Disrupt like George Washington: How the Founding-est Father Managed to Build, Not Break
America inspired an age of revolutions, yet no country was as successful, peaceful, or happy, and George Washington deserves much credit. His feats off the battlefield–superior management, ethics, conduct, and public relations campaigns–were integral to the infant nation’s rapid success. As soon as independence was declared in Philadelphia, Washington insisted he was leading a revolution, not a rebellion, and the world took notice. By the end of the war, even the most loyal colonists preferred Washington’s ragtag army of farmers and laborers’ to the British and Hessian soldiers who exploited and abused them. Join New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Presidential Historian Alexis Coe to learn how the great military statesman, spin doctor, and spy secured America’s place among ancient superpowers.
Free Market or Die: How George Washington Went From Risk-Averse Colonist to Reluctant Revolutionary
When news of the Boston Tea Party reached George Washington in Virginia, he was thrilled – until he learned that private property had been destroyed! The ambitious colonist had been frustrated by Parliament’s whims and exploited by London’s merchants, too, but hope springs eternal in the heart of a risk-averse entrepreneur – and the risks couldn’t be higher. A ragtag army of colonists was unlikely to defeat the greatest naval power in the world, but if defeated, men like Washington would be hanged, his property confiscated, and his family left in peril. And yet, two years after the Boston Tea Party, Washington stuffed himself into a military uniform he hadn’t worn since he was a bachelor and rode to Philadelphia, where he would be named the first General of the Continental Army. Join New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Presidential Historian Alexis Coe to learn what transformed George Washington from a risk-averse entrepreneur to a reluctant Revolutionary.
Frenemies: How George Washington and the Founding Fathers Rallied Around a Cause – Until They Couldn’t
The founding fathers are often presented as a monolith, but in reality, they were anything but. A common enemy unified them, but once the British were defeated and a country to be run, the ideologically opposed, economically and geographically diverse group of white men came dangerously close to destroying the country – and each other. Washington, who was the only president to hold office without declaring a political party, directly contributed to the rise of partisanship. Join New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Presidential Historian Alexis Coe and learn why George Washington was estranged from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe at the time of his death.
The First Founder: George Washington
By the time of his death, George Washington had led the world’s two greatest startups – The Continental Army and America – and was one of the largest landholders and whiskey distillers in America. But as a young man, he was so poor, he couldn’t feed his horse, attend school, or tempt a wife. Before Washington became a great general or president, he was an ambitious colonist who wanted to be at the center of his country’s story, and how to succeed in that country, and what it was called, changed over time. Marrying the richest widow in Virginia helped, but a series of strategic moves and an unshakeable vision for the future. Join New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Presidential Historian Alexis Coe to learn about America’s founding-est founding fathers.
Abigail Adams: Thwarted Entrepreneur
“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation,” Abigail Adams wrote, and she meant it. During the American Revolution, John Adams dined with the kings and queens of Europe while Abigail struggled to keep their small children safe, happy, and well-fed in a warzone market by uncertainty and scarcity. John hoped the European goods he sent home would lift her spirits, but instead, it awakened her entrepreneurial spirit. Under the close watch of enemy soldiers, she quietly competed with the best profiteers in town, selling ribbons, fans, bowls and pans until a horrified John refused to send more. Abigail knew better than to ask permission when, during the postwar recession, she bought up government bonds going for one-fourth of the face value. And Abigail’s final act confirmed her core beliefs: Women were not allowed to own separate property, yet Abigail left the $10,000 ($100,000 today) of money she described as her own solely to female heirs. Join New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Presidential Historian Alexis Coe to learn about Abigail Adams’s quiet revolution.
Historian and bestselling author Alexis Coe makes history come alive with her unique (and hilarious) perspective
Presidential historian and New York Times bestselling author ALEXIS COE invites audiences to take a closer look at history – revealing its complexity in new, fresh ways. Coe is the author of Alice+Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis and her instant New York Times bestselling biography of George Washington, You Never Forget Your First – which was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Books To Read and an NPR Concierge “Best Book of the Year.”
Sought after for speaking engagements at Columbia, West Point, Georgetown, NYU, and many others, Coe has also given talks sponsored by Hulu, Chanel, and Madewell – and is frequently asked back by hosts for additional events. In her talks – which are in-demand with startups, businesses, and universities alike – Coe offers a deeply researched and totally delightful lens on political history, making the lessons of the past feel more relevant than ever. As the Enoch Pratt Free Library put it, “Alexis was a delight, and gave us important context for today's events at both of her talks.”
Watch Alexis Coe at Books Are Magic >>
Alexis Taines Coe is an historian. She is the author of the narrative history book, Alice+Freda Forever (and is a consultant on the movie adaptation) and her second book, a New York Times bestseller, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington cracked open the scholarship around George Washington and was just named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Books To Read.
Alexis is a consulting producer on the Doris Kearns Goodwin's three part George Washington series on the History Channel. She is the host of No Man's Land from Pineapple and co-hosted Presidents Are People Too! from Audible. Alexis curated the ACLU'S 100 exhibition and was the assistant curator of the NYPL's centennial exhibition in Bryant Park.
She has appeared on CNN, the History Channel, C-SPAN, and CBS, and lectured at Columbia, West Point, Georgetown, Sarah Lawrence, NYU, the New School, the University of San Francisco, and many others. She has given talks sponsored by Hulu, Chanel, and Madewell.
In 2016 and 2017, Alexis' work was included in The Best American Essays (about living a feminist Walden in California in Pacific Standard) and The Best American Travel Essays (the New Republic sent her on a seven day, mult-state wagon ride to reenact the Gold Rush), and in 2013, her essay on how marriage helps male professors get ahead was one of the Atlantic's Great Debates of the Year. She has contributed to the New Yorker, the New York Times' opinion section, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, the Paris Review, Elle, and many others.
While in grad school, Alexis was a project based oral historian at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and after graduating, she was a Research Curator in the Exhibitions Department at the New York Public Library in Bryant Park.