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Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place one contemporary observer called a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," a district that was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and a target of unbridled land speculation—our nation's capital? In Washington, acclaimed and award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns his eye to the backroom deal making and shifting alliances between our Founding Fathers and in doing so pulls back the curtain on the lives of slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening book are not only surprising and exciting but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate speculation, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a "banana republic" than an emerging world power.

In this page-turning work that reveals the hidden and somewhat unsavory side of the nation's beginnings, Bordewich, once again, brings his novelist's sensibility to a little-known chapter in American history.

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ISBN-10:  0060842385
ISBN-13:  978-0060842383
Author:  Fergus Bordewich
Publisher:  Amistad
Date Published:  May 6, 2008
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Quick Tip by . June 11, 2010
Awesome book and history, Good read.
review by . June 03, 2009
Numerous obstacles had to be overcome to make the new American Capital a reality.
As it turns out it was a far more complicated process than I ever imagined.  For the most part, folks in the Northeast wanted our nation's Capital to remain in New York City. Meanwhile, the people and politicians of Pennsylvania were lobbying hard for a site on the Susquehanna River.  And those hailing from Virginia and the other Southern states were bound and determined to see to it that the new national capital would be located closer to their neck of the woods.  So many interests, …
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