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An Imperfect God by Henry Wiencek - Book Report/Review Example
The researcher of this book review aims to analyze the novel Imperfect God, written by Henry Wiencek, that is about George Washington, who was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people and his life as a slave master, where he benefited financially from slavery. …
This essay describes the analysis, that was conducted to review An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America book, that was written by Henry Wiencek in 2003. The researcher states that Washington began to contend with the thought that America was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. This inner battle led him in 1799 to amend his will, emancipating his slaves upon his and his wife Martha’s deaths. Wiencek depicts a clear evolution of thought in Washington: him as the young man who seemingly accepted the institution without question; the mature man who clearly began to question it on moral and ethical grounds; and the old man who found it morally repulsive, and against the wishes of his family emancipated all of his slaves in his will. Wiencek's real focus in An Imperfect God is Washington's personal and political position regarding emancipation. A weakness in the book is Wiencek's occasional first-person accounts of his field research, including discussions that feel strangely out of place. Further, Wiencek has the penchant of idealizing Washington and excuse much in a man who was a slaveholder his entire life. This book shows a truth that slavery hurt the owners more, making the owners hard-hearted and cruel than the enslaved. It had this effect in Washington, making him “imperfect,” though he was a Founding Father of America. It is a great book in explaining slavery historically and how Washington’s opinions about slavery changed.