The Mind of George Washington

George Washington University

Denver Brunsman is Associate Professor of History at George Washington University. He is a co-author of several textbooks, including Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People and Leading Change: George Washington and Establishing the Presidency. Professor Brunsman’s many honors include the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence and induction into the George Washington University Academy of Distinguished Teachers.



George Washington is celebrated for many things–particularly his military and political leadership–but rarely his intellect. In this lecture, Professor Denver Brunsman of George Washington University will explore the intellectual life of America’s first president to commemorate the 290th anniversary of his birth (February 22, 1732). Contrary to Washington’s reputation as a man of action over ideas, he was a dedicated lifelong learner who crafted his own Enlightenment. Washington amassed a library of over 1,200 titles by the end of his life, with concentrations of “practical” subjects, such as horticulture, government, and military arts. At the same time, he displayed a broad intellectual curiosity and engaged with anti-slavery pamphlets, classical literature, and the works of numerous female writers.



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