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Washington's Revolution : The Making of America's First Leader
by Robert Middlekauff


Overview -

A vivid, insightful, essential new account of the formative years that shaped a callow George Washington into an extraordinary leader, from the Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Robert Middlekauff.
George Washington was famously unknowable, a man of deep passions hidden behind a facade of rigid self-control.  Read more...


 
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More About Washington's Revolution by Robert Middlekauff
 
 
 
Overview

A vivid, insightful, essential new account of the formative years that shaped a callow George Washington into an extraordinary leader, from the Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Robert Middlekauff.
George Washington was famously unknowable, a man of deep passions hidden behind a facade of rigid self-control. Yet before he was a great general and president, Washington was a young man prone to peevishness and a volcanic temper. His greatness as a leader evolved over time, the product of experience and maturity but also a willed effort to restrain his wilder impulses.
Focusing on Washington s early years, Robert Middlekauff penetrates his mystique, revealing his all-too-human fears, values, and passions. Rich in psychological detail regarding Washington s temperament, idiosyncrasies, and experiences, this book shows a self-conscious Washington who grew in confidence and experience as a young soldier, businessman, and Virginia gentleman, and who was transformed into a patriot by the revolutionary ferment of the 1760s and 70s. Taking command of an army in constant dire need of adequate food, weapons, and, at times, even clothing and shoes Washington displayed incredible persistence and resourcefulness, growing into a leader who both understood and defined the crucial role of the army in the formation of a new American society.
Middlekauff makes clear that Washington was at the heart of not just the revolution s course and outcome but also the success of the nation it produced. This is an indispensable book for truly understanding one of America s great figures.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781101874233
  • ISBN-10: 1101874236
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
  • Publish Date: February 2015
  • Page Count: 358
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.75 x 9.75 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.68 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - Revolutionary War
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Presidents & Heads of State
Books > History > United States - Colonial Period

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Middlekauff (Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies), an acclaimed historian of early America, shows how, from the 1760s to 1783, Washington went from being a “Virginia provincial” to a national leader, one who “held together the political structures that constituted the United States” by integrating state militias. He devotes about one quarter of his book to the French and Indian War, and three quarters to the Revolutionary War. During the latter, Washington complained repeatedly to the Continental Congress of a shortage of supplies and lost more battles than he won. But he kept the colonies in the war through daring triumphs at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, responded with equanimity to criticism when campaigns went badly, and showed great “strategic sense” in choosing to fight a war of attrition. Middlekauff praises Washington’s commitment to civilian supremacy in directing military policy and demonstrates how Washington came to be seen as “a creature apart... a chosen instrument of providence.” Though he glosses over some noteworthy events, Middlekauff’s clearly written study supports the view of Washington as a military leader who was as adept at working with ordinary soldiers as he was with querulous political leaders, revealing how much of Washington the legend was reflected in the real man. (Feb.)

 
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