Sunday, February 22, 2015

General George Washington: The American Revolution's Indispensible Man

Michael D. Schaffer, my former editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, offers a review of Robert Middlekauff's Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader in today's Philadelphia Inquirer.

George Washington was the American Revolution's indispensable man.

That's the takeaway from Washington's Revolution, by Robert Middlekauff, professor emeritus of history at the University of California Berkeley. He says in the preface that the title reflects Washington's "enormous importance to the Revolution's course and outcome."

Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams all played major roles, but the Revolution could have gone on without them. Had Washington stopped a musket ball in battle, it's hard to imagine success for the revolutionaries. Middlekauff certainly can't imagine it. "None of the Americans around [Washington] in the army, the Congress or the states commanded the moral force he embodied. Success in maintaining the American effort would not have been achieved without him."

Washington, born 283 years ago today, was more than commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. "He was the political leader of the Revolution, though he drafted no legislation and signed no laws," Middlekauff writes. "But if he failed, it was widely understood, the Revolution failed."

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

1 comment:

  1. And Ron Chernow's biography of Washington also deserves to be read. Having said that, I will now track down Middlekauff's book. However, his book The Glorious Cause was a bit of a chore for me.