His Excellency: George Washington ePUB ¸ His

His Excellency: George Washington ePUB ¸ His To this landmark biography of our first president, Joseph J Ellis brings the exacting scholarship, shrewd analysis, and lyric prose that have made him one of the premier historians of the Revolutionary era Training his lens on a figure who sometimes seems as remote as his effigy on Mount Rush, Ellis assesses George Washington as a military and political leader and a man whose statue like solidity concealed volcanic energies and emotionsHere is the impetuous young officer whose miraculous survival in combat half convinced him that he could not be killed Here is the free spending landowner whose debts to English merchants instilled him with a prickly resentment of imperial power We see the general who lost battles than he won and the reluctant president who tried to float above the partisan feuding of his cabinet His Excellency is a magnificent work, indispensable to an understanding not only of its subject but also of the nation he brought into being He was that rarest of men a supremely realistic visionary A brilliant politician with a moral compass and the ability to imagine the judgements of posterity Like Lincoln, like Grant and the three are companions on an old Cuban cigar box lid, Los Inmortales To me Washington seems a heroic template for Lincoln and Grant, showing how one disciplines a truly monumental personal ego and a massive personal agenda and, in Grant s case, a primal ease in violence to larger national in He was that rarest of men a supremely realistic visionary A brilliant politician with a moral compass and the ability to imagine the judgements of posterity Like Lincoln, like Grant and the three are companions on an old Cuban cigar box lid, Los Inmortales To me Washington seems a heroic template for Lincoln and Grant, showing how one disciplines a truly monumental personal ego and a massive personal agenda and, in Grant s case, a primal ease in violence to larger national interests, to themes of the common good All three saw their opportunity in failing systems and were quick to pounce they used their opportunity to establish and restore the United States none established dynasties Washington very purposefully so, sterile, he minced his estate among many heirs and freed his slaves Washington s powers of judgement derived in part from the fact that his mind was uncluttered with sophisticated intellectual preconceptions cue, for contrast, Jefferson and his fatuous self deception, his agile intellectual masturbation the self Washington made was less protean andprimal because his education waselemental, the education of an adventurer and soldier Without ever reading Thucydides, Hobbes, or Calvin, he had concluded that men and nations were driven by interests rather than ideals, and that surrendering control to another was invariably harmful, often fatal This was the first of two books I m currently reading about George Washington As part of my 2 year quest to read the top two biographies of each of our 43 U.S Presidents, I began with this and Ron Chernow s behemoth Washington A Life, a farcomprehensive treatment.Initially I preferred Chernow s book, but as I started to compare the two for interpretation, Ellis s gorgeous narrative writing quickly won me over While no where near the depth of Chernow s tome, Ellis covers all the main This was the first of two books I m currently reading about George Washington As part of my 2 year quest to read the top two biographies of each of our 43 U.S Presidents, I began with this and Ron Chernow s behemoth Washington A Life, a farcomprehensive treatment.Initially I preferred Chernow s book, but as I started to compare the two for interpretation, Ellis s gorgeous narrative writing quickly won me over While no where near the depth of Chernow s tome, Ellis covers all the main themes of Washington s life from youth, to bumbling but ambitious officer in the French and Indians wars, to much maligned, beleaguered Revolutionary war hero, to his service as President and truly father of his new nation for the first two terms of the new federal government whose survival was by no means guaranteed.It s impossible to not be in awe of Washington, who, unlike many great men throughout history, failed to control ambition and its interaction with the achievement of great power He truly was a man of disciplined self control who understood throughout his life that his place in history would be solely judged by how he responded to guiding the post British new nation It is quite obvious that had Washington chosen to serve as an enlightened King of which many understood there was no such thing , he could have with widespread support The new nation had no tradition of democracy and would have gladly welcomed their war hero our first true national celebrity as a welcomed benign sovereign chastened by a revolutionary re definition of the relationship of power between ruler and ruled.Yet Washington understood the historic moment and his place in it and seized it for the better, much to our nation s historic benefit He also understood the blot of human bondage and was determined to free his slaves upon his death, much to the chagrin of his family and fellow Virginia planters In fact, even the liberty obsessed Jefferson failed to match Washington s intellectual acknowledgement of the fundamental contradiction of slavery and democracy A highly pleasurable read and the perfect introduction to the life and times of George Washington Highly recommend it After thoroughly enjoying Dallek s 2017 biography about FDR, I wanted to go back and read about the other two of the Big Three, Washington and Lincoln Reading here and there on the web, I understood that Joseph Ellis His Excellency George Washington following his excellent Pulitzer winning Founding Brothers was considered among the best in class I plan to read Chernow s biography of Washington soon as well.In His Excellency, Ellis