Stephanie Griffin's Reviews > Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

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

's review
Feb 21, 2008

liked it
Read in March, 2008

Founding Brothers is the Pulitzer Prize-winning United States history book written by Joseph J. Ellis.
The book brings to life the personalities of seven men who helped shape the beginning of this country and reveals them as the imperfect but determined people that they were. Those men are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin (although he makes very brief appearances), James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr.
Specifically, Founding Brothers looks at the period of time shortly after 1776 (concentrating on the 1790’s) when they continued their struggle to find agreement on just what the Declaration of Independence meant in terms of going forward with their experimental government. Examples of details included are: the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, the love-hate relationship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and the influence that Abigail Adams had on her husband.
For someone not steeped in knowledge of U.S. history, I found the mention of things such as certain treaties, without immediate explanation of their detail, to be a bit confusing.
The last chapter is the one I enjoyed the most. It concerns the rekindling of the relationship between Jefferson and Adams after they both had retired from public service. Since neither had an agenda anymore, they were freer to speak their minds. They left us with many wonderful letters between them.
Anyone interested in how people cope with compromise in order to further their beliefs will benefit from reading this book.

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

No comments have been added yet.