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Washington: A Life
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > WEEK EIGHT - SPOTLIGHT - Presidential Series - WASHINGTON, A LIFE - November 14th - November 20th - Chapters FORTY-ONE through Chapters FORTY-SIX - 497 - 573 - No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 14th - November 20th, we are reading the Chapters Forty-One through Forty-Six of Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow.

The eighth week's reading assignment is:

Week Eight - November 14th - November 20th
Chapter Forty-One - Forty-Six - (pages 497 - 573)

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 14th.

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 (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Everyone, for the week of November 14th - November 20th, we are reading the Chapter(s) 41 - 46 of Washington: A Life

The eighth week's reading assignment is:

Week Eight - November 14th - November 20th
Chapter(s) Forty-One - Forty-Six - pages 497 - 573

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 41: The Ruins of the Past
Washington found himself in the middle of a controversy as the president of the Society of Cincinnati when it came out that membership included a hereditary clause, smacking of a monarchy. Washington found himself quickly distancing himself from the society in an attempt to keep from appearing anti-republican.

Chapter 42: A Masterly Hand
Along with preservation of his war papers, Washington agreed to sit for several portraits after the war as an attempt to preserve his image for posterity. Also during this time period there began a string of rebellions in Massachusetts, making it clear the Articles of the Confederation needed to be rewritten.

Chapter 43: A House on Fire
In late 1786, Washington learned that he would represent Virginia at a convention in Philadelphia. At the Constitutional Convention, Washington was appointed president.

Chapter 44: Rising Sun
As president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was not deeply involved in the committees that created the Constitution, but guided the often heated discussions.

Chapter 45: Mounting the Seat
As the Constitution was reviewed by each state and awaited ratification, Washington was touted as the first president. Washington at first hesitated at the idea, afraid of how taking the role of first president would fit with the image he so carefully crafted during the Revolutionary War. Highly ambitious, however, Washington allowed himself to be talked into the job.

Chapter 46: The Place of Execution
Washington was alerted of his unanimous win as president by Charles Thompson and immediately set out for New York. Although the Constitution said nothing about an inaugural speech, Washington chose to make one to Congress shortly after accepting the oath of office.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments I am slowly trying to catch up and since we have so few comments I will comment without having finished the whole section.

It is interesting to see the pressures and opportunities put upon GW in this interim time between the War and the Presidency.

the order of Cincinnati (became questionable) and the Masons to mantion two.

We also see the business man farmer with a vision of the canal development along the Potomac along with his vision of what would eventually come as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

Chap 42 brought other interesting factors - that the English artist - Robert Edge Pine commissioned to do GW was a neighbor in Bath of the Fairfaxs and that he was an American sympathizer during the Revolutionary war maybe exposes that the war was not approved of by all Brits.
We get an unexpected glimpse of Gas steel resolve from a note I guess of the French sculptor Houdon who did a study of GW for the sculpture which is still, when I was last there, in the State House in Richmond VA and well worth visiting if one is near there.
And I never realized how much Shays Rebellion influenced the writing of the Constitution and I assume I never put it together that Shay was one year before the Constitutional Convention. And it seems that GW was pretty constantly aware of the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation for preservation and prosperity in our new county.
Finally as the Constitutional Convention looms the ongoing sacrifice of GW (and family) is seen in the view that Martha saw GW "sentenced to life imprisonment in American politics" ...

More to follow


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
You are doing very well Vincent. Shay's Rebellion for sure played an important role


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments As I have finally finished this section so I learned a lot and noted that GW really liked the Constitution and I hadn't realized how close to it he had been in the process of determining it (I thought that it was not written but sort of "determined" what would work and could be agreed upon.)
pg 545 para 3 so was Hamilton the firs to call GW the "indispensable man"?
and that GW had these continuous money troubles......
traveling tot he presidency he faced so many celebrations - pg 561 - that there were a "mandatory 13 toasts" must have been tough

Pg 567 - the eagle hoisted on the building for his inauguration in New York was I believe wood painted in gold and it is (or was) in the fourth floor permanent display at the New York Historical Society in New York - note that floor is under renovation so I am sure it will be somewhere - but how visible?

So GW takes the presidency and begins to make our "traditions" starting with his inaugural. I look forward to the rest


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
George Washington gave a lot of himself and we realize how much of a personal sacrifice what he did was to his own personal affairs.

Very interesting about the eagle - I shall look for it.

Traditions - I miss them since this last inaugural.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments yup he gave so much of himself - really incredible - eight years away at war (with conjugal visits - ok)

compared to our current president who mentioned his sacrifices in the campaign - he hired people..........................hmmm???????


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2017 02:00PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
GW did. Don't send me down that path to talk about current issues (lol) - I really enjoy our traditions as a nation and civility and protocol and respect for all of our institutions.


Savannah Jordan | 96 comments Vincent wrote: "As I have finally finished this section so I learned a lot and noted that GW really liked the Constitution and I hadn't realized how close to it he had been in the process of determining it (I thou..."

I was surprised to learn how many of the Founding Fathers had money problems: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison. Having a home to entertain lavishly seems to have been an essential part of promoting their policies. Adams worried about the money but Abigail was such a good manager of the finances that the Adamses left a fairly large estate.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Yes, a lot of them - many had to pay out of their own pockets and were not reimbursed as much as they should have been. It was probably thankful for Adams that he only had one term. His family sacrificed a lot for this country.


Harmke I also noted the everlasting worry about his finances. I also noted what a blessing it is that the president is provided with more checks and barriers against the introduction of tyranny... than any government (p. 538).

Finally, yes, the Washingtons sacrificed their lives to the public. But it was Martha who made the biggest sacrifice. I have the impression that George couldn't live with it, but also couldn't live without it...


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Hmmm....

Martha didn't get shot at nor worry how to keep the men & his dignity at the same time - and he had to watch "his" men bleed and die etc

Hard to find non killed or severely injured in this epoch that did as much as GW or for anywhere near as long

Just a friendly observation


message 13: by Harmke (last edited Feb 26, 2017 03:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Harmke You are absolutely right: George W. has dedicated his whole life to his country and it is hard to find someone like him in American history.

My comment was specific on Martha's sacrifice as a first lady. That must have been a big one, bigger than George accepting the presidency I guess. But maybe it is just me wondering what her life must have been like and thinking too much of it with my 21st century point of view...


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Great comments all.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments just to comment once more on post 13 - Harmke

So like her husband Martha set a standard - a platform if we wish - for that the role of a first lady might and could be.

If she and GW had been slackers in some of the details one can wonder what the standards for Pres and first lady might have evolved to ..


Harmke Yes, America owes them a lot.


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