Sunday, December 9, 2012

Introduction: Flexner, primary sources and God's word

Washington: The Indispensable Man is written by Thomas Flexner and is the condensed (normal person) version of his own four part biography on Washington. You can find this book on Amazon here. The reviews  praise it for its unbiased picture of Washington as well as its readability. Each chapter deals with a new time period and topic in Washington's life. This means the book proceeds in chronological chunks that help make the time easier to handle.

Flexner does a great job of referencing primary documents such as letters and diary entries. Leading me to my first tip for picking a biography; always pick a biography that has a bibliography steeped in primary documents from the time. This is one factor (there are many) to help eliminate falsehoods that hang around famous people in the past. Also make sure the claims of the author are being backed up accordingly. This will make you a more accurate historian and a bigger cynic with your roommate (in my opinion the former outweighs the latter).

In one sense Flexner is only the gateway or search engine that I will use to comment about Washington. My wish is that no fact or claim  made about Washington will be based on anything but tried and true primary documentation and the examination of said character trait in light of God's word. My hope is to make a couple posts every now and then as I read and pick general topics in Washington's life and compare them to scripture. Remember, this is not a president bashing blog: the good and bad of each man will be objectively looked at from God's word. No political party is safe!