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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  3,466 ratings  ·  173 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. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 1200 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Signet (first published 1993)
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Michelle The second book is "American Dreams", and it's really good too. …moreThe second book is "American Dreams", and it's really good too. (less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  3,466 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Feb 03, 2008 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.
Mary JL
Mar 13, 2010 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
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
Nov 03, 2008 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.
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.
Mar 03, 2008 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 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 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. ...more
Dec 06, 2009 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! ...more
Deb Jenson
Jun 15, 2016 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.
Victoria Rodríguez
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I remember I saw it in a thrift store, I liked the cover so I decided to read it. It's great, and the best part is that its part of a trilogy. The story focuses on Pauli Kroner, a German who dreams of being a wealthy successful entrepreneur. He lives in a poor neighbourhood in Berlin with his uncles. One day his aunt advises him to emigrate to the United States since he has an uncle in Chicago. Pauli accepts, he immediately starts working to save money in order to board ...more
Apr 10, 2017 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.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Another wonderful book by John Jakes.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting history; he's a very good writer. ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-general
I usually enjoy reading John Jakes - history mixed into interesting characters and story lines. I get an enjoyable read, and maybe learn something along the way. This book, from an immigrant's perspective, gives glimpses of the immigrant experience in America. Things we've often heard parts of, but the book winds it into a fleshed-out, full story. I was not riveted to this book as I have been with other Jakes books, but it did catch me enough to want to know what happens to Pauli next. Some of t ...more
Feb 08, 2017 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! ;)
Sep 25, 2016 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.

2020 Update: There is only one thing wrong with this book, and that is its length. 1200 pages is just too long. But everything else is great: the characters, the dialogue, the many-faceted plot, and the turn of the century setting. Especially good is the research revealed in the many historical events in the book. Jakes is just plain great at
Sean Cocchia
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I normally love historical fiction (JJakes and JArcher
Type of books)... but this JJakes did not have the normal magic. The battle between the capitalist and his socialist kids felt thin. I never had the challenge of being pulled between two sides - instead I felt like the kids were just spoiled. And then the chapters on the Spanish-American War were just boring and the side characters somewhat useless and unfulfilling
Gloria Brooks
Dec 05, 2016 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 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 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 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 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. ...more
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.
Maria Rose
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A view of America

I always enjoy a good historical novel, especially those written this author, because he shows the reality of the times along with the tale he is presenting. This story is about a German immigrant family, whose patriot (father Joseph), came to America to escape conditions of life in Germany. He was not a wealthy man at start but made himself one by developing a successful beer brewery and distribution business. He kept up a connection with his sister via letters so when she aske
Sharon Forbes
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I FINALLY finished reading this tome!! Oh, heavens, it is one VERY BIG book, clocking in at 1174 pages!! That being said, it WAS a very good, very well written saga. It is the story of Paul Crown, how he starts out as a young boy over in Germany, and manages to scrape, claw, and scour his way here to America, under the sponsorship of his Uncle Joseph Crown, who has established a brewery, this taking place circa 1890. The story goes on through Paul's life, tells of his many struggles and heartach ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Jakes is a favorite of mine--back to the whole North and South series. He is a master at writing historically accurate fiction and this book is no exception. The main character (and there are many characters but to my mind only one main) is Pauli/Paul/"Dutch" Crown, a brave German immigrant who endured a horrific Atlantic crossing as a teenager--all alone. His story is convoluted and at times almost beyond belief but always interesting. The rest of the characters are included in their own c ...more
Tam May
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

It's easy to see why Jakes is one of the top historical fiction authors - he knows how to get readers involved with characters. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed very much.

I didn't finish it, though, and the reason is more that it's not my style of fiction. The style reminded me of the blockbuster bestseller books I used to read in the 1980's - sort of the fictional version of Dallas and Dynasty. It's an "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of plot. Everything that can ever
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my first Jakes book and I totally enjoyed the close blend with historical characters and events which most writers dismiss as trite. The story of the success of an immigrant German boy in the 1890's in Chicago is compelling, but not nearly as riveting as the characters he encounters and who we meet. Teddy Roosevelt comes across as energetic in a bullying sort of way and Thomas Edison as a hard-nosed business type. Along the way, Pauli the newcomer, gets interested in film production and ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could. It's been a while since I've read a book with over 1000 pages and sometimes they tend to be a little too detailed and strung out, which also seemed the case with this one at times. Overall, I really liked the storyline which tells of a young German immigrant who comes to Chicago to live with his uncle and is full of hopes which almost get crushed. However, he makes his own way eventually and ends up finding the love of his life and becoming an America ...more
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Is there a third book in the series? 4 24 Jun 30, 2012 09:52AM  

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John William 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 Time ...more

Other books in the series

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

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