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Descripción de editorial
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.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Appearing on the bicentennial of Washington's death, Martin's (Annapolis) brisk, engaging and far from worshipful portrayal of the childless father of this country is told from multiple points of view by those who knew him. The first president, war hero and political icon has hardly died when Hesperus Draper, an old nemesis of Washington's and the publisher of a political scandal sheet called Alexandria Gazette, is tipped off that Washington was not all that he appeared to be. Martha is seen burning his letters shortly after his death in an apparent attempt to hide some dark secret. Draper asks his nephew, Christopher, who narrates introductory passages in the first person, to investigate, taking him and the reader on a far-reaching trip through Washington's past. The characters who record their impressions of the late founding father range from Martha, his wife, to Jacob, his slave; his physician, Dr. James Craike; a loyal aide de camp; and such other historical figures as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. Overall, the narratives are lively, rendered in the colloquialisms of the era (though the black dialect may be off-putting to some readers). Washington emerges as less than perfect, a man whose private peccadilloes and initial setbacks in pursuing a career became secondary to his emerging talents as a leader and statesman. According to the narrative, he had an affair with another man's wife before marrying Martha. He was not in fact cut out for politics and would have preferred being a wealthy landowner. Eschewing opportunities to render his subject's life in a sensational manner, Martin exercises considerable restraint in sticking closely to the historical details and social constructs of the time. Yet he enlivens the novel with ribald humor and even some graphic sex scenes, meanwhile humanizing Washington and delivering an entertaining slice of history. FYI: Martin wrote the PBS documentary George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King.