Read An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America by Henry Wiencek Free Online
Book Title: An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America|
The author of the book: Henry Wiencek
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of issue: November 15th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780374175269
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 474 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
Read full description of the books:
A major new biography of Washington, and the first to explore his engagement with American slavery
When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his "only unavoidable subject of regret." In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life--as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president and statesman.
Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community. Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change. He and the other framers enshrined slavery in the Constitution, but, Wiencek shows, even before he became president Washington had begun to see the system's evil.
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Read information about the authorHenry Wiencek is a prominent American historian and editor whose work has encompassed historically significant architecture, the Founding Fathers, various topics relating to slavery, and the Lego company. In 1999, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, a biographical history which chronicles the racially intertwined Hairston clan of the noted Cooleemee Plantation House, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.
Wiencek has come to be particularly associated with his work on Washington and slavery as a result of his most recent book, An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America, which earned him the Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. Partly as a result of this book, Wiencek was named the first-ever Washington College Patrick Henry Fellow, inaugurating a program designed to provide writing fellowships for nationally prominent historians.
In 2003 Wiencek was appointed to the board of trustees for the Library of Virginia.
He attended Boston College High School, where he was valedictorian. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1974 with a double major in Russian Literature and Literary Theory. Soon after graduating, Wiencek moved to New York City, where he worked for Time-Life, editing and writing for its publications.
Wiencek is married to Donna M. Lucey, who is also an American historian. Wiencek has resided in Charlottesville, Virginia since 1992, where he works in his home. He and his wife will be spending the 2008-2009 academic year in residence in a restored colonial house at Chestertown, Maryland in fulfillment of his Patrick Henry Fellowship duties.