Looking at the cross currents of historical and contemporary events
Interesting about the Washington name. The latest poll of the top 10 presidents. You'll never guess who came in first:http://www.gallup.com/poll/146183/Americans-Say-Reagan-Greatest-President.aspx
Surprise! Surprise! But, I imagine after the glow of his centennial wears off, he will slip back down the list.
As Chris Matthews quipped, you are supposed to _think_ before answering the question. It's like asking what was the best movie of all time, and answering whatever movie you last saw. Doesn't show much thinking on the part of the US public.
The war for Washington:http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/the-war-for-george-washington/North or South?
Reagan has been so much in the news lately that such a response to a poll is expected. I have to wonder how many Americans could name more than five presidents without prodding. It is not like Gallup asked historians who the best president was.
Wow! Chernow just won a very big award for his bio:http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/chernow-wins-history-prize-for-washington-biography/
I suppose at some point I will have to read Chernow's Washington.
It is very good. Much better than the last Morris, but then he is covering Washington's entire life. (I still haven't finished, but intend to since it is really easy to read-- just long)Still, he is smitten with Washington to the point that (again) I wish he could have been a little more objective. That's the part that's interesting about the AHA endorsement of the book. It is a significant, almost grand writing achievement (based on printed sources -- not archival research) but not what I would consider great "history."