The Rhetoric of George Washington’s Farewell Address” by Halford Ryan (Speaker and Gavel, 2001) is a valuable essay on George Washington’s famous speech that helps provide insight into what he meant and where he borrowed ideas from others. I find it especially helpful for better understanding the origins of his neutrality policies and his warnings against being entangled in international (European) affairs. This speech is unique in being legislatively required to be read to both houses of Congress each year, though the House of Representatives abandoned this duty (like so many others!) in 1984. It is still read in the Senate.

Imagine how much more secure our nation would be if we had continued to heed the warnings of George Washington.