Long before George Washington was a president or general, he was a sportsman. At six feet two inches with a penchant for rambunctious horse riding, what he lacked in formal schooling he made up for in physical strength, skill, and ambition. Washington's memorable performances on the hunting field and on the battlefield helped crystallize his contribution to our modern ideas about athleticism and chivalry, even as they also highlight the intimate ties between sports and war. Author Philip G. Smucker, a fifth-great grandnephew of George Washington, uses his background as a war correspondent, sports reporter, and amateur equestrian to weave an insightful tale based upon his own travels in the footsteps of Washington as a surveyor, sportsman, and field commander. Riding with George is "boots-in-stirrups" storytelling that unspools Washington's rise to fame in a never-before-told tale. It shows how a young Virginian's athleticism and Old World chivalry propelled him to become a model of right action and good manners for a fledgling nation.
Philip G. Smucker is a journalist, professor, research fellow at the National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, and the author of My Brother, My Enemy and Al Qaeda's Great Escape. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.