Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM EDT
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Blau 1580, Ross School of Business 
700 E. University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Tracy Payovich 
The Clements Library 

Mary Stockwell
Unlikely General: "Mad" Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America

Imagine America in such a crisis that only one battle seems able to save it. Then imagine the president of the United States deciding which general should lead the nation into this battle. Over the objections of his cabinet, he picks an aging brigadier whose private life is mired in scandal. He is a well-known womanizer who has broken the heart of his dying wife with his many affairs. His daughter and son barely remember him. He is a spend-thrift who has nearly bankrupted his family’s estate with one bad debt after another. He is a fraud who has just been removed from Congress because his supporters stuffed ballot boxes to get him elected. On some mornings, he is so sick and swollen that he can only get out of bed by wrapping his arms and legs in bandages. Once standing, this sad and tired man, grown old before his time, battles a crippling depression eased only by his beloved brandy and Madeira. There are even whispers in high places and low that he is quite mad.

If the president chose such a general today, it would take pundits in the media less than a day to have him dismissed. But in 1792, news did not travel so quickly and General Anthony Wayne was well on his way to the Ohio Country before word of his appointment spread from Philadelphia. Like his cabinet, Washington had grave doubts about his former brigadier. But he knew that whenever he had been in desperate trouble – at Brandywine, Germantown, Valley Forge, Monmouth Courthouse, Stony Point, and Yorktown – Anthony Wayne had always come to his rescue. The president now found himself in an even more perilous situation. A powerful Indian confederation had blocked the advance of the Americans across the Ohio River. If Wayne did not defeat the tribes, and their British allies, and take hold of the vast Ohio Country that stretched to the Mississippi, then the United States, bottled up on the eastern seaboard, would wither on the vine, disappearing from the pages of history along with every memory of the brave General Washington who once led it.

Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America follows America’s most scandalous general from the moment he is appointed Commander in Chief of the Legion of the United States in 1792 to his great victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers two years later and finally to his death in 1796 when his shattered body at last gave way to all the hardships he had endured for his country. The book also follows Wayne’s life through flashbacks that reveal how his past brought him to the present moment. Drawn from Wayne’s own passionate letters, where he confessed his deepest thoughts and emotions in a vivid style so different from the rationalism of his peers, it likewise tells the story of how General Wayne gave up everything that mattered in life – his youth, his marriage, his family and friends, his health, and his fortune – to rescue a people who would forget all he had suffered on their behalf, save for the nickname they bestowed on him – “Mad” Anthony.