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George Washington Prize Finalists 2020

Denigrated as "crude," "illiterate," "self-centered," and "slovenly," Mary Washington had the singular destiny to have a son whose potential for being idealized seems to have been even greater than that for motherhood.

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington, by Martha Saxton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Read more >>

At the end of the War for Independence, Philadelphia nationalists, together with disgruntled officers in the Continental Army at Newburgh, began a plot to challenge congress' authority. But can we really call it a conspiracy? 

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution, by David Head (Pegasus Books). Read more >>

The British are often cast as the tyrannical power in the Revolutionary War. But American patriots could also be ruthless in demanding fealty to their cause, as many Quaker families learned while attempting to remain neutral. 

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist World of Trouble: A Philadelphia Quaker Family’s Journey through the American Revolution, by Richard Godbeer (Yale University Press). Read more >>

After his father's death in 1848, Charles Francis Adams, Sr. became the last great hope of America's first—and, at the time, only—political dynasty.

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist Heirs of an Honored Name: The Decline of the Adams Family and the Rise of Modern America, by Douglas R. Egerton (Basic Books). Read more >>

Following Washington's death in 1799, cultural and intellectual agents in early America began to transform the first president into a national symbol through books, poems, and artwork. 

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist The Property of the Read more >>

While the Underground Railroad helped enslaved black people escape north, another version ran in reverse, sending free men, women, and children back into bondage. 

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize finalist Stolen: Five Free B Read more >>

When rebellion broke out in the American colonies, British royals—including King George III and Lord Frederick North—moved quickly. Their actions would change the course of history. 

Excerpted from the George Washington Book Prize winner The British Are Comin Read more >>

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