Books: Mt. Vernon to Valley Forge

GEORGE WASHINGTON (Vols. Ill & IV, 1,336 pp.)—Douglas Southall Freeman —Scribner ($ 15).

Just before Christmas 1758, George Washington, 26, late colonel of militia in the French & Indian War, went home to Mt. Vernon. He had fought well; now he could settle down to the life he was meant for, the easy rounds of a well-to-do Virginia planter. He married a comely widow named Martha Custis, took on the responsibility of two stepchildren, and began thinking about improving his estate and buying more land.

A Virginian described him in a letter: "Straight as an Indian, measuring 6 ft. 2 in. in his...

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