First in Peace
How George Washington Set the Course for America
Just before he died after a long and distinguished international career as a politician, commentator, and author, Conor Cruise O'Brien completed a study of George Washington's presidency. Cruise O'Brien has been described as a man who so persistently asks the right questions” (The Economist), and in this, his last book, he explores the question of how early America's future was determined.
First in Peace considers the dissension between Washington and Jefferson during the first U.S. presidency, and reveals Washington's clear-sighted political wisdom while exposing Jefferson's dangerous ideology. Cruise O'Brien makes the case that Washington, not Jefferson, was the true democrat, and commends his clarity of vision in restoring good relations with Britain, his preference for order and pragmatism, and his aversion to French political extremism.