Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
In retrospect, it seems as if the American Revolution was inevitable. But was it? In Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis reveals that many of those truths we hold to be self-evident were actually fiercely contested in the early days of the republic.
Ellis focuses on six crucial moments in the life of the new nation, including a secret dinner at which the seat of the nation'...more
I felt double bad about this book because I had bought it for my dad earlier in the year as a birthday gift, and when it was on the required reading list of my American History cou ...more
This is a sentence found on page 80 of Joseph J. Ellis's Foundi ...more
The very idea of a legitimate opposition did not yet exist in the political culture of the 1790s, and the evolution of political parties was proceeding in an environment that continued to regard the word party as an epithet. In effect, the leadership of th...more
Ellis divides the book into six chapters, each revolving around a pivotal point in time, or around specific persons. People mentioned, specifically:
* George Washin ...more
I respectfully disagree, and prefer David McCullough's approach to history. Speaking at Brigham Young Univeristy in 2005, McCullough said:
"[N]obody ever lived in the past. Jefferson, Adams, Geo ...more
However, the final two chapters concerning the famous and often contentious relationship betw ...more
This expansive history examines these very human figures in the context of (mainly) the 1790's and brings them to life through the lenses of six different events.
Though this was my second reading of this excellent book, I found much that I had ...more
I only read this book because I am obsessed with the musical Hamilton.
I hate to be that kind of person. And I know I’m not the only one who’s obsessed, but I’ve been a huge Lin-Manuel Miranda fan ever since I moved 500 miles away from home at age 24 while sobbing along to the finale of In the Heights. It's a song all about understanding what “home” means, and as I drove across the mountains of West Virginia towards the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I realized that, even tho ...more
I didn't like Ellis' writing much: I found it to be plodding and he is fond of overusing certain words, such as, weird ...more
We learn the background to the Hamilton/Burr duel, but we learn ever so much more than that. This disagreement was several years in the making and the temper of the times was laid out for me. One of the first ...more
...Wait. Am I allowed to make fun of other reviewers on Goodreads? Will that get me banned?
I'll just say this: the word for a "nonsensical work" is "drivel," not "dribble." And "Founding Brothers" is not drivel. It's a beautifully written, smartly argued, and ACCESSIBLY succinct masterpiece (accessibly in caps because some Goodreaders seem to be under the ...more
I did like the perspective of the book, that is, the structure the author used to talk about these times and these people. Instead of trying to ...more
For a long time, I've been puzzled by how a big dreamer like Thomas Jefferson could uphold the ideals of the American Declaration of Independence, while being a slaveowner himself. This book explains it! Finally!
I've also wondered what kind of debates, if any, were going on in Congress about the s ...more