Beck asserts that everyone can be George Washington today

By Lauren Zachary

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 3:00 p.m. MST

"If you haven't been George Washington before … start being George Washington now," Glenn Beck says in his recent book, “Being George Washington: The Indispensable Man, as You've Never Seen Him Before.”

That's what he wants to impress upon his readers.

In this biography of Washington, Beck takes the reader back to the events surrounding the birth of the United States. This book is presented in a journal-like format with Beck describing various events from Washington's journey to greatness, from his defeat in the French and British War to his surprise victory at Trenton, from the personal betrayal of Benedict Arnold to the creation of the United States Constitution.

Along with his presentation of these events, Beck weaves a portrait of Washington's character, impressing upon his audience that Washington was great because he focused his life on basic principles such as honesty, trust, integrity and commitment to his country, his fellowmen and his God.

Beck also says that everyone can become a “George Washington” figure today by applying these same principles in their own lives.

The biography is not a complete biography of Washington, and Beck uses short snippets of events to capture the reader's attention. Throughout the narrative, he places “Did you know?” sections acknowledging facts, various legends and controversies surrounding Washington's life and events of the Revolutionary War.

One such example comes from the Battle of Trenton where Beck acknowledges that Betsy Ross, who is credited with creating the first American Flag, is the widow who distracted the British General von Donop.

Although Beck inserts his criticisms about the current political system in the U.S. and stands on his religious soap box more than once, “Being George Washington” is an enjoyable and easy read and is not too overbearing with unnecessary details of Washington's life.

Beck shows the readers how Washington was great because he was human and didn't let his weaknesses stop him. Beck describes how becoming like Washington is not an impossible task, although it may not be easy.

Anyone who wants to learn more about our first president and the miracles of the birth of Amercia without having to read other biographies that may be too dense and overbearing with every detail that entailed Washington's life and the birth of our country will enjoy this book.

Lauren is a recent college graduate from Southern Utah University with a degree in English.

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