An Imperfect God is a unique biography of one of the most famous statesmen of all time. Wiencek looks beyond the established view of Washington as general, commander in chief and first President of the United States, to show the other side of his life as an aristocratic slave holder; the general of an army that was comprised of ten to twenty-five per cent black slaves and as a man who struggled with the curse of slavery his entire until, shortly before his death, freeing all his slaves. This other, less documented life, is dazzlingly brought to life with verve and brilliant research. Combining both journalism and historical detection, Wiencek takes the reader on a modern-day journey through the places that made up Washington's world, talks to archaeologists, historians, keepers of Washington shrines and Washington's own descendants, along the way revealing a convincing, and unusual, portrait of this complex man. At the centre of this reappraisal is the figure of West Ford, a Washington slave, whose family claim a familial connection with George Washington. An Imperfect God is a fascinating and thought-provoking piece of historical writing and a masterpiece of biography.