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A new biography unpacks George Washington's flaws and political forte


George Washington was not destined to be great. He was the middle son of a middling Virginia family; he had land but seldom much cash. As a young militia leader, he did not win often.

What he had, writes David O. Stewart in an astute biography, was ambition and the will to study the political skills of listening and compromise.

Late in life, Washington focused on the horrors of slavery--yet never spoke against it publicly during eight years as America’s first president.

Stewart will be talking about the book in a virtual event with the National Archives on February 8 at 1 p.m. His most recent book is historical fiction--the first of a planned trilogy about German settlers in Maine in the 1750’s. It’s called The New Land.

Original air date: September 8, 2021.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.