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To begin, Wiencek briefly addresses and dismisses the claim that Washington fathered a child with Venus, (a slave owned by Washingtong's brother, John Augustine). According to Wiencek, the President was likely sterile and such an affair would have been out of character for a man who prided himself on "self-control."
Wiencek's real focus in An Imperfect God is Washington's personal and political position regarding emancipation. The primary ground for Wiencek's argument is Washington's will and a selection of private letters that elaborate a plan for providing land and means for his freed laborers. The will in particular offers powerful evidence of Washington's true intentions, including explicit declarations manumitting Washington's slaves after his death. As Wiencek shows, the document punctuated a long period of equivocation.
An Imperfect God is an imperfect book. Wiencek's occasional first-person accounts of his field research, including discussions with descendants of Washington, feel strangely out of place in what is elsewhere a straightforward biography punctuated with digressions into Washington's larger historical context. Further, Wiencek sometimes dabbles in hagiography and is willing to excuse much in a man who was a slaveholder his entire life. Yet, Wiencek is right to point out the distinctions of Washington among the slaveholding Founding Fathers. Readers can only imagine along with Wiencek the national tragedy that could have been averted had Washington provided the great example of emancipation while in office. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The author is Henry Wiencek, and what is required of him is the fine line of racial sensitivity and historical perspective. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cabin Dweller
Every American needs to read this finely researched book! The title says it all - a country founded on freedom and slavery, with a leader just as hypocritical and conflicted.Published 2 months ago by Lou Hinkhouse
This book is an anti-American, anti-Christianity, Cultural Marxist twaddle. In its place, I recommend the truth about George Washington:
Apostle of Liberty: The... Read more
This book really revolutionized how I thought about the founding fathers. As Wiencek says in the book, you can't understand them without incorporating slavery into the narrative. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mehndeke
Wiencek's book is by far the most in depth and comprehensive examination of George Washington's relationship with slavery and his personal struggle with the 'peculiar institution'. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Thaddeus Gray
Wiencek presents Washington as a closet abolitionist,a man who has grown to abhor slavery but is helpless to suppress it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by August Treeson
Talk about a good read, well written and enlightening. I read this book over 4 years ago and it still sticks out in my mind to this day. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michael L. Harwig