A Revolutionary Friendship: Washington, Jefferson, and the American Republic

We rated this book:

The title of this book does puzzle me since, at best, the friendship between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson was difficult. Many of their ideas were at loggerheads. Though they did breakfast together during Washington’s administration, it seems that these meetings took place to make sure that Jefferson stayed on the same page.

The author of this book, although born in Boston, has spent thirty years in the UK. Perhaps it takes that kind of distance in order to take a fresh look at our founding fathers who were mendacious, slave-holding, land-grabbing opportunists. The two even bartered slaves for the land they coveted. The author details the hundreds of slaves owned by these men and the ordeals of the slaves at their hands. In addition, both took hundreds of acres of land from indigenous peoples in order to build a Virginia Dominion which would rival any great power. Washington and Jefferson, according to this author, loved luxury and were in debt to the British. When luxury taxes became burdensome, the two were ready to revolt. It is interesting that Sally Hemmings, Jefferson’s slave and the mother of six of his children, was half sister to Jefferson’s wife, but unable to enjoy any of the same privileges.

Reviewed By:

Author Francis D Cogliano
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Harvard University Press
Publish Date 20-Feb-2024
ISBN 9780674292499
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Issue June 2024
Category History