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American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Different perspectives, provoking thought: pithy!

While I have read and enjoyed many books about the early years of our country's life, this one stood out for me.

Certainly, Ellis' easy reading style was a contributing factor. Nevertheless, the baseline concept and its delivery were the most significant reasons I t...
While I have read and enjoyed many books about the early years of our country's life, this one stood out for me.

Certainly, Ellis' easy reading style was a contributing factor. Nevertheless, the baseline concept and its delivery were the most significant reasons I thoroughly enjoyed this book. After providing a cogent "first year" foundation, Ellis outlined five events and the dialogue, issues, and history that led up to them; and why they were, and are, important to understand. These five watershed events were compelling for me, as Ellis painted the pictures: the winter at Valley Forge, the birthing of the Constitution, a first treaty with a Native American nation, the early years of infighting and beginning of the two-party system, and finally the Louisiana Purchase.

While other authors have dealt with some of these events and people before, Ellis brings in new and fresh viewpoints of interest today. The challenges of federal versus state governance are certainly of relevance considering the challenges facing states and the federal government to work together to resolve the devastating financial crisis we are in. A significant asset for the US throughout its history-its large space and the impact it has had on people's passions and desires-again another current topic considering that large landscape now through a lens of water shortages and environmental pressures. In addition, Ellis provided new insights for students of Washington, Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others. However, he also brought in less studied players, such as, Alexander McGillivray. Overall, as Ellis stated in The Founding chapter: "The American founding was, and still is, a group portrait."

A pithy read, prompting interesting dialogues! Nicely painted!

posted by Ceal52 on February 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not as good as Founding Brothers

This was an OK book, but I did not think it was as good as Founding Brothers. As an historian it told me little new. It would probably read better to a casual reader.

posted by SAM1954 on September 7, 2009

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