When he left office in 1797, George Washington planned to stay busy with “rural amusements.” But it was not to be. He was in debt. The farm was a money pit. He needed to rid himself of his many slaves, but could not because they belonged to the estate of Martha’s first husband. He found himself in the midst of quarrels between the Federalists and Republicans. Then, when the relationship with France became ugly, John Adams decided the country needed an army and it needed Washington as commander in chief. So much for his plans for a quiet, rural retirement.
This was an interesting look at the personal Washington, not General, not President. Using many primary sources, including letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, it tells of his relationships with friends and family, of struggles with problems on the plantation. It shows us the man with all his flaws. I enjoyed the book and recommend it.
eGalley review Publication date 2.11.20
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