The Grand Idea
The Grand Idea
George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West
Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743263009, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2005
Achenbach captures a Washington rarely seen: rugged frontiersman, real estate speculator, shrewd businessman. Even after his death, Washington's grand ambition inspired heroic engineering feats, including an audacious attempt to build a canal across the mountains to the Ohio River. But the country needed more than commercial arteries to hold together, and in the Civil War, the general's beloved river became a battlefield between North and South.
Like such classics as "Undaunted Courage" and "Founding Brothers, " Achenbach's riveting portrait of a great man and his grand plan captures the imagination of the new country, the passions of an ambitious people, and the seemingly endless beauty of the American landscape.
"Truly riveting....Achenbach allows the reader to understand the real Washington in so many new ways he literally grows in stature."
-- Douglas Brinkley, The Boston Globe
"A magnificent display of impeccable scholarship blended with incomparable storytelling."
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"This is history as storytelling, driven by personalities and ideas."
-- USA Today
"Reveals a dimension of the man not often seen -- that of Washington as a dreamer....He too had dreams, and happily for readers, Achenbach rediscovers them."
-- The Washington Monthly