paints the great general and first president as an impo After thoroughly enjoying Dallek s 2017 biography about FDR, I wanted to go back and read about the other two of the Big Three, Washington and Lincoln Reading here and there on the web, I understood that Joseph Ellis His Excellency George Washington following his excellent Pulitzer winning Founding Brothers was considered among the best in class I plan to read Chernow s biography of Washington soon as well.In His Excellency, Ellis paints the great general and first president as an imposing physical presence whose enduring legacy reaches Demi god status but who nonetheless had a checkered record He participated in an early massacre of Indians during the French Indian War in the 1750s, was a southern plantation owner and therefore owned slaves , and actually lostbattles in the Revolutionary War than he won However, he had a level of persistence and conviction that was nearly superhuman which helped him rise above internecine politics and keep the larger picture in mind the founding of a new nation independent from English colonialism The book does a great job of bringing out the known facts about GW and explaining how the man became the legend I guess the thing I appreciated the most was how easy it would have been for Washington to pull a Napolean like move and become an emperor following his victory at Yorktown It would have been that easy and he would hardly have been blamed His nemesis during the war, King George III actually said that he would be the greatest of men if he stepped away after the victory at Yorktown and this is precisely what he did The book, of course, continues to draw the picture of the rest of his life his semi retirement, his being coaxed into being President, his being coaxed into a second term, his decision once again, in the greatest of men mode to step down after the second term, and the end of his life He was a truly remarkable person despite having left little correspondence for history to judge him his wife Martha burned all of their letters to each other immediately after his death, unfortunately In short, His Excellency is highly readable and a great way to discover this icon of American history in all his incredible humanity Foron the crossing of the Delaware River and the Trenton and Princeton battles which were turning points in the War of Independence, see Fischer s excellent Washington s Crossing In His Excellency, Joseph Ellis has written a very readable and concise synopsis on the life of George Washington Thoughrecognizable for his works Founding Brothers and American Sphinx about Thomas Jefferson , Ellis successfully undertakes the task of illuminating probably the most important figure in American history Probably the most apparent burden struck by Ellis, and a theme readily illusive throughout his book, is the author s effort to avoid what he terms a certain hyperbo In His Excellency, Joseph Ellis has written a very readable and concise synopsis on the life of George Washington Thoughrecognizable for his works Founding Brothers and American Sphinx about Thomas Jefferson , Ellis successfully undertakes the task of illuminating probably the most important figure in American history Probably the most apparent burden struck by Ellis, and a theme readily illusive throughout his book, is the author s effort to avoid what he terms a certain hyperbolic syndrome that is usually associated with any critical discussion of George Washington In his introduction, Ellis rhetorically asks how we can accurately map the terrain of Washington s life without imposing the impossible expectations Ellis appropriately warns that when examining Washington, if we find ourselves being merely celebratory, or its judgmental twin, dismissive, we should rub our eyes and look again Ellis thereby begins with the premise that, as a biographer, anyone ought to begin their quest looking for a man rather than a statute, and any statutes that are encountered should be quickly knocked off their pedestals Ellis effectively wipes the Washington slate clean he begins tabla rasa and ultimately does a great job at painting a portrait of Washington that, not coincidentally, is akin to other statutesque conclusions previosuly concluded by others My one complaint with the book involves the author s style Often times, Ellis will draw conclusions about Washington s character and or ideology which are based on statements to the effect of all of the evidence points to thus In coming across these repeated affirmations, I found myself wanting to know the details wanting for Ellis to specifically delineate the evidence Overall though, the author does a great job of inserting Washington s own words and the words of his peers and the book is adequately footnoted On a positive note, Ellis, as with every good biography, deviates from the comfortable, all too common, historical narrative chronology i.e., X happened, then Y happened, and after that Z happened Instead, at appropriate times, Ellis grasps certain themes throughout the book and interesting weaves them into the narrative coming back to them repeatedly For example and probably most importantly , one prominent topic throughout the book involved Washington s philosophy regarding slavery At certain points in the book, Ellis illuminates Washington s then current view on the topic, orappropriately Washington s wrestle with and evolving view on the institution Though anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Washington knows that he ulitmately emancipated his slaves upon Martha s death via his will, Ellis does an outstanding job in ellucidating the nuances of Washington s ever evolving philosophy His Excellency is a great starting point for any study of the life of George Washington Again Joseph Ellis has demonstrated his ability to bring a larger than life historical figures to a wide audience I would highly recommend this book

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *