Summary of the highlights of the subject covered by the book
The book George Washington in the American Revolution by James Thomas Flexner is a book that covers the period of the revolutionary war in the United States of America. The book captures the key moments of George Washington; from the time of his selection as the commander of Continental Army to the moment he resigned and handed over his sword to the American Congress in the year 1783. The author covers that period and places much focus on the personal experience of George Washington in the army, while at the same time dwelling a little on the revolution in other colonies.
The book is very detailed and filled with facts; it provides different details about George Washington. It goes into deeper details on the troubles underwent by the continental congress in raising dollars to pay the army as well as the endless infighting and factional formations that were willing to abandon Washington due to incompetence. The book makes the readers as witnesses to eight deadly years lived by George Washington, day and night, month after month. The author tells of George Washington, a Virginia military officer who, despite having military limitations and protestation of his inadequacy, was catapulted into a position of command of an armature army out to oppose an inexperienced European force, guided under the elite command. The author does not suppress the fact that Washington was outgeneraled; the author does not diminish or excuse the reverses or failures of George Washington. The author shares the anguish of the unsuccessful battles that were fought by Washington as well as the political uncertainty and unrest that characterized the revolution and which Washington used trial and error to teach himself how to master it.
As brilliantly demonstrated by James Flexner, the command of the continental army by George Washington was marked by the extremes of his complex personality. His towering rage, compassion, strong belief in the virtue of American cause and optimism motivated by the immediate, guided his military command. He was at times, unhappy due to his indiscreet, artful dissembling and impulsive in mood, and this reflected the mind of Washington, a civilian in uniform. .
Reading the book gives the reader a strong presence of aspiration that drives them into the drama of transcendent excitement and interest. The book is a story of a Great hero of United States of America who despite his human foibles and faults has not been denied his place due to the record of his leadership.
Discussion on the issues and themes covered by the book
The book is exquisitely written, reasonably accurate and with facts that are dramatically presented. Through the book, Flexner manages to bring George Washington back to life by attempting fair judgments of his leadership credentials and military abilities; he tactfully relates Washington’s portrait to major events of the revolutionary war. The book follows the career of George Washington from the time he was appointed as the commander in Chief in the year 1775 to the time his commission was laid down; and his return on Christmas Eve to Mount Vernon in the year 1783. The book extensively covers the second term of George Washington, together with his retirement life and ultimately death.
James Flexner demonstrates the real man in George Washington, a man, with the willingness to learn from his mistakes due to political criticism, unwillingness to change military records and unable to blame others due to his errors. The author describes the character of Washington as a person with ingenuity at improvisation; and someone who was borne a leader and with a thirsty to become one. He describes Washington as a poor judge on his men, who often placed much faith in his officers despite them betraying him for their selfish ends. For many years, Washington fought bloody wars and faced various challenges, ranging from pressure by an indifferent congress, the dubious loyalty from his unpaid and ever complaining army to the demands of his allies. Despite being a civilian in a uniform, he defeated and outlasted British commanders, who were considered as professional soldiers. The author also managed to project Washington as a man willing to save his country from military rule, by refusing to become a military dictator.
The narrative by Flexner takes the reader into the last breath of Washington. The book interestingly describes the death of Washington; the book exposes plethora of facts and material about the death and illness of Washington making the book very accurate and reliable; and one that yearns for enlightened presentation of the later years of George Washington. The author manages to successfully present a balanced story of Washington by masking any bias and dispensing with any censure or criticism, and awards any plaudit or praise. The book provides in-depth information about the early years of Washington.
The book provides contrasting information on the public life and private life of George Washington. The book projects on Washington, a man who was hurt by his attackers and turned apprehensive but forced to stay in power, despite being weakened by age: this projects that the services of Washington were instrumental just as his services during the early years. The book exposes Washington as a man who wanted to retire and leave the duty of running government to other people, he wanted the handing over be peaceful. He managed to set up a system where the running of government was made cyclical to facilitate the building of a viable government. The book also captures his retirement, though short-lived, and freeing of slaves as the final duties of Washington. The emotions and feelings of Washington are captured in the book.
The book is dedicated to unveiling George Washington as an individual who commanded the army of the United States of America from the time it was created in 1775 until the time of its surcease in the year 1783. The book explains the period when George Washington taking his oath of office for a second term. Washington came to office when the country was at its inception, and enjoying a moment of relative peace because of its policy of non-aggression with England and France. According to the author, Washington was determined to grow the young republic; a mission that was faced with much discontent with factions forming within the fragile government such as the lust for control and power by Hamilton that resulted in an increasing friction between various parts of the country. The country was plagued with differing opinion between the various factions who wanted to have a better stake in the running of government. Then come the French Revolution that threatened to create unrest in the entire republic. Hamilton was determined to further his cause at the expense if George Washington. He wanted to create another center of power. During this time, Washington had also wanted to retire because of age, and the anguish caused to him by Jefferson and Hamilton. He wanted to retire to his home in Mount Vernon. During his later years of leadership, he developed much self-doubt, fading brilliance, aging and body that are wreaked with infirmities; all this combined to cloud his judgments and decisions.
Flexner presented George Washington as an individual who was patriotic and a party animal who had mastered the art of gambling and rarely missed his gamble. He exposes the soul searching and the deeds that George Washington experienced. He depicts Washington as an individual who was thrust from his hearth and home as a civilian who is determined to lead the Continental Army during the time for American Revolution. This was a challenging task because there was no skilled army or people with requisite skills and life tactics, but a patchwork of a cross section of American citizens that were not equipped, lacking in leadership and without any formal training. This was the army that he was forced to lead; it made sense that the mood of Washington was not consistent with the mood of the army that made him to be considered a mortal man with untamed bull, indiscretions and mistakes and was considered as a person of swinging mood. He managed to keep the dream alive to ensure that he successfully wins the war in American Revolution. Washington was out-maneuvered and the subordinates and he felt like that the battle and only capitalized on hope to claim victory.
The book George Washington in the American Revolution is very thoroughly researched, and it derives information from diaries, letters and documents on of George Washington. The book offers a humanistic view of George Washington and the events that surrounded his time at the political and military reign of the United States of America. The book is a complete wonder because it exposes a man who is struggling and fighting with pride, ambition, extreme disappointment and betrayals and he does not relent in magnanimously serving his country. Washington managed to set precedent in the running of affairs of the government of the United States of America. America, during the period of revolution rested in the hands and shoulders of George Washington. His confidence was overwhelming as he was elected by the Congress unanimously and when he accepted to be the Commander In Chief of the Army, he accepted to take the risk of exposing himself to the retribution of British army. The powers that were granted to the office of the president during that era were massive, and he could have easily become the king but he refused to abuse the power of his office. The author depicts George Washington as a principled individual who was driven by patriotic motive.
Flexner, James T. George Washington in the American Revolution: (1775-1783). Boston: Little, Brown, 1968. Print.