Realistic Visionary

Realistic Visionary

A Portrait of George Washington

Book - 2006
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Univ of Virginia

In Realistic Visionary the renowned George Washington scholar Peter Henriques seeks to humanize the first president without diminishing him. Henriques’s Washington makes mistakes, is sensitive to criticism, and is slow to accept blame, but he is also the greatest man of his age, a relentless pragmatist who could nonetheless envision what a free and united America could be for "millions unborn."

Rather than revisiting Washington’s life in its entirety, Henriques constructs a biographical portrait by addressing the vital themes and events through which Washington the man is revealed. What emerge most clearly in Realistic Visionary are Washington’s successful struggle to channel his monumental personal ambition into public service and his unrivaled ability to turn his ambitious visions for the fledgling nation into reality.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the accomplishments and mistakes made by George Washington, discussing why he was sensitive to criticism and slow to accept blame, but still managed to envision a free and united America.

Book News
While not seeking to portray a man entirely without blemishes, Henriques (emeritus, history, George Mason U.) believes that the first President of the United State was the greatest of all American statesmen. He provides a series of biographical reflections on Washington's military and political career that aim to humanize Washington as a man "who combined a relentlessly realistic view of human nature with a vision of what a free and united America could be for `millions unborn.'" Thematic chapters discuss Washington's involvement in the French and Indian War; his relationship with his wife and with a possible mistress; Sally Cary Fairfax, the political collaboration between him and Alexander Hamilton; and his views on slavery and religion. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780813925479
Characteristics: xv, 256 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm

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