Monday, January 14, 2008
Informal Book Review: The Grand Idea
I apologize for my absence. I have been off visiting family and doing a little winter fishing. Anyway, while I was gone, I had the chance to read an interesting book that I wanted to bring to your attention. It is entitled, The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West by Joel Achenbach. The book discussed the years between George Washington the General and George Washington the president. For roughly six years, Washington remained at his Mt. Vernon estate, and like most elite people, contemplated where to invest his money. Like most Virginians, Washington was extremely interested in the newly acquired western lands, and maintained throughout his life that the west was the future of the infant nation. The author also sheds light on the colonial myth that virtually all Virginians believed in...that the Potomac River stretched all the way to the Pacific Ocean. George Washington (along with Thomas Jefferson) strongly supported this belief. Washington went as far as to buy a tremendous amount of western land where he believed the Potomac would lead. Too bad he didn't trust his surveying talents. Maybe then he would have avoided this mistake.
The book is an easy read. It is not extremely entertaining, but will keep the readers attention. Overall I give the book a B.