George Washington (Hardcover)
The American Presidents Series: The 1st President, 1789-1797
Times Books, 9780805069365, 208pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2004
A premier leadership scholar and an eighteenth-century expert define the special contributions and qualifications of our first president
Revolutionary hero, founding president, and first citizen of the young republic, George Washington was the most illustrious public man of his time, a man whose image today is the result of the careful grooming of his public persona to include the themes of character, self-sacrifice, and destiny.
As Washington sought to interpret the Constitution's assignment of powers to the executive branch and to establish precedent for future leaders, he relied on his key advisers and looked to form consensus as the guiding principle of government. His is a legacy of a successful experiment in collective leadership, great initiatives in establishing a strong executive branch, and the formulation of innovative and lasting economic and foreign policies. James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn also trace the arc of Washington's increasing dissatisfaction with public life and the seeds of dissent and political parties that, ironically, grew from his insistence on consensus. In this compelling and balanced biography, Burns and Dunn give us a rich portrait of the man behind the carefully crafted mythology.
About the Author
Susan Dunn is a professor of literature at Williams College and is the author of many books, including The Three Roosevelts (with James MacGregor Burns). She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., (1917-2007) was the preeminent political historian of our time. For more than half a century, he was a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He won two Pulitzer prizes for The Age of Jackson (1946) and A Thousand Days (1966), and in 1988 received the National Humanities Medal. He published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.