Erwin's Reviews > Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 05, 2011

liked it
Read in April, 2011

"Founding Brothers" gets inside of the relationships between the founding fathers, and describes how our view of the founders changed in the years following the founding of the American Republic.

Shortly after the nation was founded, the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, were focused on building a strong central government to hold the union together.

Meanwhile, the republicans were focused on maintaining states rights.

The founding of the republic was by no means a "sure thing" as Americans are taught today - like most business or political ventures, the founding of the republic was a long series of negotiations and compromises, with each step like walking on the blade of a knife.

In the years after the republic was founded, July 4th was made a holiday, which focused ever more attention on the "Declaration of Independence", and it's author Thomas Jefferson. During the founding of the republic, the declaration was just one event among twenty, one that didn't have such significance, but with the creation of the July 4th holiday, the other important events (and other important founders) were gradually forgotten, and attention for all events became concentrated on just one event: Independence Day.

Thomas Jefferson was a Bill Clinton of his day. His politics were flexible. He could quickly make a policy reversal. He was an excellent politician, but not necessarily the unerring leader that he's remembered as in American propaganda.

The Founding Brothers covers Hamilton and Burr, moving the capitol from NY/Pennsylvania to the Potomac River and Hamilton's "Federalization" that was part of the deal, silence on slavery that would erupt later in the civil war, Washington's farewell address and his policy of neutrality for 20 years hence, relationships between pres. John Adams and his wife Abigail and the collaboration between James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, and the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (even though that relationship was on ice for nearly two decades).

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Founding Brothers.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.