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Noting that history has not settled with finality the role that Washington played in all this, Mr. Beck can’t quite decide whether “The Great Author” intervened. Washington had worked ably behind the scenes on other issues. At dinners, at dances, at taverns and even at theaters, he had lobbied tirelessly throughout the proceedings. “[B]ut then if ‘the remarkable hand of Providence’ was responsible, “well … that is not such a bad thing either,” the author opines.

A narrative on other constitutional debates (i.e. the Electoral College and life terms for the federal judiciary) would have been welcome. It is not clear whether Mr. Beck or his editors made the decision to exclude them.

Moreover, Washington did not liken the American Revolution to the “blood-spattered” French Revolution that followed. The former led to freedom; the latter to anarchy and lack of freedom.

The father of our country also warned against excess debt, “the heaviest [tyranny] of them all” - a timely warning to 21st-century America.

• Wes Vernon is a journalist whose career included 25 years with CBS Radio. His column appears at RenewAmerica.com