To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment (Hardcover)
Instant New York Times Bestseller
#1 New York Times bestselling author Bret Baier reveals how George Washington saved the Constitution–and the American experiment
"To Rescue The Constitution is a masterful exploration of the electrifying struggle to unite a young United States." —Jay Winik
A sweeping narrative ranging from the unsettled early American frontier and the battlefields of the Revolution to the history-making clashes within Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Constitution dramatically illuminates the life of George Washington, the Founder who did more than perhaps any other individual to secure the future of the United States.
George Washington rescued the nation three times: first by leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, second by presiding over the Constitutional Convention that set the blueprint for the United States and ushering the Constitution through a fractious ratification process, and third by leading the nation as its first president. There is no doubt that the struggling new nation needed to be rescued—and that Washington was the only American who could bring them together.
After the victorious War of Independence, when a spirit of unity and patriotism might have been expected, instead the nation fractured. The states were no more than a loosely knit and contentious confederation, with no strong central union. It was an urgent matter that led to the calling of a Constitutional Convention to meet in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787.
Setting aside his plan to retire to Mount Vernon, Washington agreed to be a delegate at Philadelphia. There he was unanimously elected president of the convention. After successfully bringing the Constitution into being, Washington then sacrificed any hope of returning to private life by accepting the unanimous election to be the nation’s first president. Washington was not known for brilliant oratory or prose, but his quiet, steady leadership gave life to the Constitution by showing how it should be enacted.
In this vivid and moving portrait of America’s early struggles, Baier captures the critical moments when Washington’s leadership brought the nation from the brink of collapse. Baier exposes an early America that is grittier and far more divided than is often portrayed—one we can see reflected in today’s conflicts.
Bret Baier is the chief political anchor for Fox News Channel and the anchor and executive editor of Special Report with Bret Baier. He previously served as Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News Channel and as the network’s National Security Correspondent based at the Pentagon, reporting on military and national security affairs. A recipient of the National Press Foundation’s Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, Baier is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win WWII; Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire; Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission; and Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.
“Bret Baier has done it again! To Rescue The Constitution is a masterful exploration of the electrifying struggle to unite a young United States. Meticulously researched and powerfully written, in these pages Baier presents riveting portraits of the era’s key leaders and above all of George Washington himself. This book should be required reading in Washington, DC and the rest of the nation. With To Rescue The Constitution, Baier clearly takes his place as the country’s most significant journalist-historian. What a tour de force!" — Jay Winik, New York Times bestselling author of April 1865
“Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Constitution is the epic saga of how George Washington emerged as the indispensable leader of the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787. Written with historical exactness, dramatic flare, and reader-friendly prose, Baier once again proves that he is a first-rate popular historian. The George Washington who emerges from these pages is a decorated Revolutionary War hero whose personality strengths are pragmatic risk-taking, philosophical wisdom, good judgment, and unwavering patriotism. As Baier makes clear, our first president was duty-bound to build a durable United States of America. Highly recommended!” — Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University and author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race
“Bret Baier gives us a stylish and sensible portrait of the Foundingest Father of them all. At a time when a serious political dialogue has become virtually impossible, it is refreshing to be transported to a time when argument itself was the answer, and one man understood that surrendering power was the ultimate measure of leadership.” — Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and His Excellency: George Washington
"Once again Bret Baier has taken readers on a journey into American history, dramatizing the suspenseful years around the birth of our nation. The scenes have striking relevance in today’s fractured political climate, underscoring the need for constant vigilance to protect the values of our republic." — Mark Levin, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“It is not possible for one book to do justice to George Washington. But it is possible, and long overdue, for one book to put Washington’s role in the framing our Constitution center stage. Kudos to Bret Baier for resurrecting these critical months in Washington’s life, and reminding the reader, again, that along with ‘No Washington, no country’ and ‘No Washington, no presidency,’ there is surely a third absolute: ‘No Washington, no Constitution.’ A book that could not be more timely as the country again seeks leaders of dignity and courage, resolve and restraint.” — Hugh Hewitt, Washington Post columnist and host of The Hugh Hewitt Show
“Bret Baier’s narrative--careful, detailed, and evocative--captures what is arguably the most interesting (and in our schools often largely ignored) periods of American history. George Washington’s times were more divisive than today’s, but Baier clearly demonstrates how our first president brought the country together, largely by force of his character and example. To Rescue the Constitution fills the gaps in all readers minds; it informs, illuminates and deepens understanding. And gives us perspective from which hope might arise. It is very much worth reading.” — William J. Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Bret Baier has once again written a thoroughly enjoyable book about American history and its leading figures. I highly recommend To Rescue the Constitution to anyone who wants to learn more about our indispensable Founding Father – George Washington.” — David Rubenstein, New York Times bestselling author of The American Experiment