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Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader (Paperback)

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    Focusing on Washington’s early years, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Robert Middlekauff penetrates his mystique, revealing his all-too-human fears, values, and passions. Rich in psychological detail regarding Washington’s temperament, idiosyncrasies, and experiences, this book shows a self-conscious Washington who grew in confidence and experience as a young soldier, businessman, and Virginia gentleman, and who was transformed into a patriot by the revolutionary ferment of the 1760s and ’70s. Middlekauff makes clear that Washington was at the heart of not just the revolution’s course and outcome but also the success of the nation it produced. 
    This vivid, insightful new account of the formative years that shaped a callow George Washington into an extraordinary leader is an indispensable book for truly understanding one of America’s great figures.

About the Author


ROBERT MIDDLEKAUFF is Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been the director of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (1983–1988); and Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. His books include The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596–1728, which won the Bancroft Prize; The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies.

Praise For…


Praise for Robert Middlekauff’s Washington’s Revolution:

“Middlekauff has written about Washington’s war rather as Washington himself might have, had he been a historian: carefully, thoroughly, with an eye for detail and a grasp, at all times, of the important points.” —Richard Brookhiser, The New York Times Book Review

“Middlekauff writes a cogent character study of an icon, without either polishing or puncturing Washington's image. He clearly admires his subject, but recognizes Washington's limits, especially in the matter of slavery.” —Michael D. Schaffer, Philadelphia Inquirer

It is in the nuances, the telling details and the subtle shadings where Mr. Middlekauff excels. . . . Middlekauff paints anew the familiar scenes of Washington’s war . . . a valuable one-volume account of Washington’s ascendancy.” —Jack Schwartz, The Wall Street Journal

“A useful and readable new portrait of Washington at war . . . Anyone who enters this territory is required to supply an original insight, and Middlekauff, known for his magisterial volume on the Revolution and the early national period for the Oxford History of the United States, does so, offering an important one. Middlekauff advances the idea that Washington was not only the winner of the American Revolution, but also the essence of the Revolution . . . The battles Washington fought defined not only his life but also our own . . . [Middlekauff’s] triumph is to portray Washington as a man of parts, as more than a cardboard cutout hero or a sterile vessel of virtues.” —David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe

“[An] excellent new study of Washington’s leadership . . . Expertly traces the arc of Washington’s career . . . A deeply researched and enlightening look at three transformative decades in the life of an indispensable American . . . At the heart of the book is an engaging narrative of the Revolutionary War as seen from Washington’s saddle and writing desk . . . Middlekauff’s book is a thorough, persuasive explanation of why Americans, from the era of the Revolution to the early republic, gloried in having Washington as their leader.” —Michael F. Bishop, National Review''

“Robert Middlekauff writes not just as a biographer, but also as both a political and an intellectual historian . . . a fine narrative.” —The Daily Beast

“Historian Robert Middlekauff rejects the traditional narrative in his important new work on Washington’s military leadership during the Revolutionary War . . . This fine work suggest that independence was not a certitude but an astonishing achievement that owed much to a man who, like his country, came to maturity in war.” —Edward G. Lengel, Military History Quarterly

“Robert Middlekauff introduces the real Washington: an ordinary man guided toward greatness by the extraordinary demands of his time. Equal parts biography and history, Washington’s Revolution is a rare look at the Washington we never knew, from his challenging childhood to the final days of the Revolutionary War.” —Matt Staggs, Biographile

“In his newest book, Robert Middlekauff, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, traces George Washington’s rise from an ordinary “Virginia provincial” with a dangerous temper to a controlled military and political leader, possessed with great strategic insight . . . Middlekauff makes a point to reveal the self-conscious, fiery, and passionate man behind the composed façade.” —New Criterion Critic’s Notebook 

“This is not just another account of George Washington's leadership in the Revolutionary War; it is special. It is perceptive, balanced, judicious, and, most important, clearly and succinctly written. A marvelous achievement.”  —Gordon. S. Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution

“Of the many volumes on Washington, this one wrestles most thoughtfully with the complexities of his military leadership, from his youthful service in the Virginia militia to his command of the Continental Army. Middlekauff moves beyond the platitudes. His Washington is a commander who has to be educated, who has shortcomings as well as virtues. He had to master a staggering array of problems but also to project a confidence that everyone came to respect, even when adverse circumstances were swirling through ‘the cause.’ Washington's Revolution shows why it really was his cause to win or lose, even when he insisted on serving as a republican commander.” —Jack Rakove, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Original Meanings

“Middlekauff’s many fans as well as readers who have not previously encountered this famous historian will alike relish his familiar narrative skill and the deep understanding of Washington here displayed.” —Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

“Middlekauff writes a cogent character study of an icon, without either polishing or puncturing Washington's image. He clearly admires his subject, but recognizes Washington's limits, especially in the matter of slavery.” —Michael D. Schaffer, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Robert Middlekauff’s Washington’s Revolution  is a brilliantly concise, insightful, and emotionally riveting account of two vitally important stories in the history of America: the remarkable role of General George Washington in determining the strategy and outcome of the Revolutionary War and the effect of that often-traumatic military experience in shaping the mind and soul of the ‘father of his country.’ As we read Middlekauff’s fascinating story of the Revolutionary War, we gain new understanding of the transformation of Washington from a provincial Virginian to an advocate of the common cause of the American nation. Perhaps even more important, we gain knowledge of the role of America’s number one military hero in establishing the principle of civilian control over the military. This book is both immensely enlightening and pure pleasure.” —Richard Beeman, author of Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution

“Especially insightful . . . In assessing Washington's generalship, Middlekauff furnishes ample evidence . . . [A] fine biography.” —Alan Cate, Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
“Middlekauff, an acclaimed historian of early America, shows how, from the 1760s to 1783, Washington went from being a “Virginia provincial” to a national leader . . . [This] clearly written study supports the view of Washington as a military leader who was as adept at working with ordinary soldiers as he was with querulous political leaders, revealing how much of Washington the legend was reflected in the real man.” —Publishers Weekly


Product Details
ISBN: 9781101872390
ISBN-10: 110187239X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Pages: 400
Language: English