Author Peter Hannaford, known as a chronicler of the 40th President, Ronald Reagan, found his own interest in George Washington reawakened when he served for six years on the Mount Vernon Advisory Committee.
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Author Peter Hannaford has had a long career in American politics and public affairs. He is a former Reagan adviser and current senior consultant to APCO Worldwide, a public affairs/strategic communications firm based in Washington, DC. Mr. Hannaford was director of issues and research in Reagan's 1976 presidential nomination campaign. In the 1980 campaign he was senior communications adviser to Mr. Reagan. He also served as assistant to the governor and director of public affairs for then-Governor Reagan in Sacramento. He is the author of eleven books and numerous articles, columns, and essays.From Library Journal:
These three volumes are part of the nation's commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Washington's death. Hannaford's and Murray's books are slight both in size and substance. In The Essential George Washington, Hannaford has collected verbal "snapshots," brief comments on Washington made by sundry poets, politicians, journalists, and others, including Abigail Adams, James Fenimore Cooper, Newt Gingrich, and George Will. Murray's Washington's Farewell takes as its starting point a December 4, 1783, meeting of Washington and his officers, at which he bade farewell to his men and prepared to return to private life. Murray sketches the lives and characters of the officers who were at this convocation and discusses Washington's military career. Both books tend toward hagiography, and Patriot Sage is not far off. It opens with a preface by William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education, U.S. drug czar, and chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which states the conservative agenda of the essays collection: because the United States is in moral and political decline, it behooves us to emulate Washington in our public and private lives. The book's 12 essays touch on most facets of Washington's life--his management of Mount Vernon, his military strategies and tactics, his forging of the presidency, and his trustworthy character. One of the strongest essays is by Richard Brookhiser, author of one of the best recent biographies of Washington (Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington, LJ 2/1/96). His prose is so buoyant it nearly leaps from the page. Unfortunately, none of these three books represents a significant advance in our knowledge or appreciation of our first president. Readers interested in Washington are advised to consult books like Brookhiser's. Patriot Sage is recommended for larger public libraries; the Murray and Hannaford books are not essential purchases.
-Thomas J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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