Joseph Ellis follows Washington from his military career to his presidency, illuminating the difficulties the first executive faced as he worked to keep the emerging country united in the face of adversarial factions. He details aspects of Washington's private life - his marriage and subsequent entrance into the upper echelons of Virginia's ...
Joseph Ellis follows Washington from his military career to his presidency, illuminating the difficulties the first executive faced as he worked to keep the emerging country united in the face of adversarial factions. He details aspects of Washington's private life - his marriage and subsequent entrance into the upper echelons of Virginia's plantation society, his large debts, his attitude towards slavery, his relationship with his profligate stepson - that shaped the public figure. Throughout, Ellis reveals to us Washington in the context of 18th-century America, allowing us to comprehend the magnitude of his accomplishments and the character of his heart and mind as they might have been perceived in his own time. Brilliantly conceived, His Excellency is a revelatory biography, likely to be one of the seminal American history books of the decade.
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Detailed beyond belief & well put together. Everything about the great man you could want to know are within the pages. A great read for any one interested in learning the truth about Mr. Washington. He never had wooden teeth & was an incredibly amazing liar.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-08-02 In this follow-up to his bestselling Founding Brothers, Ellis offers a magisterial account of the life and times of George Washington, celebrating the heroic image of the president whom peers like Jefferson and Madison recognized as "their unquestioned superior" while acknowledging his all-too-human qualities. Ellis recreates the cultural and political context into which Washington strode to provide leadership to the incipient American republic. But more importantly, the letters and other documents Ellis draws on bring the aloof legend alive as a young soldier who sought to rise through the ranks of the British army during the French and Indian War, convinced he knew the wilderness terrain better than his commanding officers; as a Virginia plantation owner (thanks to his marriage) who watched over his accounts with a ruthless eye; as the commander of an outmatched rebel army who, after losing many of his major battles, still managed to catch the British in an indefensible position. Following Washington from the battlefield to the presidency, Ellis elegantly points out how he steered a group of bickering states toward national unity; Ellis also elaborates on Washington's complex stances on issues like slavery and expansion into Native American territory. The Washington who emerges from these pages is similar to the one portrayed in a biographical study by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn published earlier this year, but Ellis's richer version leaves readers with a deeper sense of the man's humanity. 16 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Nov. 1) Forecast: The 500,000 first printing seems steep but could be justified by Ellis's record and the current popularity of the Founders. First serial to American Heritage magazine. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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