Even compared to his fellow founders, George Washington stands tall. Our first president has long been considered a stoic hero, holding himself above the rough-and-tumble politics of his day. Now John Ferling peers behind that image, carefully burnished by Washington himself, to show us a leader who was not only not above politics, but a canny infighter, a master of persuasion, manipulation, and deniability.
I think it was William Lee Miller who noted that one of Lincoln's treasured books was Mason Locke Weems's The Life of Washington. The brief description of Ferling's new biography would appear to indicate that Lincoln modeled his administration to a large degree on that of Washington, who likewise found himself having to balance a "team of rivals."