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“Mr. President”: George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office (Da Capo), by Harlow Giles Unger

Jan. 22, 2014
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The father of our country, that solemn face on the dollar bill, is unknown to most Americans beyond a few grade school fables and that memorable image of crossing the Delaware. Harlow Giles Unger’s “Mr. President” is a readable essay on Washington’s character and temperament, focused on how, after winning the war against Britain, he was determined not to lose the peace. A decisive man comfortable giving orders (but wary of despotism), Washington engineered a bloodless coup, steering the composition of our current constitution through secret meetings and many compromises. Elected unopposed as the first president, Washington interpreted the constitution broadly, defining the scope of his office and bequeathing great power to his successors.

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