NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels with George . . . is
quintessential Philbrick-a lively, courageous, and masterful
achievement." -The Boston Globe Does George Washington still
matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for
Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by
retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen
former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with
George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving
history and personal reflection into a single narrative. When
George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of
America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a
tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the
ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government,
and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing-Americans. In the
fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into
what Washington called "the infant woody country" to see for
himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in
a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife,
Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick follows Washington's
presidential excursions: from Mount Vernon to the new capital in
New York; a monthlong tour of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, and Rhode Island; a venture onto Long Island and
eventually across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The
narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first
centuries as we see the country through both Washington's and
Philbrick's eyes. Written at a moment when America's founding
figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples
bluntly and honestly with Washington's legacy as a man of the
people, a reluctant president, and a plantation owner who held
people in slavery. At historic houses and landmarks, Philbrick
reports on the reinterpretations at work as he meets reenactors,
tour guides, and other keepers of history's flame. He paints a
picture of eighteenth-century America as divided and fraught as it
is today, and he comes to understand how Washington compelled,
enticed, stood up to, and listened to the many different people he
met along the way-and how his all-consuming belief in the union
helped to forge a nation.
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