A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
Feb. 5, 2017

1.01 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part One

1.01 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part One

Year(s) Discussed: 1732-1764

Our examination of George Washington begins with his early life in Virginia. Washington has to cope with personal loss and self-improvement as he works to make his way in the world. The coming of the French and Indian War takes his life in a new direction and sets the stage for the Revolution to come. We also look at his marriage to Martha Dandridge Custis and his establishment of industries based on slavery at Mount Vernon.


  • Achenbach, Joel. The Grand Idea: George Washington’s Potomac and the Race to the West. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
  • Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2000.
  • Booraem, Hendrik V. A Child of the Revolution: William Henry Harrison and His World, 1773-1798. Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 2012.
  • Brady, Patricia. Martha Washington: An American Life. New York: Penguin Books, 2006 [2005].
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.
  • Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co, 1971.
  • DuVal, Katherine. Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution. New York: Random House, 2015. [ebook edition]
  • Ferling, John. The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon. New York, Berlin, and London: Bloomsbury Press, 2009.
  • Flexner, James Thomas. Washington: The Indispensable Man. New York: Signet, 1984 [1969].
  • Fusonie, Alan, and Donna Jean Fusonie. George Washington: Pioneer Farmer. Mount Vernon, VA: Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, 2011 [1998].
  • Lancaster, Bruce. From Lexington to Liberty: The Story of the American Revolution. Lewis Gannett, ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co, 1955.
  • Wiencek, Henry. An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
  • Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Southern Honor: Ethics & Behavior in the Old South. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

The intro and outro music for this episode as well as the remainder of the Washington episodes unless otherwise stated is from “Hail, Columbia” as performed by the US Navy Band. The full recording can be found at Wikipedia. The song was originally called “The President’s March” and was composed for Washington’s first inaugural. More information about the history of “Hail, Columbia” can be found at Wikipedia.