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The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This concise book reintroduces us to the history that shaped the founding fathers, the history that they made, and what history has made of them. It gives the reader a context within which to explore the world of the founding fathers and their complex and still-controversial achievements and legacies.
Paperback, 238 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 3rd 2009)
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David
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
Joshua
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
Doug Vanderweide
May 11, 2010 Doug Vanderweide rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs, political nuts, anyone who's ever criticized a Supreme Court decision
Recommended to Doug by: History Book Club
An interesting look at the Founding Fathers. Reminds us that the founders had many different views of what the Constitution meant and the role of a national government. Also illustrates the many ways that even during the lifetimes of the founders, very sticky questions of constitutional interpretation lead to great political disagreement.

The author's later chapters are largely dedicated to a between-the-lines message debunking the kind of "strict interpretation" touted by the likes of today's Te
...more
Richard Brand
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
Penny
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.
Jean
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.
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.
Larry
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.
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
Very timely book. More of us need to read this with all the banter thrown around about "founding fathers" and "original intent."
Rosanne
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
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