His Excellency

His Excellency

George Washington

eBook - 2004
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Drawing from the newly catalogued Washington papers at the University of Virginia, the author paints a full portrait of Washington's life and career in the context of eighteenth-century America, richly detailing his private life and illustrating the ways in which it influenced his public persona. When Washington died in 1799, Ellis tells us, he was eulogized as "first in the hearts of his countrymen." Since then, however, his image has been chiseled onto Mount Rushmore and printed on the dollar bill. He is on our landscape and in our wallets but not, Ellis argues, in our hearts. Ellis strips away the ivy and legend that have grown up over the Washington statue and recovers the flesh-and-blood man in all his passionate and fully human prowess. In the pantheon of our republic's founders, there were many outstanding individuals. And yet each of them, Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, acknowledged Washington to be his superior, the only indispensable figure, the one and only: "His Excellency." Both physically and politically, Washington towered over his peers for reasons this book elucidates. His Excellency is a full, glorious, and multifaceted portrait of the man behind our country's genesis.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
ISBN: 9781400043767
Branch Call Number: eBook OverDrive
Characteristics: 1 downloadable ebook.


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Oct 18, 2017

Written in smooth, engaging styles, this book will sweep you into the life and character of our first president and give you a new lens to view him through.

Mar 12, 2016

Joseph J. Ellis’ biography on George Washington weighs in at around 275 pages, which is a change from recent (literally) weighty tomes on the founding fathers. Ellis keeps the work shorter by summarizing surrounding historical details, going into detail when necessary. The conversational style masks, at times, an impressive amount of scholarship that is revealed in the notes.

Ellis embraces a “warts and all” approach, but takes pains to look at how Washington’s actions fit into an overall framework of his make-up. Pointing out someone’s flaws doesn’t lessen monumental achievements. By putting the flaws into an overall context, it can help understand the person better…especially when it comes to someone like Washington and the mythology that surrounds him.


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