Edward J. Larson is University Professor of history and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He received the Pulitzer Prize in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. His other books include A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign. From 2013 to 2014, Larson was an inaugural Library Fellow at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington located on the grounds of Mount Vernon. He lives in Georgia and California.
"Illuminating. ... Profound, even affectionate, scholarship infuses every graceful sentence." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Larson's compulsively readable history shines new light on a little-discussed period of Washington's life, illustrating his role as the indispensable American." -- Publishers Weekly"A fascinating account. ... This is an important book, elegantly written, which adds greatly to our understanding of the way in which one man's personality and popularity helped create a strong new country out of the fragments of the old colonial system." -- Lawrence M. Friedman, Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University and author of A History of American Law"A fresh and elegant portrait of the hero we thought we knew, but didn't, quite. ... An indispensable book about America's 'indispensable man.'" -- Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University, and author of America's Constitution: A Biography"One of the best illustrations of the ability of individuals to change the course of history." -- Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Professor of History, University of Virginia"Ed Larson - with his signature wit and light touch - delivers a living, breathing man, who is revealed to be a true visionary leader, but who also possesses the political savvy and ability to get things done. ... An important addition to the literature on the founding of the United States." -- Douglas Bradburn, PhD, Founding Director, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon"Highly readable. ... Clears away the naive myths that have so long obscured Washington's ideas and role during the 1780s." -- Kenneth R. Bowling, Co-editor of Documentary History of the First Federal Congress and Adjunct Professor of History, George Washington University"Larson is a skilled storyteller combining scholarly research with a flair for relating historical events and personages to general readers. Recommended for those who enjoyed Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life as well as biography hounds and history buffs." -- Library Journal"Fine and engrossing. ... Larson engagingly argues that the stretch between 1783 and 1789 was as important to Washington-and to America-as all that preceded and followed it. ... [A] splendid account." -- Wall Street Journal"Utterly fascinating. ... Very readable and highly recommended." -- Journal of the American Revolution"A detailed and elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in our nation's history." -- Philadelphia Inquirer"Larson is an exceptionally fine and engaging writer. ... He has taken up what might seem to be a niche in this great man's life and career, and found there the core of his personality and his greatness." -- Dallas Morning News"Larson is a sure guide through the complexities of writing and ratifying the Constitution. ... Dramatic. ... Restoring the politics to Washington's rise adds motive and depth to the nationalist who rose north to the rescue." -- New York Times Book Review"Fantastic... The Washington who emerges in these pages is always human, flaws and all, and yet he still manages to be a figure worth revering for his unwavering sense of duty." -- Daily Beast"Eloquently written. ... Larson synthesizes a vast amount of primary source material with great aplomb. ... Serious scholarship presented in an engaging and concise manner." -- Washington Times"Astonishes with continual revelations of a Washington deeply engaged in national affairs and concerned for the floundering United States on the verge of collapse." -- Mental Floss