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Homeland (Crown Family Saga, #1)
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Homeland (The Crown Family Saga #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,575 ratings  ·  59 reviews
From the Publisher As America hurtles through the final explosive events of the nineteenth century, a young German immigrant named Pauli Kroner is about to realize his dream: He will taste a life of privilege in the Chicago mansion of his uncle, Joe Crown, head of a brewery dynasty. But Pauli's ultimate clash with that stern, proud, patriarch will force him to a risky exis ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 1200 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Signet (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

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Homeland is the first in a John Jakes series about the Crown family, a story of German-American immigrants from the 19th century. As the story opens, young Paul Crown barely escapes starvation to arrive in America where, he again, barely escapes starvation. Luckily for him, he has a wealthy American relative - Joe Crown. The elder Crown is a self-made man, emigrating himself as a youth and founding a beer empire in Chicago.

Jakes provides an interesting look at Chicago in the late 19th century. F
Mary JL
Mar 13, 2012 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any fan of historical fiction or history
Recommended to Mary JL by: Fan of author
Shelves: fiction-classics
At 1200 pages, this book is long--but there is really a lot of good writing in here. A great blend of history and fiction; the type John Jakes does so well.

There are two events showcased. The Pullman Strike in Chicago is the first. Joe Crown, Paul's uncle is a brewery owner,quite rich and opposed to the untions. Joe, Jr. his son, is rebelling against his father, who likes to control people. When the strike erupts in violence and one of Joe Crown's trusted employees is killed, he is furious with
Excellent book- this book starts in the 1890's in America with a the Crowne Family of german immigrants. It begins where the 10 book series of the Kent Family Chronicles stopped. The Kent Chronicles started in 1700's in America and ended in 1880's. This is the first book with a new family and there will be 2 in this series. This is well written and very interesting and a way to learn about American History. This book is almost 800 pages, fine print and a large book but well worth the read. I'm g ...more
Mar 24, 2008 Graceann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Please see my detailed review at
The sequence containing his travel from Germany to America - the hellish passage in steerage, the long walk to Chicago, is vividly drawn and, at times, painful to read. That's only the beginning of the many trials that Paul will face as he grows into this new Country, America. Along the way we meet many well-drawn and interesting characters, including Paul's uncle, Joseph, who is still mired in the old ways, and his Aunt Ilsa, who is stepping into the
The reason for my 5 star review is two-fold. Not only Do Jakes characters come alive and the story holds interest throughout, it is also the very first book of Jakes i ever read and it introduced me to him.
Olga H. Rivas
Aug 20, 2008 Olga H. Rivas rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: To any History Major
Recommended to Olga H. by: A History teacher
The story is based on prior charactors from the first book. It is a History Buffs' dream come true. It has been a long time since I read it, but I even learned things I did not know.
This was a powerful and well written historical novel. It covers the final two decades of the 19th century through the eyes of a German immigrant who travels to America to find the American dream by living with his uncle's family.

Every character is distinct and carefully drawn. Jakes is a master at creating varying characters and conflict. Even the peripheral characters like Aunt Willis, the free-love hippy like woman who volunteers to help nurse alongside Clara Barton, serve to advance the sto
Brent Laswell
Longwinded, contrived characters set against a sinister backdrop of graft, crime, corruption, greed, violence, labor wars, class wars, and war itself. The author is not complimentary towards Chicago, and the book is definitely not a nostalgic look back at the "good old days."

While the historical accounts were well-written and the brewing business of the period was interesting, the author focused too much on the bad aspects of the era and not enough on the good.
"As America hurtles through the final explosive events of the nineteenth century, a young German immigrant named Pauli Kroner is about to realize his dream: He will taste a life of privilege in the Chicago mansion of his uncle, Joe Crown, head of a brewery dynasty. But Pauli's ultimate clash with that stern proud patriarch will force him to a risky existence on the city's dark side. Here he will become Paul Crown, a bold ambitious man driven by a powerful vision. His rise from penniless newcomer ...more
Just like his other historical fiction novels, I learned a lot more about history while being drawn into and entranced with Paul Crown, a German immigrant, who was determined to make a decent life in America. As part of this dream, he decides to become a photographer and uses new technology such as photography and filmmaking to photograph and record the Spanish American war. The entire historical aspect is just as fascinating and captivating as following Paul's trials and tribulations in his new ...more
Shannon Skaggs
Although I couldn't put this book down, I felt there were some holes. The story goes from description to an almost painful level to very broad as the book wraps up. Almost as though Jakes got bored with the work before it was complete. Smaller "annoying" things to me were the same phrases used too often and sexual blatancy rather than innuendo.
Larry Smith
Excellent historical novel!!!!

