The Life and Myth of George Washington
Where: The Watson Hotel
440 W. 57th St.
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Following his death in 1799, George Washington was eulogized as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countryman.” His name is invoked 220 years later as much as a symbol as an actual person.
Few figures in American history are surrounded by more well-intended mythology than George Washington. An examination of Washington must begin with an exploration of his life as a Virginian, military leader, and the first President of the United States, not to mention as a husband and a slaveowner. Any study of Washington must also consider celebrated myths, such as whether he chopped down a cherry tree or wore wooden dentures, as well as famous images, such as Washington Crossing the Delaware. In his lifetime, Washington became a hero unlike any other and although he was very much an eighteenth-century man, he has much to teach us in our own time!
Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including “Lincoln’s Last Speech,” which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and Chicago Tribune. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians’ Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.