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Travels with George : in search of Washington and his legacy

by Philbrick, Nathaniel (Author)

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"Does George Washington still matter? The bestselling author argues for his unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new President through the former colonies, now an unsure nation. A new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection int... Full description

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Summary: "Does George Washington still matter? The bestselling author argues for his unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new President through the former colonies, now an unsure nation. A new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into one narrative. When George Washington became president in 1798, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about their lives and their feelings about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing--Americans. Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called "the infant woody country"--and to see for himself what it had become in the 230 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his travel companions (wife and puppy), Philbrick follows the tour of America that Washington went on after becoming President--an almost 2,000-mile journey from Mount Vernon to the new capital in New York, a tour of New England, a venture out across Long Island, and into the hinterlands of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The narrative moves smoothly back and forth from the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries, so we see the country through Washington's eyes as well as Philbrick's. Written at a moment when America's foundational ideals--or claims to them--are under scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with George Washington's legacy as a man of the people, a mythical figure of the early republic, a reluctant President, and a plantation owner who held people in slavery. At historic houses and landmarks, Philbrick reports on the reinterpretations at work, as well as meeting reenactors and other keepers of the flame. He paints a picture of 18th century America as divided and fraught as it is today, and he comes to understand how Washington entranced, compelled, enticed, and stood up to the many different kinds of citizens he met on this journey--and how through belief, vision, and sheer will he convinced them that they were now all Americans, creating a sense of national solidarity that had never existed before"--
Physical Description: xviii, 374 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 323-358) and index.
ISBN: 9780525562177
0525562176
Author Notes: Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston Massachusetts on June 11, 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University and a master's degree in American literature from Duke University. In 1978, he was Brown University's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor and he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island. After graduate school, he worked for four years at Sailing World magazine. Afterward, he worked as a freelancer for a number of years and wrote/edited several sailing books including Yachting: A Parody.

After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. In 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. A motion picture of the book was released in December 2015. His other books include Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition; Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War; The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn; Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution; Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, and In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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