This is possibly one of those books that ought to be required reading for high school and college students in this country. It is such a major departure from what you find written by modern historians the likes of Gore Vidal who have made a name and a career tearing down great men.
It is not that our founders were perfect men and women. But, they were men and women of extraordinary learning, wisdom, intelligence, magnanimity, faith and integrity. Together, they redefined the principle of liberty for the whole world.
It didn't happen at once, there were great debates where colossal minds and egos warred against each other, but in each heart they protected and preserved a union based on a cherished idea of freedom.
In this, Washington himself, was the greatest example. Trained in European style military strategy and leadership that were disasterous with American troupes, he had a steep learning curve and he quickly taught himself how to lead truly free men. He learned to fight a war not just of blood and numbers, but of principle and public opinion. He became such a beloved leader that he helped to mold a nation with good intentions into their better selves. When he asked the people to treat enemies and prisoners with humanity and kindness... they obeyed. For his service, he paid a terrific price in time, money and effort. Fischer points out that he paid a heartwrenching emotional toll as well. There are many great men among the founding fathers, George Washington stands among those that it can be said, there would be no United States of America without him.
Fischer ends his book with these words, "The story of Washington's Crossing tells us that Americans in an earlier generation were capable of acting in a higher spirit-- and so are we."
Read this book. :)