George Washington was a visionary, says Douglas Bradburn, PhD, shown right, founding director of the Fred W. Smith National Library at Mount Vernon. But Washington was also a man of action who wanted to make a difference in the “here and now.”
Gaining a fuller understanding of Washington — as both “a flawed human being, but an extraordinary man” — is the focus of the Library, which opened in the fall of 2013. The Library fosters new scholarly research about the first president and the era in which he lived.
Bradburn’s intention is for the Library to become “the leading center for the study of George Washington and the founding of the United States so that anyone working seriously to interpret the past will feel like they need to spend at least some time in our Library, as a fellow, a researcher, or a participant in one of our programs.”
Scroll down to read Bradburn’s thoughts about Washington as businessman, husband and father, slave owner, and spymaster.