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

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,566 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
At the dawn of a new century, from the uncontrolled chaos of Chicago's infamous Pullman Strike, to the birth of the moving picture, and the bloody carnage of the Spanish-American War, the immigrant Crown family raced with the currents of a changing world and their own desires, to claim America as their own.
Mass Market Paperback, 1200 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Signet (first published 1993)
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Feb 03, 2008 Stacey rated it it was amazing
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.
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, 2010 Mary JL rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
Consisting of over 1,200 pages, I picked this book up thinking that I would lose interest and probably not finish it, but John Jakes is the best historical fiction writer that I have ever encountered. I not only enjoyed reading every page of this book but I learned a great deal too. I loved this book.
Mar 03, 2008 Graceann rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2015 Billye rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Dec 06, 2009 Beth rated it really liked 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!
Deb Jenson
Jun 15, 2016 Deb Jenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Follows the life of a boy that immigrates from Germany to Chicago in the late 1800s. Since I live in Chicago today, I especially liked hearing about the city and the attractions at that time.
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.
Apr 10, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading about the Crowns and I love the late nineteenth century period. It felt like I was right there and I could almost see Teddy Roosevelt. My only complaint is the 1100 pages and of course I knew that when I started it.
Feb 28, 2017 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Very interesting history; he's a very good writer.
Feb 08, 2017 Zoe rated it it was amazing
talk about putting history and using politics by low-minded men in perspective. It seem like it has been happening forever! ;)
Gloria Brooks
Dec 05, 2016 Gloria Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book

This book is so consuming, I had a hard time putting it down. This story is about German refugees coming to America to try and make a better life. They had a very hard time making there way culturally..but made from a strong bloodline and wills,they carved a place for themselves here in America.
Jan 04, 2017 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved learning about the history of the late 1800s in America. Although I knew some things about the labor movement, I had no idea how widespread it was across the country. I also loved that the book was a hefty 1200 pages, really enough to allow me to join the Crown family via that willing suspension of disbelief.
terri gillespie
Jan 22, 2017 terri gillespie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo! Jake's makes you feel as if you are right there living the history and feeling the same feelings the characters felt. Couldn't stop reading! I wish I would have paid more attention in history classes!

One of my favorite! History presented in a way I don't think I've ever read before. Couldn't stop thinking about it!
Oct 30, 2012 Kat rated it really liked it
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....
Olga H. Rivas
Jun 25, 2008 Olga H. Rivas rated it liked it
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.
Rebecca S. Smith
Midwest Historical fiction

I love the characters created by John Jakes. They always have interesting flaws and see their world and very interesting ways.
Sep 25, 2016 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Very engrossing story of an immigrant and his family, circa 1890-1900. Very long; it dragged a bit at times. But I will probably read the next installment.
Another of John Jakes novels about America. Picks up where the Kent family Chronicles leaves off. Setting is Chicago where German immigrants settled and established themselves as new Americans. Talks about the continued struggles our country and politics had, the battle between the "haves and have-nots" and how this all impacts one family.
Louis Macko
I read this deliberately because I knew it would be fluff, which I have done before, and like always I was disappointed in my decision. I guess I really am a literary snob because this was absolute drivel, and so simplistic, it was almost harder to read. Dear Mr. Jakes, in a 1200 page book, don't put the climax at page 1000 and expect us still give a damn for 200 more pages. GARBAGE!!!
Carole Koeune
Jun 28, 2017 Carole Koeune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The book was an extremely enjoyable. The characters were real to life as possible. It also shows how immigrants to the USA, all the ups and downs of coming to a foreign country, all the things they must over come.
Jun 14, 2017 Jen rated it liked it
The basic story that John Jakes tells is a good one, about a time in American history that isn't usually talked about too much. The story was interesting but could have been told in half the words.
Jun 23, 2017 Terry rated it really liked it
John Jakes does the 20th century. Borderline read-again
Good historical novel about a German immigrant to America.
Vicki Pieranunzi
Dec 07, 2016 Vicki Pieranunzi rated it liked it
Just okay. Won't read the other books in this series.
Eleanor Thompson
Mar 18, 2017 Eleanor Thompson rated it really liked it
This is a whopper of a book that could have been shortened and still have maintained the richness of the story. The mistreatment of women at the turn of the 19th century is sadly still seen today with men trying to control women's bodies. Prejudice against those of other races is still prevalent as well; it is just aimed at different targets. Jakes wrote an afterword expressing hope that America would once again be a land of opportunity and greatness; with the current governmental regime it appe ...more
Jul 29, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 03, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Excellent ... all 1200 pages!!! Dishes are piled in the sink ... bed is unmade ... dinner not eaten or eaten with ebook in hand! If you've read any of John Jakes's previous books, add this one to your list ... it's not new ... but new to me. A sweeping story taking place during the last ten years of the 19th century--1890-1900--give or take a few flashbacks ... I'll add more when I read the second book to this saga, American Dreams.
Bed is made, dishes washed, everything put away ...
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Is there a third book in the series? 4 21 Jun 30, 2012 09:52AM  
  • Second Generation (Lavette Family, #2)
  • Before the Darkness Falls (Savannah Quartet, #3)
  • House Divided
  • Colorado! (Wagons West, #7)
  • Cape Cod
  • 1812
  • City of God: A Novel of Passion and Wonder in Old New York (Old New York, #3)
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
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Other Books in the Series

The Crown Family Saga (2 books)
  • American Dreams (Crown Family Saga, #2)

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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.” 73 likes
“1891-1892 Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of exiles. 1883 The New Colossus by EMMA LAZARUS, written to raise funds to complete the Statue of Liberty” 1 likes
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