The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III (Hardcover)
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill and Napoleon
The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating--and will completely change the way readers and historians view his reign and legacy.
Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon--a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities. The best-known modern interpretation of him is Jonathan Groff's preening, spitting, and pompous take in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway masterpiece. But this deeply unflattering characterization is rooted in the prejudiced and brilliantly persuasive opinions of eighteenth-century revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who needed to make the king appear evil in order to achieve their own political aims. After combing through hundreds of thousands of pages of never-before-published correspondence, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts has uncovered the truth: George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.
In The Last King of America, Roberts paints a deft and nuanced portrait of the much-maligned monarch and outlines his accomplishments, which have been almost universally forgotten. Two hundred and forty-five years after the end of George III's American rule, it is time for Americans to look back on their last king with greater understanding: to see him as he was and to come to terms with the last time they were ruled by a monarch.
About the Author
Andrew Roberts is the bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny; Leadership in War; The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War; Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945; Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble; and Napoleon: A Life, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and a finalist for the Plutarch Award. He has won many other prizes, including the Wolfson History Prize and the British Army Military Book of the Year. He is the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, chair of the judges of the Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize, and a visiting professor in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London.
“Vividly detailed . . . A capacious, prodigiously researched biography from a top-shelf historian.”
“Meticulously researched . . . An eye-opening portrait of the man and his times.”
“[A] persuasive interpretation, supported by a wide range of sources and argued with keen insight into political realities . . . Important, serious and timely.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“Roberts’s account is masterly, combining a compelling narrative—one has to keep turning the pages even though one knows the outcome—with analysis that is both cogent and incisive. He appears to have read everything that is in the mainstream and much that isn’t, including a wide range of archival sources. . . . [A] tremendous book.”
“Elegant and splendidly researched.”
—The Sunday Times (UK)
“Magisterial . . . George III is notorious for two reasons: losing America and going mad. Roberts provides a fresh and spirited account of both occurrences. . . . The result is a lengthy book that remains engaging throughout.”
—The Times (UK)
“Elegant and comprehensive . . . Roberts is our most prodigious biographer.”
—The Daily Mail
“Richly evidenced and scrupulously argued. . . . [The Last King of America] consolidates Roberts’s position as one of the greatest biographers in the English language today.”
“Teems with detail, ideas and elegance. Roberts is a great writer—and this is one of his greatest achievements.”
—Aspects of History