Like most wealthy gentlemen of his time, George Washington accumulated a private library during the course of his lifetime, leaving at his death a collection of some 1,100 volumes. Kevin J. Hayes's George Washington: A Life in Books is not a description of Washington's library, however (the book does not even include a library list), but a closeup account of Washington's relationship to his books—his acquisition and use of books and their influence upon him.

Hayes, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Central Oklahoma, is the author of numerous books, several of them on private libraries in the colonial period, including The Library of Benjamin Franklin (American Philosophical Society, 2006); The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Oxford University Press, 2008); and A Colonial Woman's Bookshelf (University of Tennessee Press, 1996). The intensive research into primary sources demonstrated in these works provides him...

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