of history book that I love. It's easy to digest, written in an anecdotal style, and, even being a huge Revolutionary War buff, I learned several things I didn't know about George Washington and the early days of our country. In a homage to John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, Philbrick takes his dog, Dora, (and his wife, Melissa) along for his recreation of Washington's inaugural tour of the country. They stop at the important places Washington visited and dispel many of the myths that exist about the Washington the man while dipping into both the struggles of forming a new nation and keeping that nation together. Philbrick paints a full picture of Washington and the other founding fathers, not glossing over their flaws but instead portraying them as ordinary men doing the best they could. Written during a time when our country seems to be even more divided than ever, it gives the reader the feeling that even when our differences seem insurmountable, there is common ground between us all as Americans.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Flannery

    Historian and author Nat Philbrick takes his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, on a multi-week adventure following the travels of George Washington after his election to the newly formed US government. The Philbricks' more comfortable transportation and lodging, coupled with the frequently humorous episodes with Dora (think muddied post-romp shenanigans on pristine white sheets at a "hipster" get-away) stand juxtaposed to Washington's shock-less carriage ride and sometimes spartan lodgings. Th Historian and author Nat Philbrick takes his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, on a multi-week adventure following the travels of George Washington after his election to the newly formed US government. The Philbricks' more comfortable transportation and lodging, coupled with the frequently humorous episodes with Dora (think muddied post-romp shenanigans on pristine white sheets at a "hipster" get-away) stand juxtaposed to Washington's shock-less carriage ride and sometimes spartan lodgings. The fact that my husband, our two black Labs and I had road-tripped three years ago gave me a connection to the story that others might not appreciate. Philbrick's style is different in this book and may disappoint his more hard-core history buff fans. But there is history abound in his newest book (enough for this reader at least) and the personal vignettes about Philbrick and one of our founding fathers are honest, balanced and charming.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Hogan

    Finished Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy, the latest book by Nathaniel Philbrick, the noted historian, winner of the National Book Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This book is part homage to Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley and part unflinching look at George Washington, the good (and it's mostly good), the bad and the ugly of our First President. Philbrick, his wife and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever embarked on multiple trips over two years to v Finished Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy, the latest book by Nathaniel Philbrick, the noted historian, winner of the National Book Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This book is part homage to Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley and part unflinching look at George Washington, the good (and it's mostly good), the bad and the ugly of our First President. Philbrick, his wife and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever embarked on multiple trips over two years to visit all of the sites Washington encountered on his journey to all thirteen states at the start of his Presidency. You will be interested in hearing in Philbrick’s take about all the claims, Washington slept here etc. The book ends with a forewarning of the conflict inherent in Democracy that carries forward to the present. A terrific book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Kent

    This was such a great book! I loved the weaving together of the modern day travel journal with GW’s inaugural trip. Most importantly, I was reminded of just how fragile early America was and how much we owe to these early citizens. It was (and still is) far from perfect, but as the author reminded us its worth striving for that ‘more perfect Union’. We are better together, which is something the Federalist GW truly believed. One of my favorite lines from the book says “By subsuming sectional and This was such a great book! I loved the weaving together of the modern day travel journal with GW’s inaugural trip. Most importantly, I was reminded of just how fragile early America was and how much we owe to these early citizens. It was (and still is) far from perfect, but as the author reminded us its worth striving for that ‘more perfect Union’. We are better together, which is something the Federalist GW truly believed. One of my favorite lines from the book says “By subsuming sectional and philosophical interest to the good of the whole, the Union is the antidote to arrogance and self-importance, because there will always be something bigger than a single person, town, city, state, or region-or any single race, religion, sexual orientation, or set of beliefs”

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Holiday

    I finally got my copy the morning of 20 September 2021 after about a month wait since I pre-ordered it in August. In the Preface, I noted an underlying sense of light humor and awe for a soldier that became First POTUS. Good thing. The facts started there and Mr. Philbrick would have put me to flight had he not adopted that voice. It is one of the most enjoyable scholarly presentations I have ever read. The industrial might of the nation grew slowly at the start, and no better man to see that tha I finally got my copy the morning of 20 September 2021 after about a month wait since I pre-ordered it in August. In the Preface, I noted an underlying sense of light humor and awe for a soldier that became First POTUS. Good thing. The facts started there and Mr. Philbrick would have put me to flight had he not adopted that voice. It is one of the most enjoyable scholarly presentations I have ever read. The industrial might of the nation grew slowly at the start, and no better man to see that than George. Little things popped up at the start of the nation that he noticed that brough him to that conclusion and his beliefs led to the USA of today save for the opposing factions of the political parties. He believed in Union while many in his time were not satisfied, and today, onr party seeks to undo that by seeking to fragment the union.. Only Washington was able to see the probem of a fragmented country as badly as his own cabinet differed in their goals. May we all treat him with understanding that he was just a man affected by the times in which he lived and not measure him by modern philosophy.

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