George Washington’s Deep Self-Doubt

The First President Was Indispensable to Our Early Democracy, Precisely Because He Didn’t See Himself as Indispensable

Revolutions tend to get hijacked, going from being about the people to being about the triumphant revolutionary leaders. And so the French Revolution begat Napoleon, and the Russian Revolution begat Lenin and Stalin.

It’s appropriate, therefore, that one of the more enduring, and endearing, aspects of our national reverence for George Washington is the fact that once he had militarily won independence for the American colonies—at a time when he had achieved global fame for this feat—he appeared perfectly content to return to his Mount Vernon estate and live out …

The Marquis de Lafayette’s Great American Love Affair

Why a 19-Year-Old Frenchman Traded Versailles for Valley Forge

The 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayette had met only a handful of Americans when he signed up to join General George Washington’s army, but he felt certain that the people of …

Historian Tim Naftali

The Former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library Is No Longer on Message

Historian Tim Naftali is the former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and is the author of a forthcoming book on the Kennedy presidency. Before talking with …