He became the nation’s first hero. …But before that, George Washington was just a man. And in his youth, he was a man on the make. He wanted to serve the king, so he donned a red coat and fought the French. He loved another man’s wife but yearned for status, so he married a rich widow. He dreamed of wealth, so he accumulated land and slaves. He accumulated enemies, too…
In Citizen Washington, one of those enemies--a newspaper publisher named Hesperus Draper--learns that Martha Washington has burned her husband’s letters at his death. So Draper sets his nephew on a quest to find the truth about the letters and about the man himself. The younger Draper meets a dozen people, from Mount Vernon slaves and Iroquois Indians to Jefferson and Adams and the other giants of the era, and they tell their own stories as they tell Washington’s: from his callow youth, through the harrowing battles of the Revolution, to the first American presidency.
What emerges is a remarkable, multi-faceted portrait of a society reeling toward rebellion, a nation rushing to be born, and a man rising to greatness.
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“A brilliant marriage of imagination and fact, a sweeping historical novel that brings our first president and his contemporaries to such vivid life that they seem to have walked out streets only yesterday. This is a wonderfully entertaining and thoroughly terrific book”--Doris Kearns Goodwin“A brisk, engaging, and far from worshipful portrait… [Martin] enlivens the novel with ribald humor and even some graphic sex scenes, humanizing Washington and delivering an entertaining slice of history.” --Publishers Weekly“The action is hair-raising… Martin brings the myth down to earth without destroying the man… It’s almost an insult to call Citizen Washington fiction, since so many histories, past and present, and been far more biased, pro and con. This fiction is so complex in its understanding of humanity to seem actually true.”--USA Today“A strongly satisfying, eminently readable saga… Compelling biographical fiction.”--Kirkus Reviews
WILLIAM MARTIN, New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, is best known for his historical fiction, which has chronicled the lives of the great and the anonymous in American history while bringing to life legendary American locations, from Cape Cod to Annapolis. Martin’s first novel, Back Bay, introduced Boston treasure hunter Peter Fallon, who continues to track artifacts across the landscape of our national imagination in more recent works like The Lost Constitution and City of Dreams. His novels, also including Harvard Yard, Citizen Washington, and The Rising of the Moon, have established him as a “storyteller whose smoothness equals his ambition” (Publishers Weekly). He has also written an award-winning PBS documentary, one of the cheesiest horror movies ever made, magazine articles, and book reviews for The Boston Globe. He was the recipient of the 2005 New England Book Award, given to “an author whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region.” He has three grown children and lives near Boston with his wife.