This book was written in George Washington’s own words 18th century style. 200 years of linguistic gap will leave some readers baffled, but I did not mind it at all. “Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any” (his 50th rule) is just as good as “avoid gossips”.
Washington’s 110 Rules gave me a sense of the First President’s personality, what it would have been like to keep company with him. He stood up when anyone greeted him, did not keep reading when other talked to him, did not take off his coat in formal circumstances – something President Ronald Reagan also did, but President Obama routinely violated in the Oval Office, rolling up his sleeves and even putting his foot on the President’s Desk.
This book also leaves no doubt that George Washington was a devout Christian man. Some of his rules read straight out of the Bible. “Associate yourself with good men…for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” “Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.” “When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence.” Every child should own a copy and be reminded of morals and etiquette. He will appreciate it more and more as he grows up.
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For a selection of “12 rules that still apply”, click on Mental Floss.
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