He became the nation's first hero. …But before that, George Washington was just a man. And in his youth, he was a man on the make. He wanted to serve the king, so he donned a red coat and fought the French. He loved another man's wife but yearned for status, so he married a rich widow. He dreamed of wealth, so he accumulated land and slaves. He accumulated enemies, too…
In Citizen Washington, one of those enemies--a newspaper publisher named Hesperus Draper--learns that Martha Washington has burned her husband's letters at his death. So Draper sets his nephew on a quest to find the truth about the letters and about the man himself. The younger Draper meets a dozen people, from Mount Vernon slaves and Iroquois Indians to Jefferson and Adams and the other giants of the era, and they tell their own stories as they tell Washington's: from his callow youth, through the harrowing battles of the Revolution, to the first American presidency.
What emerges is a remarkable, multi-faceted portrait of a society reeling toward rebellion, a nation rushing to be born, and a man rising to greatness.
- Tom Doherty Associates, June 2011
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