George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195136289
ISBN-10: 0195136284
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inheriting Mount Vernon in 1754 at the age of 22, George Washington called it home for the remaining 45 years of his life. Even amid the turmoil of the Revolution, he spent most of this time busily expanding and remodeling the house on the Potomac a few miles south of what became the District of Columbia. Here he was neither general nor statesman, but paterfamilias and gentleman planter. Washington left no formal memoir of either his public or private life, but Robert Dalzell and his wife Lee (respectively, a professor of history and a reference librarian at Williams College) find Washington's personal history writ large in the home he loved so much. Rich in detail mined from Washington's personal papers, this beautifully illustrated volume chronicles not only the architectural facts of Mount Vernon (a house that "mixes its classicism with some decidedly nontraditional elements"), but also the human ones, most especially Washington's complicated relationships with his slaves, all of whom he instructed to be freed in his last will and testament, thereby breaking (if posthumously) with "the system that had so long held his own independence hostage to the denial of liberty to other human beings." The Dalzells fail in their attempt to force an unlikely analogy between Washington's evolution as a political thinker and the concurrent architectural evolution of his mansion, but they nevertheless provide a superb history?including ample notes and an appendix on 18th-century house-building techniques?of Mount Vernon as a place and Washington as proprietor. Photos, illustrations and blueprints.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Americans seem to view historical sites either as patriotic shrines or mere vacation locales. Seldom have places such as George Washington's home at Mount Vernon been analyzed for a deeper understanding of the past. The authors use Mount Vernon to present readers with a course in Colonial and early national history. Robert F. Dalzell Jr. (history, Williams Coll.) and Lee Baldwin Dalzell (head reference librarian, Williams Coll.) accomplish a fine balancing act, integrating the story of George Washington's home with the public and private life of its longtime occupant. Mount Vernon became significant as the residence of the famed planter, general, and president?albeit with long periods of absence?but also due to his taking personal responsibility for altering and expanding the mansion. Without being overly mechanistic, the Dalzells portray Mount Vernon as a sort of metaphor for the changes in Washington's own life and career. This approach necessitates considerable attention to the social, political, and architectural context of Washington's time and provides significant insight. For larger public and academic libraries.?Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 17672 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 24, 1998)
  • Publication Date: September 24, 1998
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006BY2CT6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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