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The Newest Take on One of Our Nation's Founding Fathers

Contributed by Megan Richard

An expert in history and all things George Washington, Alexis Coe releases her most recent novel, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, published in 2020 by Penguin Publishing Group.

Book Synopsis

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.


“In her form-shattering and myth-crushing book….Coe examines myths with mirth, and writes history with humor… [You Never Forget Your First] is an accessible look at a president who always finishes in the first ranks of our leaders.” —Boston Globe

About the Author

Alexis Coe is an award-winning historian and New York Times Bestselling Author of You Never Forget Your First and Alice+Freda Forever (which will soon be a major motion picture). She appears in and was a Consulting Producer on the History Channel's Washington, Executive Produced by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Alexis is the host of No Man’s Land, The Wing's podcast on women's history, and co-hosted Presidents Are People Too! from Audible. Alexis has contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic, Slate, the Paris Review Daily, the Guardian, and many others. Her work has appeared in various editions of Best American Essays. She holds a graduate degree in American history and was a research curator at the NYPL.



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