Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

 

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

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In Washington: A Life biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth depth matched by no other one-volume life, this crisply paced narrative carries readers thru his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French Indian War, his creation of Mt Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention his performance as the 1st president. Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many, worthy but dull.

A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection.

This work, based on massive research, dashes the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man. A strapping 6′, Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life. Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children grandchildren.

He also provides a portrait of his marriage to Martha his complex behavior as a slave master. At the same time this is an astute portrait of a canny politician who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including Madison, Hamilton, Adams Jefferson, but he also orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers establish the office of the presidency.

This biography takes us on a page-turning journey thru the formative events of America’s founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its subject, this is a magisterial work from an elegant storyteller.

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