Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Founding Fathers Reconsidered” as Want to Read:
The Founding Fathers Reconsidered
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  208 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Here is a vividly written and compact overview of the brilliant, flawed, and quarrelsome group of lawyers, politicians, merchants, military men, and clergy known as the "Founding Fathers"--who got as close to the ideal of the Platonic "philosopher-kings" as American or world history has ever seen.
In The Founding Fathers Reconsidered, R. B. Bernstein reveals Washington, Fr
...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 3rd 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Founding Fathers Reconsidered, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Joshua
May 16, 2013 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I studied history in college and even though I had classes in American history it was not my emphasis. I was always puzzled at American historians because in world history we are so far removed from our subject matter that we find it easier to be clinical in our assessment. In American history classes there was a lot of heat, bias, and and low sense of objectivity. It seemed that once we reached 1776 every one was fair game. The irony is that outside of the university there is a strange kind of ...more
David
Jun 23, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an easy read. The only reason it took so long is that I tend to consume a lot of audio books as I don't get near as much time to sit down with a real book. Overall, it only took a few hours of reading. I did read all the footnotes, and I got lots of ideas for interesting follow on reads. What I learned was when the whole concept of "Founding Fathers" developed. I've been reading a lot on other topics which relate to the "Founding Fathers" and the Constitution. This book did have me recons ...more
Richard Brand
Feb 27, 2012 Richard Brand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fairly short work that seemed to be a little repetitive but its basic premise needs to be constantly spoken. The first body of politicians that wrote the Constitution were politicians who were trying to create a certain kind of government. There were a number of issues that they could not solve at the time. There were compromises made because they needed to stay united. There was a compromise that eventually led to the Civil War. The current on going debate about original intent has b ...more
John
Book was far too short to cover its material well.
Also, I felt it didn't bring anything new to the discussion. The founding fathers were not perfect. Everybody knows this. Moreover, after reading this I do not feel as I know the founding fathers better.
However, this book does contain some very interesting facts like who coined the term "founding fathers." This is also an easy read.
My score is somewhere between 2 and 3.
Jean
Apr 21, 2011 Jean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting tour through the times of the formation of our country, but I didn't gain as much insight into the characters of the founding fathers as I expected. More about the ideas they struggled with and the lasting impact of their documents instead of personalities in more detail. Deteriorates toward the end when it gets into "Legacies." I guess the problem is that I wanted a different book than the author wanted to write.
Penny
Jun 21, 2013 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reasonable overview of the founding fathers (and mothers), the ideas and issues they battled with, political climate at the time and brief history of how the nation thinks of and reveres the founding fathers over time. A little repetitive.
A good primer for those who haven't read many revolutionary war biographies to better understand the timing and dynamics of the founding of these(the) United States.
Or you could rent 1776 on DVD.
Nikki Wilson
Sep 24, 2014 Nikki Wilson rated it it was amazing
Good overview of the founding fathers and their choices & actions in framing the Constitution and America. My only complaint is with the title of the book. There really isn't anything "new" being presented in this book to "reconsider." Still, the material was presented well and the book was pretty engaging. I would recommend a read.
Selena (Life of a Random)
YOOO.


I'm done. PRAISE. Now I have to write a paper >.<

On the slightly more serious side, I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about the founding fathers and how the constitution was formed... and I really appreciate that it opened up a less ideal and a more realistic/pragmatic vantage point.

Curlingkat
A good, accessible introduction to the complexity of the people and era when the U.S. was founded. I particularly liked the discussions surrounding "original intent" interpretation of the Constitution. I felt like it just touched the surface, but to go further would probably have made for a much longer book, and perhaps have discouraged those with a more casual interest in history.
Larry
Aug 05, 2010 Larry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Not as good as his Jefferson book, this book is a very quick and dirty introduction to some of the founders. My biggest complaint is that it seems a bit purposeless. The information isn't bad, but I'm sure you can get most of it from reading his Jefferson book.
Eugene Procknow
Excellent analysis which dispels common myths. A sort but compelling read
Blake Maddux
Anyone who is inclined to read this book will not learn anything that he or she did not already know. "The Founding Fathers Re-written About" would have been a more fitting title.
David
May 06, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very timely book. More of us need to read this with all the banter thrown around about "founding fathers" and "original intent."
Rosanne
Feb 18, 2012 Rosanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I really, really wanted to read this, but it was just a bit too dense for my old head. May try it again one day.
Mark Cheathem
An excellent summary of the importance of the founding generation.
Peter A.  van Tilburg
Interesting picture pf the people who stood for the new America
Leigh
Leigh rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2012
Robert
Robert rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2014
Michael
Michael rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2010
Rasmussenesq
Rasmussenesq rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2013
Chad Hastings
Chad Hastings rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2014
Jordan Louks
Jordan Louks rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2016
Kay Robinett
Kay Robinett rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2015
Nick
Nick rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2015
mera
mera rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2017
Leslie B Mink
Leslie B Mink rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2015
Ryan
Ryan rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2012
Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2017
Sherri Stephens
Sherri Stephens rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2012
Scott
Scott rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800
  • Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free
  • Lion of Liberty: The Life and Times of Patrick Henry
  • To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders
  • A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and Its War with the United States
  • Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts
  • AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State
  • Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic
  • Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
  • America Afire: Jefferson, Adams, and the Revolutionary Election of 1800
  • Jefferson and the Rights of Man
  • A World Of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East- from the Cold War to the War on Terror
  • Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America
  • Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideals
  • Wild Rose: The True Story of a Civil War Spy
  • Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War
  • Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power
  • Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer

Share This Book