"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren … should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties." So wrote John Jay, one of the revolutionary authors of The Federalist Papers, arguing that if the United States was truly to be a single nation, its leaders would have to agree on universally binding rules of governance–in short, a constitution. In a brilliant set of essays, Jay and his colleagues Alexander Hamilton and James Madison explored in minute detail the implications of establishing a kind of rule that would engage as many citizens as possible and that would include a system of checks and balances. Their arguments proved successful in the end, and The Federalist Papers stand as key documents in the founding of the United States.
From 1775 through 1777, George Washington and Benedict Arnold were America’s two most celebrated warriors. Their earlier lives had surprisingly parallel paths. They were strong leaders in combat, they admired and respected each other, and they even shared common enemies. Yet one became our greatest hero and the other our most notorious traitor. Why?
In the new paperback edition of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots, author and military historian Dave Palmer reveals the answer: character. In this fascinating and unique dual biography, Palmer also shows:
How Arnold’s treason actually helped the Patriot cause
Why Arnold and Washington’s amazingly similar backgrounds, family influences, youthful experiences, and selfmade” status led to strikingly different results in their lives
How in four welldefined steps Arnold went from hero to traitor
Copied out by hand as a young man aspiring to the status of Gentleman, George Washington's 110 rules were based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first English edition of these rules was available in Francis Hawkins' Youths Behavior, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men, which appeared in 1640, and it is from work that Washington seems to have copied. The rules as Washington wrote them out are a simplified version of this text. However much he may have simplified them, these precepts had a strong influence on Washington, who aimed to always live by them. The rules focus on self-respect and respect for others through details of etiquette. The rules offer pointers on such issues as how to dress, walk, eat in public, and address one's superiors.
The American Revolution was won not on the battlefields, but in the mind of George Washington. A compulsively readable narrative and extensive history, George Washington's War illuminates how during the war's winter months the young general created a new model of leadership that became the model for the American presidency.
By far the most important figure in the history of the United States, George Washington liberated the thirteen colonies from the superior forces of the British Empire against all military odds, and presided over the production and ratification of a constitution that (suitably amended) has lasted for more than two hundred years. Yet today Washington remains a distant figure to many Americans—a failing that acclaimed author Paul Johnson sets out to rectify with this brilliantly vivid, sharply etched portrait of the great hero as a young warrior, masterly commander in chief, patient lawmaker, and exceptionally wise president.