To celebrate Washington's birthday: 5 best books about George Washington

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2. 1776, by David McCullough

If you want to understand Washington's invaluable role as commander in chief of America's revolutionary army, you can do no better than to pick up a copy of 1776, one of David McCullough's masterworks of popular history. McCullough has the gift of making thoroughly researched history read like a novel. This book is an absolute page-turner and most contemporary readers – even those who think they already know the story of the birth of the United States – will be surprised by the power of this narrative. (CSMonitor review 5/25/04)

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