The biographer of George Washington and author of Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War for Independence and A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic, historian John Ferling here gives us a close examination of Washington's political character. Our first president has long been viewed as a hero who rose above politics—an image carefully burnished by Washington himself. But Ferling reveals a leader who was not only not above politics, but who was also a master manipulator, adept in the arts of persuasion, leverage, and deniability.
"Once in a while a book comes along to remind us that history has no gods, that the past is less fossil than textbooks suggest and America more vibrant than a mere list of principles. John Ferling's Ascent of George Washington is just such a book: a fresh, clear-eyed portrait of the full-blooded political animal that was George Washington.... In John Ferling's eminently readable, landmark interpretation, we cannot help but marvel at the man."—Washington Post