There have been a great many studies of phases and incidents of Washington's career and a continual stream of biographies; the definitive biography is by D. S. Freeman (7 vol., 1948–57; abr. ed. 1968); Volume VII was written after Freeman's death by J. A. Carroll and M. W. Ashworth of his staff. The biography (1940) begun by N. W. Stephenson and completed by W. H. Dunn is full and eminently useful; so is the four-volume biography by J. T. Flexner (1965–72). The early biography by "Parson" M. L. Weems is important chiefly because it contains many of the now-famous Washington legends, such as that of the cherry tree. Biographies of Washington by eminent men of another day include those by J. Marshall, J. Sparks, and W. Irving. Other biographies include those by P. L. Ford (1896, repr. 1971), W. Wilson (1896, repr. 1969), J. Corbin (1930, repr. 1972), L. M. Sears (1932), J. C. Fitzpatrick (1933, repr. 1970), N. Callahan (1972), R. Brookhiser (1996), J. M. Burns and S. Dunn (2004), J. J. Ellis (2004), P. Johnson (2005), R. Chernow (2010), and S. Brumwell (2012).
See also W. C. Ford, Washington as Employer and Importer of Labour (1889, repr. 1971); G. A. Eisen, Portraits of Washington (3 vol., 1932); E. S. Whitely, Washington and His Aides-de-Camp (1936, repr. 1968); F. R. Bellamy, The Private Life of George Washington (1951); C. P. Nettels, George Washington and American Independence (1951); M. Cunliffe, George Washington: Man and Monument (1958); L. M. Sears, George Washington and the French Revolution (1960); B. Knollenberg, Washington and the Revolution (1940, repr. 1968) and George Washington, the Virginia Period, 1732–1775 (1964); T. N. Dupuy, The Military Life of George Washington (1969); F. MacDonald, The Presidency of George Washington (1974); E. S. Morgan, The Genius of George Washington (1980); G. Wills, Cincinnatus: George Washington and the Enlightenment (1984); J. E. Ferling, The First of Men (1988) and The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon (2009); G. Vidal, Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson (2003); H. Wiencek, An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America (2003); D. McCullough, 1776 (2005); J. P. Kaminski, The Great Virginia Triumvirate: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries (2010); B. Schecter, George Washington's America: A Biography Through His Maps (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.