In a time when many cars are sporting bumper stickers with slogans like “Freedom isn’t free” and “If you enjoy freedom, thank a vet,” it is little wonder that authors and readers alike are turning their attention to the founding story of the United States. Prize-winning biographer David McCullough and Joel Achenbach, staff writer for the Washington Post, give particular attention to the premier national hero, George Washington.
McCullough focuses on the leadership qualities Washington displayed as he faced his first year of challenges as commander of the revolutionary army. These qualities include the ability to learn from his mistakes and the patience and will to keep trying. “Without Washington’s leadership and unrelenting perseverance,” McCullough asserts, “the revolution almost certainly would have failed.”