Customer Reviews for

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Average Rating 3.5
( 180 )
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(67)

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(26)

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(20)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

So How Did It All Turn Out?

Silly Question,you say, but in Joseph Ellis's capable hands, we come to understand that the great American experiment in democracy was very much in doubt for several years after the U.S.Constitution was ratified. Ellis is endlessly fascinating as he displays the early d...
Silly Question,you say, but in Joseph Ellis's capable hands, we come to understand that the great American experiment in democracy was very much in doubt for several years after the U.S.Constitution was ratified. Ellis is endlessly fascinating as he displays the early days of our Republic and the brilliant, flawed, dedicated, wise, sometimes simply wrong political leaders. Yet, they held it all together in the end. They didn't lose the dream of freedom that had urged so many men to risk everything, even their lives, for a chance to live that dream..

If, like me, your understanding of American history is little more than that fast trip through high school history, this is delicious reading. Ellis is a seductive story teller who brings the Americon icons like Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to life with all their splendor and warts showing. Somehow, you think more highly of them and their accomplishments, often against staggering odds, because they were not perfect, but simply men who carried a shared vision that meant everything to them.

I recommend you not miss this chance to know them well.

posted by MarjorieMorningstar on April 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

WORST AP United States History Assignment EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, this book was my summer reading project. This snooze fest of a book literally made me cry of boredom. In my opinion, Joseph Ellis' first draft of the novel was written in a way NORMAL Americans could understand...THEN Mr. Ellis decided to go back to his original d...
Okay, this book was my summer reading project. This snooze fest of a book literally made me cry of boredom. In my opinion, Joseph Ellis' first draft of the novel was written in a way NORMAL Americans could understand...THEN Mr. Ellis decided to go back to his original draft and then added every insignificant FLUFF word he could think of. If this book was giving as a punishment it is pretty much guarantied the punished individual would never misbehave again. I hate this book and only read it because it was required for my class, and I have absolutely no idea why a sane person would read this novel for pleasure.

posted by 4435989 on August 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    Excellent book for AP US History

    the book was not an easy read but it was one of the best history books i have ever read. the book contained outstanding amount of detail on the era

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2006

    YUCK!

    i was assigned this book for summer reading...it almost ruined my summer! I felt a pinch of joy everytime I finished a page because it was one page closer to finishing the boring book. There is too much info on random people and how they thought about certain issues. Very wordy and hard to understand...don't read this book if you're in high school

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Not the worlds GREATEST book

    I am a high school student and this book was assigned to me as summer homework. Honestly my least favorite subject is History and this book didn't exactly make me like it more. I read it because I had to, otherwise I would have re-read The Da Vinci Code.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2006

    Great book! Very interesting!

    I read this book for a Barnes and Noble University. It was a great class and a really good book. It was very interesting to learn about the people who set the stage for our country! Great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2006

    Not for light reading...

    I had to read this for summer reading and although it was interesting material, it was hard to understand. The author writes it very nice, but I found my mind drifting through parts of it. I guess you need to be interested in this stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2006

    History teachers only

    Had a really hard time staying awake through this one. Would have stopped by the second page if I didn't have to read it for summer work. Ellis has some good points to make, but most of them are so skewed by big words and tangents, it's a long, hard slog. There's a sentence in The Silence where there are at least seven words that are either really long or completely baffling or both. Is that really necessary? We know you're probably pretty intelligent, Mr. Ellis, we don't need to have you inform us all the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    A Fine book on the founders of America

    I have read 'Founding Brothers' as a bit of summer reading(purely voluntarily). I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Ellis tells the fascinating story and relationships between the key players of the Revolution. Numerous primary sources are used, and the book gives a clear picture of the the fledgeling nation and its 'greatly gifted but deeply flawed' founders. The ordering of the story should not be too confusing. The fact is, this is'nt told in chronological order. It is split into smaller studies of events, and people. The book was was intriguing for the most part, though it had a few dull spots. I did need to reread, though only occasionally and generally when distracted by some other thing. Th book did seem to be repetitive. This was probably so Ellis could drive home some key points but still I beleive that was a bit overdone. Other than these minor issues. The book was great. It is extremely detailed and well put together. The ending chapter that discusses Jefferson and Adams in old age was particularly compelling. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves early American history, but nobody else. If you aren't itnerested at all in the subject than my personal opinion means zilch. You'll probably be bored with the book. Any history lover though, will be pleased with it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2006

