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American Dreams (The Crown Family Saga #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,521 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Just in time for the nation's birthday comes a new book from John Jakes! Praised as America's preeminent writer of historical fiction and "a master of the ancient art of storytelling" (The New York Times Book Review), Jakes continues to deliver one literary home run after another. Who else can make history come so alive? The Kent Family Chro
ebook, 560 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published July 1st 1998)
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Jan 01, 2016 lc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Dreams

John Jakes writes books which capture history in novel form. Thoroughly enjoyable characters set in memorable times, unforgettable scenes and snapshots of times for readers.
Mary JL
Jun 14, 2010 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
Recommended to Mary JL by: Fan of author
Shelves: fiction-classics
This is the sequel to "Homeland", Book 2 in the Crown family saga. Although it could be read seperately, certain passages will make more sense if you read "Homeland" first.

This book focusses on the second generation of the Crown family. The story of Fritzi's struggle to become an actress is well done and she is a very, very interesting character. Jakes mixes in historical characters in his usual way, such as Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin.

The book switches back and forth, and we again meet Pa
Jun 09, 2011 Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I don't write a review immediately after finishing a book because I didn't like the book or because it had some deep messages I was still working through or because I'm not sure what to make of the book. But, none of those apply to this book. I've just been so busy the past couple weeks that I haven't had time to write up my review. I really loved reading this one. I had not read anything from Mr. Jakes before, so this was a real surprise and a treat. I got the book (along with several ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Billye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all of John Jakes novels. This is the 2nd in he series of the Crown family- german emigrants who came to American in 1860's. The first book was Homeland. This follows the Crowne family thru WW1 and their involvement in the beginning of motion pictures. I completely recommend it.
Tom Eldridge
Second in the Crown Family story, as good as the first.
Jul 04, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book following Homeland.

Great book!
Jen Darling
Jun 06, 2017 Jen Darling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Enjoyed how the family grew
How hope was always there,in good times and bad.
Thanks for a great read. Love it!
Aug 21, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
While I greatly enjoyed Homeland, this part of the saga sagged a bit. It seemed to lack the depth we saw in Homeland, which focused primarily on German Immigrant, Paul...

Yet... there are lots of interesting historical tidbits here. The focus of this book is Fritzi, who wants to be an actress (in defiance of her father, and apparently-- all the kids to some extent live in defiance of their old man)-- her journey from Broadway to cinema and meeting various folks in the industry is the focus. Jake
Jul 26, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I inadvertently made the mistake of starting The Crown Family Saga by John Jakes with the second of the two books, "American Dreams". Regardless the book was thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly John Jakes. He writes wonderful historical fiction, full of rich characters that he skillfully inserts into history with well researched historical settings and facts. "American Dreams" is about an immigrant family in the early 1900's and follows the lives of the adult children of the second generation of ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book takes place at the beginning of the 1900’s and into World War I. What an exciting time to be young and alive! There were so many changes in the world resulting from new inventions: the silent film industry, the motor car, the airplane, and the camera. Fritzi Crown defies her father and moves to New York hoping to become a Broadway actress. After a few years of frustration, she applies for a job in the silent film industry and eventually becomes a successful actress. Her employer moves t ...more
Jan 06, 2008 Graceann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
This volume of John Jakes' story concentrates on Joe Crown's daughter, Fritzi, as she struggles to make a career for herself as an actress. I was really looking forward to reading this one, as it concentrates on one of my favorite eras - the dawn of movies in Hollywood. All the big players are here: Pickford, Chaplin, Griffith. Jakes makes some bush-league research errors in regard to things that a silent film buff would know (Roscoe Arbuckle's friends NEVER called him "Fatty," for instance), bu ...more
Sheila Parker
Dec 14, 2016 Sheila Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed the first Crown book, Homeland, but must admit that I LOVED American Dreams. I learned so much about life in Chicago and New York during that period of time , which changed, forever, the lives of these interesting and lovable characters. John Jakes is definitely. my favorite historical author.
Diane Wachter
RDC-M V 5, 1998, @ 1998, 2/13. Historical fiction. Continuation of the Crown family, 2nd generation from Homeland. Story of a young brother, sister, and cousin, of a Chicago millionaire-German immigrant, and their dreams in the new century; a racecar driver/airshow pilot; a broadway stage/Hollywood movie star; and an author/photographer who shows the horrors of WWI to a nation of unbelievers. Very good.
Nov 26, 2007 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe i read this book but i was desperate and had no other reading material and i have to was great! i have steered away from cheesey mini-series made for tv writers but i think i may have to go back and do a little reading. I was sucked in very quickly , which i like, and i am looking forward to the next installment to see what these characters do with their lives. Appologies to John Jakes and i recommend the read!
David Carraturo
It had been a while since I read a JJ book. I loved the North-South trilogy, and the first part of this series. For American Dreams I was a bit disappointed. For historical fiction, I am a stickler for not re-writing history, only planting the characters side-by-side history. He stated he took writers liberty to fit into his story. It was an entertaining read though for a point in time that is not well know.
Joe Mossa

i enjoy reading john jake s books. they are so easy to read and i feel as if im learning some american history as i read. his style is corny and like a soap opera. i can see history scholars snickering while they read his books,if they read them. his books should be required reading for history majors.
Aug 19, 2015 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read-books
this was a great story that continued with the crown childrens lives. how they went after what they wanted in life not caring what there father thought. the loves in there lives and the sufferings. Paul Crown the nephew found his love again and marrried. I was not to happy with the ending. I felt it could have had more closure. enjoyed it
Ruth Ann Maynard
I am finished!

At the beginning of 2016, I set a challenge to read 25 books. I have done that. It has mostly been through the help of John Jakes as I have read 9 of his books as a part of the 25. Thanks for feeding my historical fiction addition!
Nov 13, 2009 Mary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of many books I have had in storage for years. People give me books and now is the time to sort through them. I have some dandies. New motto: read or donate. Spoken like a person who really wants to buy The Nook fron Barnes & Noble.
Sequel to Homeland. Given the many details left unresolved, there was probably going to be a Crown #3. But it hasn't been written and JJ is now 82, so maybe there won't be another... Bummer.
Aaron Widera
My haiku review:

Doesn't end so much
as it just peters out, an
uninspired turn.
Shane Miller
Read Nov 2011
Jul 23, 2011 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoy it so far. Makes me want to look up information about that period in history.
Feb 25, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully told story well worth the reading!
John Bluck
Dec 01, 2014 John Bluck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book, because some of it occurs in Chicago, my old home town.
Cindy Creed
Nov 16, 2010 Cindy Creed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting as are all John Jake's writing
Robert Sterling
Nov 10, 2016 Robert Sterling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, another great one from Jake's.

The book has no sequel, so the ending kind of leaves you stranded, but it was a very good novel and highly recommended.
Feb 12, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get into this book, but i ended up really liking it. Fritzi is one of those lovable charcters that you can't help but relate to.
Susan Weber
Apr 18, 2012 Susan Weber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun and easy book to read! It does put you into history though!
Jul 14, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't remember much about it.

This note was added years after reading the book.

Newmarket library.
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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)
  • Homeland (Crown Family Saga, #1)

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