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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Cabinet by Lindsay M. Chervinsky - Book Tour - Book Trailer - History Summit 2020 Video - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Lindsay M. Chervinsky and her new book, “The Cabinet”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Lindsay and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

The Cabinet
by Lindsay M. Chervinsky


GENRE: History



The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own.

Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges―and finding congressional help lacking―Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky reveals the far-reaching consequences of Washington’s choice. The tensions in the cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson heightened partisanship and contributed to the development of the first party system. And as Washington faced an increasingly recalcitrant Congress, he came to treat the cabinet as a private advisory body to summon as needed, greatly expanding the role of the president and the executive branch.



When Washington and Knox arrived at Federal Hall at 11:30 a.m., the doorkeeper announced their arrival. Washington sat at the front of the chamber, and Knox took the chair to his right. Washington handed his remarks to Knox, who in turn handed them to Vice President John Adams. Adams read the statement, but as Senator William Maclay from Pennsylvania recalled, the senators could “not master . . . one Sentence of it.” Adams wasn’t known for his public speaking skills, but the senators’ struggles weren’t entirely his fault. The Senate gathered for their work in the large chambers that occupied the first floor of Federal Hall. Because of the August heat in New York City, the doorkeeper had opened the windows in search of a cooling breeze. But along with fresh air, noise from Wall Street’s pedestrians, carriages, peddlers, and horses flowed into the Senate chambers. The clamor overpowered Adams’s voice, so few senators could make out the words that Washington had carefully crafted. After a few complaints, Adams repeated the speech from the beginning. Washington’s remarks offered a brief synopsis of the current diplomatic state between the United States and the Southern Indians, and posed seven questions for the Senate to answer with an aye or a no.

Adams finished his recitation and sat. The seconds ticked by as the senators remained in awkward silence. A few shuffled papers or cleared their throats. Maclay speculated in his diary that his colleagues were so intimidated by Washington’s presence in the Senate chamber that they cowered in shameful silence. Eager to show that they could be active participants in the creation of foreign policy, Maclay stood up and suggested referring Washington’s seven questions to committee for discussion in detail. Washington lost his temper, stood up, and shouted, “This defeats every purpose of my coming here!” The senators fell into a stunned hush before Washington acquiesced to Maclay’s suggestion and offered to return to the Senate a few days later. Although he did return the following Monday, his first visit to the Senate was an inauspicious start to the executive-legislative relationship. As he returned to his carriage, Washington muttered under his breath that he would never return for advice. He kept his word—August 22, 1789, was the first and last time he visited the Senate to request guidance on foreign affairs. Unfortunately, the diplomatic challenges facing the United States during the Washington presidency were just beginning...



Check out what readers are saying about Lindsay’s new book, “The Cabinet.”

“A clear, concise, and lively study of a topic that has long needed such coverage. Chervinsky skillfully shows the Revolutionary roots of the early cabinet and explores how it juggled precedent, public opinion, partisanship, and the balance of power. Anyone interested in American politics will want to read this informative and timely book.”
~ Joanne B. Freeman, author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

“This informative, accessible overview of the factors and events that contributed to Washington’s legacy of precedent-setting use of advisers and the assertion of strong executive authority while maintaining harmony with the other branches will be of interest to readers at all levels.”
~ Margaret Kappanadze, Library Journal

“A riveting, beautifully written story of George Washington’s efforts to figure out how to achieve his goals in a fast-changing environment. By placing Washington’s cabinet meetings within the broader narratives of the Revolutionary War and the politics of the early republic, Chervinsky brings all the tensions of the big stories into Washington’s efforts to administer America’s new government. She makes reading about the evolution of institutions fun!”
~ Johann N. Neem, author of Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America



Do you wonder how decisions at the highest level of government actually get made? Are you curious about how the president makes decisions and who he or she consults? The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution tells the story of how Washington crafted the cabinet to provide guidance and support during moments of crisis. The cabinet is his greatest legacy - every president since has consulted with a cabinet.



A brief sneak peek of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. Focuses on chapter two, The Original Team of Rivals.



