More than anyone else he kept the Revolution alive. He held things together against the odds. If you want to read this book you will have to get it elsewhere library, bookstore, Goodreads is for keeping track of books, reading reviews, etc. Jay goes off to London and comes back with a treaty which the Jefferssonains hate. I, poor creature, worn out with scribbling for my bread and my liberty, low in spirits and weak in health, must leave others to wear the laurels which I have sown.
The nation is only a few years old and the seeds of future divisions are clear to see. This story, and that of Washington's precedent-setting presidency are wonderfully related by a gifted historian. It put real flesh and blood and humanity on people who previously had just been topics in H. He had written a short speech, and when he took it from his coat pocket, he also drew out a pair of eyeglasses, which only his aides and closest friends knew he needed. A world-weary man longing for privacy yet virtually forced to take the presidency. Washington was as much woven into our history as the comings and goings of the country were into his service. Washington chose to play a progression of characters, each grander and nobler than the last, and he played them so successfully that he ultimately transformed himself into a man of almost extrahuman virtue.
Rather, at least in polite society and among people in public life, it referred to a persona or mask that one deliberately selected and always wore: one picked a role, like a part in a play, and sought to act it unfailingly, ever to be in character. They were all impelled by a love of liberty, but a large number were, in addition, driven by a desire for immortal Fame—the grateful remembrance of a distant posterity. History class, and the complexities of the building of a nation. He highlights certain aspects of Pres. However, he gives the reader a coheasive view of who George Washington - the man - was. It may be that the Founders were as unlucky in their choice of posterity as they were lucky in their choice of time in which to live, for the American people are notoriously lacking in a knowledge of the past. It is surprising that the rather dry, withdrawn personality of our first President should have enabled him to be such a key player in the early events of our nations history.
Instead the British employed conventional tactics—and were slaughtered. He was trying to take the high ground, and others often just would not come along. The book walks through Washington's life chronologically. Third, the reasearch is very well done. Unlike Oliver Cromwell, he waled away from the army, to the astonisment of European aristocrats. He himself complained that they distorted his lips.
Snubbed by British officers, he focused on American independence in economic matters, and Flexner wrote a massive four volume biography of Washington, which he then condensed into this more approachable 400 page book. Washington was acutely conscious of his own social position, for as a teenager he had been taken under the wing of a wealthy, titled family, the Fairfaxes. Snubbed by British officers, he focused on American independence in economic matters, and then when the Revolution occurred, became the leader of the Continental Army, and the first President, setting the traditions for the American republic. Like all popular biographies today although, granted, this text was written fifty years ago , the author sought to write about the man as though he weren't an icon, but an actual human being. But if it was his natural gifts that made others prone to trust him, there remains the question, how did he come to be worthy of trust? Much interesting information I enjoyed this book.
Perhaps I don't understand the politics of his time or of modern America to comprehend why, but for he remains an overwhelmingly inspiring man on many counts. Flexner dedicated his professional career to creating an accurate and thorough biography of George Washington. The men who established the American republic were acutely aware that they lived in a pivotal era in human history, and they eagerly rose to the occasion. His awesome prestige created the atmosphere in which the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 could draft a constitution that the states would ratify; and it is certain that the office of president was created only because he was available to fill it. The rhetoric then, as now, was fierce and even Washington could not escape criticism. Today it might seem that the solution would be to elect the president by popular vote; but given the primitive technology in communication and the fear of direct democracy, that was not an option.
The prospect of the doctors bleeding the sick man time and time again was unbearable. Perhaps this was Washy's greatest asset, his ability to endure insult and to bear it quietly. This is a distillation of a four volume work by the same author. I have longed to read about Washington for several years, but not got round to it. Flexner's masterful bio brings out these and many other aspects of Washy's character and career.
He was obviously a bright person and got input from his advisors before stating an opinion. It did not hurt that he married a wealthy widow, whose property was greater than his. He fumbles to pull out a pair of spectacles. While a bit of hero worship at times, this will likely remain one of the classic single volume histories of a man who was Indispensible to his nation. The author faced a considerable challenge in distilling the content of the original work into a single book, and ultimately falls short. . I find this a frustrating format.