Inventing George Washington America's Founder, in Myth and Memory

ISBN-10: 0061662585

ISBN-13: 9780061662584

Edition: 2011

Authors: Edward G. Lengel

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Description:

An entertaining and erudite history that offers a fresh look at America's first founding father, the creation of his legend, and what it means for our nation and ourselves George Washington's death on December 14, 1799, dealt a dreadful blow to public morale. For three decades, Americans had depended on his leadership to guide them through every trial. At the cusp of a new century, the fledgling nation, caught in another war (this time with its former ally France), desperately needed to believe that Washington was-and would continue to be-there for them. Thus began the extraordinary immortalization of this towering historical figure. In Inventing George Washington, historian Edward G. Lengel shows how the late president and war hero continued to serve his nation on two distinct levels. The public Washington evolved into an eternal symbol as Father of His Country, while the private man remained at the periphery of the national vision-always just out of reach-for successive generations yearning to know him as never before. Both images, public and private, were vital to perceptions Americans had of their nation and themselves. Yet over time, as Lengel shows, the contrasting and simultaneous urges to deify Washington and to understand him as a man have produced tensions that have played out in every generation. As some exalted him, others sought to bring him down to earth, creating a series of competing mythologies that depicted Washington as every sort of human being imaginable. Inventing George Washington explores these representations, shedding new light on this national emblem, our nation itself, and who we are.
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Book details

List price: $25.99
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 1/18/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Preface
Washington Lives, Dies, and Is Reborn
Washington Turns a Profit
Washington's Loves
Washington's Visions
Washington Slept Here
Washington Debunked
The Indispensable Man
The Living Myth
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Notes
Index
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