Wednesday, May 14, 2014

PUYB: Austin Washington's The Education of George Washington - Guest Post




George Washington's Dirty Little Secret


Do you know that book The Secret? How could you not? One of the titles I'd thought of for The Education of George Washington included the word "secret", but when I proposed it to various people, they said it sounded like it was about his sex life. I'd meant it to be a reference to that best selling, yet somewhat tacky, book, The Secret.

I'd meant it somewhat ironically, too, by the way. George Washington believed in something similar to the belief espoused inThe Secret, yet, ultimately, its polar opposite. George Washington did not do what The Secret tells us to do. He did not close his eyes, click his heels together, and wish really hard for a shiny new Ferrari, nor even a shiny new horse.

Instead, George Washington tried to do what honor and duty dictated, but above and beyond that, he always tried to do what he thought "Providence" wanted him to do. In other words, he did not try to bend the universe to his will. He tried to align himself with it.

Inferring from a grimy, dust covered receipt, lost in his archives for 200 years, we now know that George Washington had a kind of 17th century version of The Secret, with a huge twist. Rather than encouraging its readers to become greedy, self absorbed consumers, it encouraged them to become both good and great. And, incidentally, rich in the process.

For two hundred years, the story has been told of a man who, through some kind of magic, was born great. This misperception has been reinforced by the paucity, before this new discovery, of information about George Washington's formative years. Now, for the first time, we can show how George Washington, the awkward teenager who wrote goofy love poems, turned himself into George Washington, the fabulous horseman, great dancer who was admired by the ladies, not to mention the humble hero everyone is familiar with.

For the first time in two hundred years we now know that George Washington bought his guide to greatness just about the time he left school, in the middle of his teenage years. His father had died. He had no role model but the hero in his guide to greatness. It was the last book George was to buy for several years. It shaped him.

George Washington's education, thus, came from living an adventure-filled life, guided by the deep wisdom that he found in a guide, that has now been rediscovered after two centuries. Incidentally, this guide is reproduced, in full, at the back of The Education of George Washington.

George Washington himself said that the earliest "transactions" of life leave the deepest impression on a soul. By "transactions" he meant incidents, accidents, and anything else that might end up in an anecdote. How ironic, then, that this was literally true for George Washington - it was the literal transaction of purchasing of a book that changed George Washington's life.

You never know what reading the right book might do for you.


About the author
Austin Washington is the great-nephew of George Washington. He earned his masters and did post-graduate research focusing on colonial American history, and is a writer, musician, entrepreneur and global traveler. He returns to an old Virginia family home whenever he can. Austin's first book takes a common criticism of his academic writing - "You're not writing a newspaper editorial, you know!" - and turns it into a virtue, taking a subject dry and dusty in other's hands and giving it life. He has lived abroad much of his life, most recently in Russia, and visits friends from Sicily to Turkey to Bangladesh and beyond. His earliest influences as a writer were Saki, Salinger, and St. Exupery, although in more recent years he has got beyond the S's. As for historians, he is partial to the iconoclast Gibbon, who wrote history to change the future.

His latest book is the nonfiction/history book, The Education of George Washington.

For more information, see author Austin Washington discussing his book in a video on his web site at www.austinwashington.com and also on You Tube at: http://youtu.be/1m6OvGRye9U.

About the book
In Austin Washington’s new book - - The Education of George Washington - - readers will learn all about President Washington’s true model of conduct, honor, and leadership, including the actual historic document that President Washington used to transform his life from a poorly educated child of a widowed mother, to the historic, curious, highly influential and awe inspiring figure he became and remains today. 

Purchase your copy: AMAZON



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