In Realistic Visionary the renowned George Washington scholar Peter Henriques seeks to humanize the first president without diminishing him. Washington makes mistakes, is sensitive to criticism, and is slow to accept blame, but he is also the greatest man of his age, a relentless pragmatist who could nonetheless envision what a free and united America could be for millions unborn. Rather than revisting Washington's life in its entirety, Henriques constructs a biographical portrait by addressing the vital themes and events through which Washington the man is revealed. He engages recent biographies - including many of the bestsellers to come from the Founding Fathers publishing boom - and draws on his own unparalleled knowledge of Washington's numerous writings (he was our most prolific president, authoring several thousand letters and keeping a lifelong diary). Washington's wife, Martha Custis Washington, emerges as his most important supporter in his great successes, but Henriques also explores Washington's feelings for Sally Cary Fairfax, who appears to have always held a special place in his affections. friendship with Thomas Jefferson, which to the regret of both men deteriorated, and his increasingly productive relationship with Alexander Hamilton. Henriques tackles the complex role slavery played in Washington's life - he freed his slaves in his will - and the continuing controversy surrounding his religious beliefs, which many have misinterpreted in efforts to claim Washington as one of their own. The book closes with a moving re-creation of Washington's final days and finds inspiration in how he faced his own illness and death. What emerge most clearly in Realistic Visionary are Washington's successful struggle to channel his monumental personal ambition into public service and his unrivaled ability to turn his ambitious visions for the fledgling nation into reality.
Used. Good condition. Some wear and tear on the side of the book.