I never cease to be amazed at how historians are able to uncover new slants on lives that have taken many passes under the critical microscope. And yet here’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Edward Larson with a fascinating examination of a largely underplayed chapter of Washington’s life—when he reluctantly came of retirement after the Revolutionary War to lead the Constitutional Convention. At the time, the States had not yet established a central government and they were deeply suspicious of one after living under the British monarchy. In part to allay those fears and to ratify the Constitution, General Washington agreed to serve as first president of a country that would go on to elect its presidents and not itself slip back into monarchy.
We expect this to be reviewed widely, with NYTBR already on board. In addition there will be an extensive radio and TV campaign that should help position this as a big holiday gift choice for history buffs.
Illuminating. … Profound, even affectionate, scholarship infuses every graceful sentence.”
— Kirkus (starred review)
“After eight years of leading the fledgling colonies in their war for independence, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief in order to return to private life. Yet the difficulties of establishing a new nation drew Washington back, and historian Larson…vividly recounts those events that led to Washington’s election as the first president of the United States….[He] brings to life the founders’ daily struggles to draw up a document that would preserve individual liberty while ensuring the new government’s supreme power and sovereignty….Larson’s compulsively readable history shines new light on a little-discussed period of Washington’s life, illustrating his role as the indispensable American.”
— Publishers Weekly
The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789 (9780062248671) by Edward Larson. $29.99 hardcover. 10/7/14 on sale.