Alexis Coe - "You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington" - Virtual Event

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Alexis Coe

Alexis Coe will discuss You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. She will be joined in conversation by Louise Bernard.

Presented in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival

Virtual event


About the book: 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.

About the author: Alexis 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 George Washington three-part series on the History Channel. 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. Her latest book is You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington.

About the interolcutor: Dr. Louise Bernard is the founding Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum. As a Senior Content Developer and Interpretive Planner in the New York office of the museum design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates, she worked on the design team that developed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, along with other national and international projects. She previously served as Curator of Prose and Drama for the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and as Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University. Her current research engages with the literary archive, material culture, museology, public history, and interpretive planning and design.

Event Location: