Clinton's Reviews > American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic

American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis
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's review
Jul 28, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: students of history
Read in June, 2008

I read this to fill in a few of the considerable gaps in my knowledge of American history. I found Ellis readable and entertaining, especially his chapters on the Continental Army at Valley Forge and the Louisiana Purchase.

His portraits of Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Washington are compelling and complex.

Ellis sets out to present the founding generation as neither saints nor villains. He shows how the founding was the product of some brilliant individuals but also of the historical climate that enabled such an creative act of statecraft. He balances these achievements with two historical tragedies from which we've yet to recover: slavery and our disastrous encounters with native cultures.

This is a layperson's history--though apparently exhaustively researched--that would be a good springboard for further, deeper historical readings.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Hope (new)

Hope Baugh Thanks, Clint, for this review, and for asking to be my "GoodReads friend." I am still reading a lot, but I don't have much time to post on GoodReads. Also, I hate having to assign stars. But I have always loved reading what you write, so I am looking forward to reading your reviews!

message 2: by Clinton (last edited Jul 29, 2008 02:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Clinton Thanks, Hope. I was glad you popped up as a friend. With luck I'll be able to keep up with this better than my blog. What I'm reading is often more interesting to me than what I'm doing.

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