The History of Washington’s History

Washington’s past to promote their futures make the people on reality T.V. shows look dry and colorless. Lengle serves as a  ringmaster, directing our attention to the various acts while never forgetting he himself is part of the show. The book gives the reader a clear understanding of just why it is so hard to get a clear understanding of Washington even after you have read multiple and lengthy tomes. It is possible that this book should be the first assigned to new students of Washington history, just to prepare them for what lies ahead. At 272 pages, it leaves you wanting more and wishing you could have a lunch with Mr. Lengle.

Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder In Myth and Memory is available from Harper publishing




Edward G Lengel has consistently shown himself to be one of the most interesting historians writing books today. As the editor-in-chief of the George Washington Papers Project, he has unparalleled access to the writings of GW and has worked steadily to make those papers available to the rest of the world. What makes him such an interesting writer, however, is that he seems to be aware of the reasons many popular histories succeed or fail.  This knowledge, coupled with his varying approach to each new book, is a winning combination. Far from attempting to be the infallible and unquestionable historic expert, Lengel is open about gaps in his knowledge and the impossibility of ever getting everything in history perfect. Lengel is the author of General George Washington: A Military Life, the “editor” of This Glorious Struggle: George Washington’s Revolutionary War Letters, and now the author of Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder In Myth and Memory.

       Inventing G.W. is a wild ride through the history of our country’s desire to know its most famous founder. From the early myths created by Parson Weems to those who would deify and those who would demonize Washington, Lengel pulls the cover back and exposes the motivations, character and scholarship, or lack thereof, of the many men & women who have sat down to write the “true” history of the great man.