First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity, by Edward G. Lengel, is a highly informative and interesting read regarding the life of George Washington and how his business sense helped shape a nation.
Primarily, the US was founded as a place of business, entwined with Washington’s own sense of business and adherence to firm economic principles – namely, careful management and calculated boldness. These timeless lessons suffuse the narrative and go a long way to inform the reader about how meager resources – when carefully managed – can create great yields.
For a book that fuses history and economics, this is a surprisingly entertaining piece of nonfiction. George Washington comes alive on the page and his ideas are presented so they seem applicable even – maybe especially – today. These fundamental principles that founded the country are time-tested, making this story of Washington’s economic life one that remains highly relevant. Lessons of thrift, self-discipline, and careful investment might not be sexy terms in today’s market, but they are incredibly important lessons that we still need to be reminded of.
Washington’s economic mind drove so much of his personality and affected the foundation of the country so that it feels impossible to look at one without the other. As an example of what it means to be an American, Washington still towers over the rest and, as this book reminds us, we would do well to follow his furrow.
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