    Good Background Information

    'Founding Brothers' was an overall good book for someone(like myself) who didn't know much about the revolutionary generation after the founding of America. The issue I was presented with was that some sections were boring and I would zone out and sometimes have to re-read. In all, a good tough book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2005

    for history lovers only

    I am a high school student, and had no trouble understanding this book-the difficult part was staying awake through it! I often had to re-read a paragraph because my mind wandered off in the midst of it. The Founding Brothers was far from the most fascinating thing I've ever read, but I can understand why a person who enjoys history might appreciate it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Not a thriller

    Although this was a well written and informative book, after the first 40 pages I became bored with the verbose style. Someone with time who enjoys American history would certainly enjoy this book, but if your 16 like me and you do not have a lot of patience then you should go straight for the spark notes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2005

    wow the worst book

    wow - i used to love revolutionary history!! i mean really love it! until i had to read this book for history class! the book was extremely boring and the author repeated everything more than once. he also did not write the chapters in order. in chapter one, hamilton was killed. in chapters two three and four, he was alive and walking around helping with things. it made absolutely no sense and confused me even more. the book was difficult to read, and even more difficult to bear.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    If I understood it, it might have been good

    I can tell Ellis worked extremely hard to put together exact details of of six different stories of our founding fathers. Unfortunately the read was more of a history book. It was extremely BORING and TIRING. I hated picking it up...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    SOOO BORING!!!!!!!!

    It was really insulting to hear that high school students couldnt understand this book! This book was really boring, and often times i fell asleep in the middle of a sentence, or ended up skimming through pages. But when i was able to read more than one sentence i was able to comprehend the material just fine. So while this was boring and i wanted to throw it away, i find it very annoying that just because i am in high school it is assumed i couldnt understand it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    Best book I ever read on American histroy

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is fascinating and informative. If you do not like history, it is only because your teacher is boring. Please read this book and you shall realize how much more interesting history could be than fictions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Not the Greatest

    I found Ellis book to be a disjointed collection of anecdotal stories about our founding fathers. Ellis book suffers from far too much analysis. It just feels 'wordy', like the author is lecturing to you while you are reading. I am not trashing Ellis. I bought his George Washington book the day it came out like a rock-n-roll groupie, but this book just doesn't deliver. The book is far too short for its ambitious undertaking and far too many pages are waisted on analysis. Try another book on our founding generation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2004

    boring.............

    This book sucks. Maybe it was meant for someone out of high school, but either way, it would have been something extremely boring to read. If you are 16 or below, do not read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2004

    Intelligently written, but a difficult read

    A very difficult book that is extremely boring at many times. The proper english vocabulary is beyond any high school student. The analytical views are accurate and developed, but the book is just hard to read and more importantly, hard to enjoy, even for one that enjoys revolutionary history. A reader may find him/herself skimming this book after a while. Ellis has certainly done his homework, but his 40+ page chapters loaded with college-level vocabulary do not make for a pleasurable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2004

    one of the best revolution books around

    I really enjoyed this highly readable account of the revolutionary generation. Ellis's method of telling different stories and packing each with alot of imformation works perfectly. I liked the way he really analyzes everything from each angle. This was a wonderful book, not to be missed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    rather boring at times but all in all great!

    it put me to sleep twice but most of it i enjoyed a lot...a great read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2003

    A smart, easy read

    Ellis does a fantastic job of making the founding generation of our country more human and real than ever before. This book is an analytical look at specific events in the 18th and early 19th century as significant details in the larger whole that is the formation of the United States as a nation. I was required to read this for an AP US course and was reluctant at first but enjoyed it immensely. It's not a narrative about the founding generation so much as a detailed look into the real characters behind the United States constitution.

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