This was the first in the famous four book biography of Flexner covering the life of George Washington. This first volume takes the reader from Washington's birth through his appointment as General of the Continental Army. It goes into great detail about Washington's participation as the leader of the Virginia militia during the events of the French and Indian War and I learned a great deal about the struggles he had not only in managing a militia for many years, but not receiving the respect or appointment he felt he deserved as an officer in the regular British Army. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on the 17 years Washington spent at Mount Vernon after resigning his Virginia military commission before the Revolution broke out. Learning how he improved Mount Vernon to make it profitable, how he dealt with English traders and creditors, and how his relationship with his wife Martha and his first true love Sally Fairfax took place were fascinating and enlightening for me. I was not naive to think of Washington as having lived a perfect life in terms of character, but taking the time to read these details in a book about his early life is something that all fans of Washington need to be sure to do.