Jake's story of the progress and trials of a German immigrant is spectacular. It brings history to life and gave me a whole new perspective on the period in which my grandparents were born. Bravo!!!
Sharon Hardin
Having read all 8 of Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles and then Homeland, this 1200 page book didn't seem all that long. I like that in each book Jakes uses some lesser known events in each time period, so I feel like I learned something new with each book. I enjoyed Homeland because of the diversity of the characters and events. His style is easy to read, although I don't enjoy the military and battle scenes as much as some readers might. He does use some repetitive descriptions in all books, e.g., ...more
This book bounced between 3-4 stars for me. I liked the writing but I did find myself wanting to skip sections of it because I lost interest in the character.

I think the Crowns are an interesting story and I will continue to read the series to see where they go from here.
Jun 30, 2012 Tammy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
This is my favorite of all his books. It is very long, I had a friend ask me how many books do I read in a week, I had answered it depends on how big the book is. Believe me it took me more than one week to read this book. What an adventure! From an emigrants voyage to the new world his trials and tribulations in finding his family,friends, love, a dream but new profession, war, but mostly growing up in 1800's America. I enjoyed the Crown family. I adore Paul. The Chicago expedition, Spanish/Ame ...more
My favorite genre. Loved it, as I have all his books.
I read this book when I was in jail. I had been talking about antiques to another inmate. The next day he gave me this book and said, "This book reminds me of you. You should read it."

Even though I was intimidated by the number of pages, I had nothing better to do, so I read it.

This book changed my life. I had read many books before that, but none I had so thoroughly enjoyed.

I don't know who that man was, nor do I remember his name. But I became a reader after that brief jail stay. I read every
I urge anyone with any interest in American history to delve into this must read from John Jakes. It is a long epic of a story spanning about 10 years between 1893 and 1903. It tells the story of a young German immigrant, Paul, who comes to America with high hopes of a bright future. The reader is pulled into the lives of Paul and his friends (and enemies) and family. I couldn't put this book down and I'm sure you won't be able to either. The sequel is called American Dreams.
Aaron Widera
My haiku review:

German immigrant
makes good in America. There's
a love story too.
Jul 23, 2009 Dan added it
This book was absolutely amazing. One of the best historical fictions I have ever read. The paperback is over 1,000 pages, but I liked it so much those 1,000 pages seemed to go by too fast. I wish they would make this into a mini-series. I've re-read it several times. And I NEVER re-read books.
Feb 16, 2014 Jeanne added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I thought this book had potential to carry me through some interesting historical times but I found it bland. Then I realized I kept avoiding it and looking for something else to read…a different book, magazines, catalogs. It's on my Kindle and I might try it again someday, but I doubt it.
I have yet not to love a John Jakes book. I especially loved this one since it is set in Chicago, one of the few big cities that I am familiar with. Please don't let the length of this book keep you from reading is time well spent. I feel like each of the characters is an acquaintance!
This book starts out as a very compelling read, however, it is long, and the last quarter becomes rather predictable, sn a little tedious. At 1000+ pages, I was happy when I finished, although it was an excellent way to put a face on that history that was so boring in 11th grade....
I finally was able to get through this book. I had started it many years ago but never finished it but this time I stuck it out. Definately not as good as the Kent series or the North & South series.
Stephanie Jones
I read this book in high school. It has been a while since I read this book, but I remember loving it! I loved the historical references as well as the love story at the center of the story.
Beth Bedee
I learned a lot about a period of American History I was not that familiar with. I am a big fan of John Jakes. I love how he gives you a section of history from all angles: both rich and poor.
FINALLY!!!! Slogging through this tome was pure endurance, although there was a lot of interesting historical facts about the US. Not a whole lot of tension, just plodding along.
This is a long book, takes time to read it, but very interesting and well written. Will wait awhile to read the saga of the next generation of the Crown family
Very enjoyable saga. John Jakes has a talent for writing loveable heroes and despicable villians and immersing them into a part of American history.
Dana Smith
I enjoyed reading this book & getting involved in the characters' lives. Jakes waited until the very end of the book to give the ending of the storylines!
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Is there a third book in the series? 4 17 Jun 30, 2012 09:52AM  
  • Second Generation (Lavette Family, #2)
  • Before the Darkness Falls (Savannah Quartet, #3)
  • Annapolis
  • House Divided
  • Washington! (Wagons West, #9)
  • 1812
  • Freedom
John Jakes, the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today’s most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes’s commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of “the godfather of historical novelists” from the Los Angeles Times and le ...more
More about John Jakes...

Other Books in the Series

The Crown Family Saga (2 books)
  • American Dreams (Crown Family Saga, #2)
North and South (North and South, #1) The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles, #1) Love and War (North and South, #2) Heaven and Hell (North and South, #3) The Warriors (Kent Family Chronicles, #6)

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“I have always had a special affinity for libraries and librarians, for the most obvious reasons. I love books. (One of my first Jobs was shelving books at a branch of the Chicago Public Library.) Libraries are a pillar of any society. I believe our lack of attention to funding and caring for them properly in the United States has a direct bearing on problems of literacy, productivity, and our inability to compete in today's world. Libraries are everyman's free university.” 64 likes
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