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Washington: A Life
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > WEEK SEVEN - SPOTLIGHT - Presidential Series - WASHINGTON, A LIFE - November 7th - November 13th - Chapters THIRTY-FIVE through Chapters FORTY - 424 - 496 - No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 7th - November 13th, we are reading the Chapters Thirty-Five through Forty of Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow.

The seventh week's reading assignment is:

Week Seven - November 7th - November 13th
Chapter Thirty-Five - Forty - (pages 424 - 496)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on September 26th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up November 7th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion and Assisting Moderators Teri, Jill, and Samanta will be backups.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also the citation thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please. We will be adding to this thread as we read along.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow


message 2: by Teri (last edited Nov 06, 2016 08:35PM) (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Everyone, for the week of November 7th - November 13th, we are reading the Chapter(s) 35 - 40 of Washington: A Life

The seventh week's reading assignment is:

Week Seven - November 7th - November 13th
Chapter(s) Thirty-Five - Forty - pages 424 - 496

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 35: Man of Moderation
Most of 1782 Washington spent in tying up loose ends such as dealing with pay for his soldiers, the fate of many British prisoners, and suffering through the pomp and circumstances of his role in the war.

Chapter 36: Closing the Drama with Applause
In the spring of 1783, Washington found himself negotiating with the British for the return of slaves who deserted to the British in favor of freedom. Washington also looked to the future by joining the newly formed Society of the Cincinnati, an organization created to support families of soldiers, to maintain the freedom they fought for, and to keep a social network open for soldiers.

Chapter 37: Cincinnatus
With the last of the treaties signed, Washington bid a tearful goodbye to his troops and officers and resigned from the Continental Army.

Chapter 38: American Celebrity
Washington returned home after eight years to a plantation in great need of renovations. At the same time, Washington was inundated with visitors who wanted to meet the American hero, placing a huge burden on his already struggling finances.

Chapter 39: Gentleman Farmer
While struggling financially, Washington decided to tour his properties in the Ohio Valley to collect rent and evict squatters.

Chapter 40: Devil's Bargain
Washington remained good friends with Lafayette. The one bone of contention between the two men was the fact that Washington continued to own slaves despite his insistence that he no longer believed in the antiquated system.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks we will continue this and get caught up - there is no rush and this is a great book - I was just out handling personal situations.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Hi All - so I am only thru chapter 38 so I am not really ready to comment on this section but................

Chapter 38 - after nine - NINE - years away GW returns home to Mt. Vernon. Nine years - I recently visited the winter site of his camp at Morristown NJ - no heat to speak of, no fleece - steady work and courage and fortitude for NINE years.

Our first President and the newest one, when asked what he had sacrificed for his country, as I recall, said he had given people jobs.

What a perspective.


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I have visited there as well Vincent - that must have been something as a camp - let us not go to who shall not be named (smile).


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments So catching up - albeit slowly -

Washington is more fleshed out in these chapters facing his changed position in society and with other individuals now that he is not a leader of rebels but a victor for liberty.

His tooth problems are explained and I think we have to realize that likely only the very wealthy could afford this type of effort in this era.
And we see his position as a mature southern prosperous farmer - one might say not so prosperous due to his lack of cash but one could hardly deny prosperity based upon his life style. What a change from nine years in rebellion.

But he was always thinking progressively
securing his papers
trying to get slaves freed by the Brits back (not modern progressive)

he tries to secure the just pay and rewards for his soldiers

he has the comparisons to Cincinnatus and the inconvenience and love of a celebrity.

He lives beyond his means - seemingly not as badly as Jefferson but still - and both are trapped by their upbringing and lifestyles to continue slavery

GW's industrious passion about farming and "doing it the best way" is indicative of the industrious thinking and actions of Americans in general.

Also it is interesting that the "west" was still wild enough to make him forego certain travel for Indian safety reasons (need that second amendment?)

The affection with Lafayette and the Lafayette proposal to try to begin to end slavery - and Lafayette's own efforts in that area without GW.

Finally though was his embrace of slavery in that his slaves had to perform and work. And that he didn't until end of life face this moral dilemma - and I guess we will see later how "well" he faced it.

The question of sex with slaves - which I hadn't heard of with GW must certainly be considered considering that he was a white slave owner in the 18th century. And the supposition of his infertility could explain why there is no evidence.

Also these chapters should have been read before visiting Mt. Vernon so I guess I have to go again.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
That is OK Vincent. Yes his teeth and you visited Mount Vernon - you probably saw some examples of them - I have no idea how he coped with those. Another revisit is in order for me too (smile).


Harmke What catched my eye in these chapters is the importance of the moments of silence Washington had. And yes, his tooth problems also, you forget that dental care is only normal since 50 years or so...

Back to his moments of silence. We already knew that Washington's brilliance was in his ability to listen to all and then make a decision. But in these chapters it was not only listening. It was being silent on the right times. Putting on his glasses. Fighting with his feelings not to "break" and keeping up appearances by just keeping silent.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
If you have visited Mount Vernon - you would see one of his set of teeth made of wood - Ouch.

Silence is more important than mouthing off - I wish he current president could learn a bit or two from Washington's reflectiveness.


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