After more than two decades, this dramatic and concise single-volume distillation of James Thomas Flexner's definitive four-volume biography "George Washington," which received a Pulitzer Prize citation and a National Book Award for the fourth volume, has itself become an American classic. Now in a new trade paperback edition, this masterful work ...
After more than two decades, this dramatic and concise single-volume distillation of James Thomas Flexner's definitive four-volume biography "George Washington," which received a Pulitzer Prize citation and a National Book Award for the fourth volume, has itself become an American classic. Now in a new trade paperback edition, this masterful work explores the Father of Our Country - sometimes an unpopular hero, a man of great contradictions, but always a towering historical figure, who remains, as Flexner writes in these pages, "a fallible human being made of flesh and blood and spirit - not a statue of marble and wood... a great and good man." The author unflinchingly paints a portrait of Washington: slave owner, brave leader, man of passion, reluctant politician, and fierce general. His complex character and career are neither glorified nor vilified here; rather, Flexner sets up a brilliant counterpoint between Washington's public and private lives and gives us a challenging look at the man who has become as much a national symbol as the American flag.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-10-29 Originally published two years before America's bicentennial, this substantially illustrated biography (an abridged version of the late author's National Book Award-winning four-volume account of George Washington's life) tracks the multitalented man from his humble beginnings as a surveyor through his role as a founding father to the newly created presidency, and beyond. Flexner deftly "rescue[s]" Washington from the grip of mythologies that showed him as merely a truth-telling tree-cutter or "a procession of mirrors reflecting" people's political attitudes, and situates him as "a fallible human being made of flesh and blood and spirit." Flexner shows him to be a man both burdened and blessed by his "innate inability to separate theory from practice," a condition of his character that coaxed him to posthumously free all his slaves. With casual readers in mind, the author addresses crucial historical events, revolutionary personalities, key battles, and pressing political issues (while elucidating their contemporary contexts) in consistently crisp and lively language. Featuring numerous portraits, maps, facsimiles, and transcripts (e.g., of Washington's farewell address), this gorgeous volume solidifies "the multitude of living ghosts" that make up Washington in the popular mind. Illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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