Washington: How Slaves, Idealists, and Scoundrels Created the Nation's Capital

Paperback | June 2, 2009

byFergus Bordewich

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Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place once described as a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," and which was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and the target of unbridled land speculation—our nation's capital? In Washington, acclaimed, award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns to the backroom deal-making and shifting alliances among our Founding Fathers to find out, and in doing so pulls back the curtain on the lives of the slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening book are not only surprising but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate deals, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a banana republic than an emerging world power.

In a page-turning work that reveals the hidden and unsavory side to the nation's beginnings, Bordewich once again brings his novelist's eye to a little-known chapter of American history.

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Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place once described as a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," and which was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and the target of unbridled land sp...

Fergus M. Bordewich is the author of several books, includingBound for Canaan,Killing the White Man's Indian, andMy Mother's Ghost, a memoir. The son of a national civil rights leader for Native Americans, he was introduced early in life to racial politics. As a journalist, he has written widely on political and cultural subjects in Eu...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 9.09 inPublished:June 2, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060842393

ISBN - 13:9780060842390

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“In his magnificent new book Fergus M. Bordewich brings to life the history of our nation’s capital.”