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The White House Historical Association

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Mar 31, 2020 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association will host a Facebook livestream book launch with historian Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky for her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution.

Chervinsky will speak about Washington’s life and the creation of the first cabinet with Dr. Colleen Shogan, Senior Vice President and Director of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History. Viewers on the Facebook livestream can ask Chervinsky questions during this online event.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 7th, 2020; 5:00-6:30 PM

WHERE: White House Historical Association Facebook Page: @WhiteHouseHistory

Purchase this book at shop.whitehousehistory.org

REGISTER: RSVP online here and enter to win a 10% coupon code to purchase the book. This book is published by the Harvard University Press.

The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution explores the origins of the cabinet and its role in the presidency. I couldn't find any books on the subject. While Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and their relationships with George Washington have received a lot of attention, most scholars assume the cabinet was inevitable and existed from the beginning. The reality is far more complicated, and I wanted to tell that story and its modern ramifications.”

-Lindsay Chervinsky, Historian and Author

About The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

The US Constitution did not create the president's cabinet—the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. But faced with unprecedented diplomatic, constitutional, and domestic challenges, President George Washington concluded he couldn't make decisions alone. Two-and-a-half years into his presidency, Washington convened the first cabinet meeting with some famous historic figures: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph. Over the next several years, they provided crucial support and advice, as Washington established cabinet precedent. Every president since Washington has followed his example and met with a cabinet, sometimes with mixed results - cabinet secretaries have brokered diplomacy, almost caused wars, and everything in between. The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution explains how Washington formed this powerful institution and why its legacy is so important.

About Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky

Lindsay M. Chervinsky is White House Historian at the White House Historical Association. She previously was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University.

P.D.F. Resources

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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