George Washington: The Making Of A Leader

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Join historian David O. Stewart for a discussion of his new book about George Washington and his rise as a leader.

Washington’s rise constitutes one of the great self-reinventions in history. In his mid-twenties, this third son of a modest Virginia planter had ruined his own military career in the French and Indian War through poor judgments and brash overreaching. By his mid-forties, that headstrong, unwise young man had evolved into an unassailable leader chosen as the commander in chief of the fledgling Continental Army. By his mid-fifties, he was unanimously elected the nation’s first president. How did Washington—with a scanty education and little inherited wealth—grow from his failures on the Virginia frontier to become the central founder of the United States of America?

David O. Stewart turned to writing after a career practicing law in Washington, D.C. He is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several previous books on American history, including Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America; American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson's America; The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution; and, most recently, George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father.

Program Notes:

  • Due to current limitations on capacity, in-person tickets are available for VMHC members only. VMHC Members, please log in to reserve an in-person ticket.
  • As a reminder, the VMHC is still undergoing construction. The parking lot will be open for this lecture. Please enter using the door on the south side of the building at the bottom of the steps leading to the VMFA.
  • Please note that the restrooms closest to the event space will be one floor above the Robins Family Forum, near the museum galleries
  • The lecture will be also streamed live on Facebook and YouTube for public viewing.
  • Signed copies of the book will be available soon at