Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President

David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. Random, $35 (560p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6927-9
In contrast to most other biographies of George Washington, the Heidlers (Henry Clay), both professors of history, draw a rich portrait of the man while addressing the importance of his cabinet, which he trusted to advise him as he took on a position he had initially refused. The Heidlers provide in-depth sketches of politicians and soldiers such as Secretary of War Henry Knox, who established a plan to pacify the Native Americans on the frontiers but eventually fell out with Washington in 1798. John Adams, vice president under Washington, was often treated with cold civility by senators and differed greatly from Washington; he succeeded in politics because of his honesty and his deep knowledge of political maneuvering. The work illuminates Washington’s canny wisdom as he navigates difficulties with Alexander Hamilton, his secretary of treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, his secretary of state. Benedict Arnold eventually betrayed Washington’s considerable trust, but around the same time Marquis de Lafayette came to occupy a significant place in Washington’s heart, displacing to some extent the memory of Arnold’s treachery. The Heidlers’ group biography brings to life not only Washington and his circle but also the struggles of the early American republic. Agent: Geri Thoma, Writers House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/16/2015
Release date: 03/17/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-62231-628-1
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-8129-8159-9
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