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Alexis Coe / You Never Forget Your First

February 6, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST

front cover of You Never Forget Your First

Booksmith welcomes back Alexis Coe (Alice + Freda Forever) for her new book, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. Please join us!

Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, caused an international incident, and never backed down — even when his dysentery got so bad he had to ride with a cushion on his saddle. But after he married Martha, everything changed. Washington became the kind of man who named his dog Sweetlips and hated to leave home. He took up arms against the British only when there was no other way, though he lost more battles than he won.

After an unlikely victory in the Revolutionary War cast him as the nation’s hero, he was desperate to retire, but the founders pressured him into the presidency — twice. When he retired years later, no one talked him out of it. He left the highest office heartbroken over the partisan nightmare his backstabbing cabinet had created.

Back on his plantation, the man who fought for liberty must confront his greatest hypocrisy — what to do with the men, women, and children he owns — before he succumbs to death.

With irresistible style and warm humor, You Never Forget Your First combines rigorous research and lively storytelling that will have readers — including those who thought presidential biographies were just for dads — inhaling every page.

“Every now and then a fresh, new biography told by a gifted storyteller on a familiar figure captures our imagination. So it is with this spirited and engaging biography of George Washington.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Leadership and Team of Rivals

“A bewitching combination of erudition and cheek, You Never Forget Your First is a playful, disruptive work of history.” – Jennifer EganNew York Times bestselling author of Manhattan Beach

“If you think there is nothing new to learn about George Washington, then you have a treat in store with Alexis Coe’s You Never Forget Your First. In this keen and savage analysis of our longstanding Washington canon, Coe dramatically reshapes our understanding of the president who could not tell a lie (actually, he could, and did). The result is a humorous, sympathetic and refreshingly human portrait of Washington that is destined to become a classic.” – Karen AbbottNew York Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park

“Alexis Coe energetically dusts off an old-boys genre to present a life in full, without sentiment or whitewashing. It’s a public service, and it’s also a lot of fun.” – Irin CarmonNew York Times bestselling co-author of Notorious RBG

photo of Alexis Coe by Sylvia RosokoffAlexis Coe is an award-winning historian and author of the narrative history book Alice + Freda Forever (soon to be a major motion picture). Coe is a consulting producer on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s forthcoming George Washington series on the History Channel, and has frequently appeared on CNN. She’s the cohost of Audible’s “Presidents Are People, Too!” and the host of “No Man’s Land.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, Time, and many others. She holds a graduate degree in American history, and was a Research Curator at the New York Public Library.

This event is free and all ages.

RSVP appreciated but not required.

As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of You Never Forget Your First, order below and be sure to put your request in the comments field.

Accessibility is important to us! If you have special needs please let us know and we’ll do our absolute best to accommodate you: events@booksmith.com.


February 6, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST
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