Some of My Favorite Items in My Office:

There are so many meaningful items in my office, I’m excited to give you a mini-tour! First and foremost, I have hundreds of books that are essential to my work. I’ve moved a bunch in the last decade, so I’ve selected each book to be sure it’s useful and they’ve all made the cut.

Next, I have a number of history-specific mementos. A friend picked up this whiskey bottle at a thrift store with the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River in December 1776. This piece of china is a replica of Washington’s Society of the Cincinnati china set—my great-grandmother purchased it on a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. My husband had this art made for my birthday with my favorite quotes from my favorite song from Hamilton, the musical. This newspaper from 1806 has a notice of Henry Knox’s death—my sister got it for me when I finished my Ph.D.

I also have a number of really important personal photos and art pieces. The chair was my husband’s grandmother’s chair and I’m obsessed with the vintage, crushed pink velvet. I call it my princess chair!

This picture is the best one of me and my dog, John Quincy Dog Adams, hiking together in California. It’s our favorite thing to do together.

This print is from one of my favorite artists, Jamie Beck. She did a quarantine series while locked down in France. This picture was the one from April 7 and has peonies, which are my favorite flowers. April 7 was the day my book, The Cabinet, came out and represented the culmination of decades of work. Let’s just say that the book launch didn’t look exactly what I expected, even though I really made the best of it, so this print means a lot to me.

Next, I love this quote from Louisa May Alcott. She was one of my favorite authors growing up and I identify with her headstrong female characters a great deal.

Finally, I made this calendar with themed photos of Quincy. This photo is the July image, he’s the best. Thanks so much for stopping by my office, hope you enjoyed it!



Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D. a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government – especially the president’s cabinet. She shares her research by writing everything from op-eds to books, speaking on podcasts and other media, and teaching every kind of audience. She is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She has been featured in the Law and History Review, the Journal of the Early Republic, TIME, and the Washington Post. Her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by the Belknap Imprint of Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020.

The New Criterion recently said of her book, “Fantastic…Unlike many works of popular history, The Cabinet never feels like hagiography. It lacks the reverence of works like Joseph J. Ellis’ Founder Brothers or the revisionist obsequiousness that now greets Alexander Hamilton’s name on stage…Chervinsky exemplifies the public-history ethos in her new book. The writing is clear and concise…She takes what could have been a dry institutional and political history of the Early Republic and transforms it into a compelling story of people and places.”

When she isn’t writing, researching, or talking about history, she can be found hiking with her husband and American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short).

Readers can request a personalized book plate here: https://www.lindsaychervinsky.com/book-plate



Lindsay’s Super Cute Furbaby, Quincy, Enjoying a Fun Day on the Water
PC: IG – @lchervinsky



Newsletter – Spot of Parchment:







BookBub Book Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:



Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Hardcover:

Amazon Audiobook:

Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook:

Barnes and Noble Hardcover:

Kobo eBook:

Kobo Audiobook:

Apple iBook eBook:

Google Play eBook:

The Book Depository Paperback:

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:

Harvard Bookstore Hardcover:



Lindsay will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Lindsay ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

    P.S. ~ Your furbaby, Quincy, is sooooo adorable!!! Thanks for sharing him and your office with us!!! It is such a great way for readers to really get to know you!!! :)

    1. Thanks so much for hosting! I think he's adorable too :) Which is good because he's a trouble-maker!

  2. Sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  3. Who is your favorite character from your book?

    1. Probably a tie between Henry Knox and Edmund Randolph. History tends to overlook their contributions in favor of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, so I like to try and bring them back into the story!

  4. Lindsay, I enjoyed meeting you and learning about your novel. It sounds fascinating. John Quincy is a handsome hiking buddy.

  5. My parents made sure to visit historical places on family summer vacations. As kids we hated it, wanting to visit Disneyland instead, lol. We visited Monticello, the Washington Monument, and other locations on a trip to Washington D.C. It would be awesome to read about these men in the forming of this country's government

  6. Thanks for sharing the excerpt & trailer!

  7. Where do you do most of your writing?

  8. How did you come up with the title of the book?

  9. Do you have any ideas for your next book?

  10. Very timely. Thanks for sharing.