"A deft, spicy, and exciting blend of fact and fiction, " says "USA Today" about this compelling tale of the United State's first president. Upon George Washington's death, a newspaper publisher who is a political enemy of Washington's sets out to interview those who knew him best. From the alternating views emerges a stunning portrait of one of ...
"A deft, spicy, and exciting blend of fact and fiction, " says "USA Today" about this compelling tale of the United State's first president. Upon George Washington's death, a newspaper publisher who is a political enemy of Washington's sets out to interview those who knew him best. From the alternating views emerges a stunning portrait of one of the world's greatest leaders.
A great read, all the various characters telling their personal versions of, and reactions towards George Washington. I didn't want to put it down. William Martin is a great story teller, I really enjoy his style of writing. I would also highly recommend his other works, that I've read; Cape Cod, Back Bay, Annapolis, and Harvard Yard.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-01-18 Appearing on the bicentennial of Washington's death, Martin's (Annapolis) brisk, engaging and far from worshipful portrayal of the childless father of this country is told from multiple points of view by those who knew him. The first president, war hero and political icon has hardly died when Hesperus Draper, an old nemesis of Washington's and the publisher of a political scandal sheet called Alexandria Gazette, is tipped off that Washington was not all that he appeared to be. Martha is seen burning his letters shortly after his death in an apparent attempt to hide some dark secret. Draper asks his nephew, Christopher, who narrates introductory passages in the first person, to investigate, taking him and the reader on a far-reaching trip through Washington's past. The characters who record their impressions of the late founding father range from Martha, his wife, to Jacob, his slave; his physician, Dr. James Craike; a loyal aide de camp; and such other historical figures as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. Overall, the narratives are lively, rendered in the colloquialisms of the era (though the black dialect may be off-putting to some readers). Washington emerges as less than perfect, a man whose private peccadilloes and initial setbacks in pursuing a career became secondary to his emerging talents as a leader and statesman. According to the narrative, he had an affair with another man's wife before marrying Martha. He was not in fact cut out for politics and would have preferred being a wealthy landowner. Eschewing opportunities to render his subject's life in a sensational manner, Martin exercises considerable restraint in sticking closely to the historical details and social constructs of the time. Yet he enlivens the novel with ribald humor and even some graphic sex scenes, meanwhile humanizing Washington and delivering an entertaining slice of history. Agent, Robert Gottlieb. Author tour. (Feb.) FYI: Martin wrote the PBS documentary George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King.
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