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Brookhiser, Richard, Founding Father (Washington) - Book Report/Review Example

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Richard Brookhisa’s Founding Father is one of the many renowned works which shed light on the essence of George Washington’s Wisdom and character. In it, Brookhisa gives an account of Washington’s moral life, which he supposes that the present-day Americans have not been…
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Brookhiser, Richard, Founding Father (Washington)
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A Sneak Preview of “Founding Father (Washington)” Introduction/ Background Richard Brookhisa’s Founding Father is one of the many renowned works which shed light on the essence of George Washington’s Wisdom and character. In it, Brookhisa gives an account of Washington’s moral life, which he supposes that the present-day Americans have not been exposed to. “Washington”, writes Brookhisa, “is in our textbooks and our wallets but not our hearts (121).” He thus offers moral teachings to a new generation of degenerate Americans, drawn from Washington’s life and times.
In what Brookhisa calls “a moral biography,” the book attempts to straighten the morally defiant citizens of United States. To achieve this, he gives a record of Washington’s values which shaped his life and acts. While he provides examples of wars that Washington waged in the battlefield, together with his might and assertiveness in Whitehouse, Brookhisa solely zeroes in on the man he was, his feelings and sentiments (17).
Summary/ Content
United States has undergone a culture of war for centuries, but the biggest of all battles fought by Americans is, as Brookhisa puts it, is a war fundamentally about identity. In this regard, he debates in his mind whether America’s history will depict it as a one people, one Nation storyline or with a multiracial, often divisive perspective (17). To him, it is divisive in the sense that historians have been known to embark on a conflict-oriented inclination digging into history. Such a debate is worth covering by the media as a marketplace of ideas (Brookhisa 18).
Critics of the dominant angle taken by history scholars have broken their silence by framing their own accounts of the past as being moral and unifying. Richard Brookhisa’s chronicle of George Washington is one of such books. As a political scientist and scholar linked to the National Review, Brookhisa lays emphasis on the past events within the National frontiers as positive and nationally cohesive. This is so because he chooses to provide instant examples of Washington’s life which offer moral lessons to the general public (107).
In essence, the book style is a reproduction of Mason Weems’s The Life of Washington. The only dissimilarity is that it has omitted the engineered tales such as the cherry tree episode. Being a study of Washington’s morals and virtues, this book is commendable from my personal perspective. The thought-provoking view of Washington as a soldier and patriot places him as one of the men who shaped the genesis of American Politics using his morals and values (Brookhisa 185).
In comparison to contemporary heads of state, the book depicts Washington‘s public life, his successes and heroic deeds as unmatched. As he ponders his legacy, Brookhisa notes Washington’s temperament and training, concluding that he was the most composed leader of all times. In spite of holding what today’s pedants categorize as a grade-school education, America’s first head of state was an avid reader who spent most of his time in theaters and political libraries (Brookhisa 137).
As a slave owner with no biological children, the first holder of the highest office in America and beyond fathered Martha’s children and gently them as surrogate children in the wake of the Revolutionary War (Brookhisa 17). To Brookhisa, Washington’s temperament was not a surprise. He had strong emotional ties with his father during his childhood. As if that was not enough, his father passed on when he was just 11. He therefore had a soft spot for fatherless children (169).
As would be expected, Washington’s inevitable fate as America’s first leader filled him with apprehension, making him posses a dangerous temper. In as much as he campaigned for the banning of slavery, he later succumbed to the status quo as he refused to free his slaves for the period of time which he was in office (Brookhisa 169). While he later joined freemasonry, Washington was born in an Anglican family believing in the supernatural existence and workings of God. To conclude, Brookhisa assembles insightful and informative personal records to inform and educate the public sphere.
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Brookhisa, Richard. Founding Father. New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1996. Google Books.
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