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

By Edward G. Lengel

“Lengel’s Washington is the archetypal American soldier—an beginner citizen in palms who struggles to benefit an strange and important craft at the job....Outstanding.” —Publishers Weekly (starred evaluate) on The excellent Struggle

Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Papers venture  Edward G. Lengel offers an interesting and erudite heritage of America's Founding Father. In Inventing George Washington, an enthralling counterpart to Lengel’s General George Washington: an army Life, the historian appears at Washington’s lifestyles and writings, on the production of his mythos, and at what his legacy skill for our country and ourselves.

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In like demeanour, the Washington icon, to stay shiny, mustn't ever repeat an identical, drained, previous deeds new release after new release. as an alternative, he needs to stride hopefully onward, home improvement himself consistently within the gentle of transferring stipulations, hopes, and desires. heritage is usually at risk of starting to be stale via repetition. not anyone desires to pay attention the usual story repeated all over again. Discoveries—and rediscoveries—are the primary stock-in-trade of historians and different storytellers, and rightly so. regrettably, the temptation to veer from the immediately and slim within the look for historic fact is practically overwhelming, and nowhere extra so than within the look for the reality approximately George Washington. James Thomas Flexner used to be incorrect to indicate that not anything extra of worth may very well be exposed in regards to the nice man’s existence after the comprehensively researched biographies through himself and Douglas Southall Freeman. Even the Papers of George Washington documentary modifying venture, that is slated for “completion” by way of approximately 2025, can by no means declare to have released each scrap of written proof relating the Founder. finally, although, the resources of information are finite, and it's not unreasonable to count on that at some point soon we are going to have discovered almost all that we're ever prone to find out about the lifetime of George Washington. What then? If there's fact within the outdated cliché that not anything is extra consistent than the necessity for swap, then it truly is secure to imagine that even the invention of the final current Washington letter won't carry the storytelling to an end—providing, that's, that we don't banish the Founder from our reminiscence altogether. As society and conditions switch and new demanding situations come up, american citizens will proceed to hunt enlightenment and idea from Washington’s instance to the state. unavoidably, too, we are going to see issues that have been by no means quite there, from risk free purple elephants to dangerously deceptive will-o’-the-wisps. even though a lot such phantasms vague our imaginative and prescient, we must always by no means allow them to divert us from the search for fact. there's, in spite of everything, pleasure within the pursuit. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS whilst I arrived on the college of Virginia’s Papers of George Washington undertaking in 1996, professor and editor in leader invoice Abbot taught me the exchange of documentary modifying and set me at the highway to specialist luck. He additionally inculcated in me a regard and recognize for George Washington, and set an instance of humanistic scholarship that i'm going to always remember. the belief for this publication arose partially from tales that he used to inform in regards to the wild and loopy characters he encountered in the course of his a long time on the undertaking. All George Washington students are in his debt. i'd additionally wish to thank the editors of the Papers of George Washington undertaking for his or her professionalism, encouragement, and recommendation, particularly editor in leader Emeritus Ted Crackel; affiliate editor invoice Ferraro; affiliate editor David Hoth; assistant editor Ben Huggins; assistant editor Carol Ebel; assistant editor Jennifer Stertzer; and construction editor Tom Dulan.

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