Patriotism and Profit

Listen to a sample

What to expect

The untold story of how America’s beloved first president, George Washington, borrowed, leveraged, and coerced his way into masterminding the key land purchase of the American era, which lead to the creation the nation’s capital city.

Contrary to the popular historical record, Thomas Jefferson was not even a minor player at the Dinner Table Bargain, now known as the Compromise of 1790. The real protagonists of the Dinner Table Bargain were President George Washington and New York Senator Philip Schuyler, who engaged in the battle that would separate our financial capital from our political seat of power. Washington and Schuyler’s dueling ambitions provoked an intense decades-long rivalry and a protracted crusade for the location of the new empire city. Alexander Hamilton, son-in-law to Schuyler and surrogate son to George Washington, was helplessly caught in the middle.

This invigorating narrative vividly depicts New York City when it was the nation’s seat of government. Susan Nagel captures the spirit, speech, and sensibility of the era in full and entertaining form—and readers will get to know the city’s eighteenth-century movers, shakers, and power brokers, who are as colorful and fascinating as their counterparts today. Delicious political intrigue and scandalous gossip between the three competing alpha personalities—George Washington, Philip Schuyler, and Alexander Hamilton—make this a powerful and resonant history, reminding us that our Founding Fathers were brilliant but often flawed human beings.They were avaricious, passionate, and visionary. They loved, hated, sacrificed, and aspired. Even their most vicious qualities are part of the reason why, for better or worse, the United States became the premier modern empire, born from figures carving their legacies into history.Not only the dramatic story of how America’s beloved first president George Washington created the nation’s capital city, Patriotism and Profit serves as timely exposé on issues facing America today, revealing the origins behind some of our nation’s most pressing problems.

A bonus PDF file includes all charts, diagrams, and photographs that appear in the print edition of the book.

Critics Review

  • “[A] historical survey of the intense rivalries for money and power that roiled the new republic…Nagel paints a convincing portrait of George Washington and his friend New York Senator Philip Schuyler as manipulative real estate moguls.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Patriotism and Profit is a wonderful, character-driven study of how politics becomes policy, then just as much as now.”

    Alexander Rose, author of Washington's Spies
  • “Nagel does much more than disentangle the story of power, land, and cash at the start of a new nation: she remembers the loves and marriages and society power games as well…the human history of heroic times.”

    Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.