You Never Forget Your First:
A Biography of George Washington
in conversation with NOAH FELDMAN
This event includes a book signing
February 10, 2020
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcomes ALEXIS COE—author of the award-winning Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis—for a discussion of her latest book, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed writer and Harvard Law professor NOAH FELDMAN.
About You Never Forget Your First
Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, caused an international incident, and never backed down—even when his dysentery got so bad he had to ride with a cushion on his saddle. But after he married Martha, everything changed. Washington became the kind of man who named his dog Sweetlips and hated to leave home. He took up arms against the British only when there was no other way, though he lost more battles than he won.
After an unlikely victory in the Revolutionary War cast him as the nation's hero, he was desperate to retire, but the founders pressured him into the presidency—twice. When he retired years later, no one talked him out of it. He left the highest office heartbroken over the partisan nightmare his backstabbing cabinet had created.
Back on his plantation, the man who fought for liberty must confront his greatest hypocrisy—what to do with the men, women, and children he owns—before he succumbs to death.
With irresistible style and warm humor, You Never Forget Your First combines rigorous research and lively storytelling that will have readers—including those who thought presidential biographies were just for dads—inhaling every page.
Praise for You Never Forget Your First
“Every now and then a fresh, new biography told by a gifted storyteller on a familiar figure captures our imagination. So it is with this spirited and engaging biography of George Washington.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Leadership and Team of Rivals
“If you think there is nothing new to learn about George Washington, then you have a treat in store with Alexis Coe’s You Never Forget Your First. In this keen and savage analysis of our longstanding Washington canon, Coe dramatically reshapes our understanding of the president who could not tell a lie (actually, he could, and did). The result is a humorous, sympathetic and refreshingly human portrait of Washington that is destined to become a classic.” —Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park
“Alexis Coe knocks the standard fusty portrait of George W. off the wall and gives us a fresh, funny, and decidedly feminist take on our primo president. At once deeply researched and delightfully cheeky, You Never Forget Your First gives Washington a modern spin, revealing the complicated man behind the many myths, peeling away the macho veneer applied by previous (male) biographers. Coe proves how valuable a new set of eyes on the historical record can be.” —Elaine Weiss, author of The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote
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