From Booklist

The excellently crafted American Presidents series, edited by Arthur Schlesinger, continues with a top-notch biography of Washington. In similar fashion to the other entries in this series, the authors concern themselves primarily with their subject as a political animal. According to Burns and Dunn, Washington was not only the first president but also set an enduring precedent for his successors by meticulously crafting and promoting his own sterling public image. Though historically viewed as a strong individual leader, Washington also excelled at forging a consensus among his allies and advisors. Where he failed, perhaps, was in his misguided endeavor to quash any dissenting points of view--an endeavor that had the contrary effect of polarizing and strengthening opposing political parties. This scholarly analysis of the inaugural presidency provides an enlightening new slant on a timeless subject. Margaret Flanagan
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