John Ferling: The Ascent of George Washington
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Bestselling historian John Ferling inaugurates the Library's Presidential Series with a talk based on his newest book, The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon.
America's first president has long been considered a stoic hero, holding himself above the rough-and-tumble politics of his day. In The Ascent of George Washington, Ferling peers behind that image, carefully burnished by Washington himself, to show us a leader who was not only not above politics, but a canny infighter, a master of persuasion, manipulation, and deniability.
Ferling argues that not only was Washington one of America's most adroit politicians - the proof of his genius is that he is no longer thought of as a politician at all.
John Ferling is a professor emeritus of history at the State University of West Georgia. A leading authority on American Revolutionary history, he is the author of seven books, including Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, The First of Men: A Life of George Washington, and the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic. His most recent work, Almost a Miracle, was a history bestseller.