Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into forgotten—and often lurid—facts of the Revolutionary War, Logan Beirne focuses on the nation’s first commander in chief, George Washington, as he shaped the very meaning of the United States Constitution in the heat of battle.
Key episodes of the Revolution illustrate how the Founders dealt with thorny wartime issues: How do we protect citizens’ rights when the nation is struggling to defend itself? Who decides war strategy? When should we use military tribunals instead of civilian trials? Should we inflict harsh treatment on enemy captives if it means saving American lives? Beirne finds evidence in previously unexplored documents such as General Washington’s letters debating the use of torture, an eyewitness account of the military tribunal that executed a British prisoner, Founders’ letters warning against government debt, and communications pointing to a power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress.
Vivid stories from the Revolution set the stage for Washington’s pivotal role in the drafting of the Constitution. The Founders saw the first American commander in chief as the template for all future presidents: a leader who would fiercely defend Americans’ rights and liberties against all forms of aggression.
Pulling the reader directly into dramatic scenes from history, Blood of Tyrants fills a void in our understanding of the presidency and our ingenious Founders’ pragmatic approach to issues we still face today.