Customer Reviews for

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Average Rating 3.5
( 181 )
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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 25 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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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 183 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    I LOVE this Book

    It is a wonderful book that gives you a peek into the world of the founding fathers of our country. I found it INCREDIBLY entertaining and informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Great read!

    The author brings these historical figures to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    Ummm...its Okayy

    I love history but this book was not fun to read. I had to read it for my Dual Credit History Class. Some of it was intersting but majority of it was boring.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    for history lovers GREAT! for the people that don't...eh...

    I am usually a really good reader, but this book was almost painful for me to read...(keep in mind that i am a 16 year old and i had to read this book for history) but there was some witty comments from the author that made some parts interesting, it wasn't all together that bad...but for us high school students it is like trying to understand a person from France with out a translator.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    For history junkies only

    I had to read this book for my american history class..i myself love the americam revolution but this book was a little to complicated for me...you have to pay attention to every word to be able to understand it...interesting stories though

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    SAVE YOURSELF!

    Whatever you do, DO NOT read confounding brothers! It is the worst history book I have EVER read and that is saying something because I am normally an avid history student. I was forced to read this book for school and it was the most tedious and painful experience ever, I had to push myself to finish it and reading the last chapter took me 3 days (only because I kept having to force myself to keep reading). At some points I had to stop myself from throwing this book out of the window! If you have to read this for school you have my deepest sympathy and if you're thinking of reading it for fun i definitely wouldn't advise it! :(

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    I Would Give This A Zero If I Could

    Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis, was a book about the founding fathers of our nation. Anyone from John Adams to George Washington. I had to read this book for school. In my opinion, reading an entire textbook would have been better than reading this. Textbooks at least have pictures and everything seperated into small sections. This book just kept giving you fact after fact after fact after fact. However, if I were to have chosen to read a book, I wouldn't have chosen this book, or any book like this one. Maybe it is the fact that I enjoy adventure, action, and mystery books. Maybe it is the fact that I had to read it for school. I am not quite sure, but I will reccommend this to no one. I hope I never have to read a book like this ever again.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    A great short history

    This book by Ellis treats alot of historic events in a short amount of text. Some of the events that are discussed include: Alexander Hamilton's duel with Aaron Burr, George Washington's presidency, and the feud between Jefferson and John Adam. This book is written in a very readable way. Ellis deals with the topic of the founding generation with an evenhanded tone while still pointing out misconceptions when he finds them. If you are a fan of revolutionary war era history, this book is highly recommended.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    Founding Brothers

    Founding Brothers, in the eyes of a teenager, was a very difficult read. It was troublesome to understand. It should only be recommended to people who are interested in history, and should not be assigned to high school students.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    Eh...

    I though the the rest of the book would be as the first chapter was, and that is interesting stories that connected these men. It did, but the stories he tells are probably geared toward the esoterics. The stories he chose to write about are stories that would bore any amateur historian. You would probably retain more by reading other titles (Infamous Scribblers).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    Not for T. Jefferson fans

    The book was extraordinarily interesting and provided rich background information for a number of events that received little notice in our high school history books. It will be a disappointment for Jefferson fans as he is portrayed as an eloquent writer who is a far less effective leader and politician. I am still sorting out my thoughts on the dilemma encountered by the founders concerning slavery, and have begun to realize how sensitive it still is more than 150 years after the Civil War.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    It was okay

    The founding brothers is for history buffs. If you dont enjoy history , enjoy learning about the past and the great heroic leaders don't open the book. you've been warned. I suppose that this book is worth reading i feel its weakness are that its structure and diablocle words.In a way you can get into the book by simply looking for summeries on the internet, but you must be of higher knowledge. I think that Mr. Ellis should be comdemmed for his work and should be proud that he was able to put people to sleep with the first three pages. The book started off with no bang , or another. It waws a tidious task that was done and therefore im expressing my fellings on the book. I adore history and this book makes me wish i was illetrate.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    A Fascinating Outlook on the Beginning Of Our Nation's History

    Joseph Ellis displays a masterpeice in this book, as he unveils the true reasons and meaning behind seven of the most beloved men in out nation's history attempt to gain independence for a land in turmoil and strife. I loved how Ellis allows the reader to get down to a personal level that shows how these men really were, and what they went through to obtain and conquer their goal of freedom. This book didn't mask or give false ideas that the American revolution was inevitable, but instead demonstrates the crucial moments and fragile line these men crossed during the most important decade in our nation's history. These six crucial moments included the Secret Dinner where the nation's capital was changed to Washingtion, D.C. in exchange for support on Hamilton's financial plan called 'Assumption' where the national government would collectively take over state debts, Washington's Farewell Address which warned Americans about the future of the country, John Adams and his wife's strong marriage, Benjamin Franklin's idea to end slavery that was stopped by James Madison, Burr-Hamilton's Duel which established Hamilton as a martyr for the Federalists, and finally John Adams and Thomas Jefferson once friendship that turned into a bitter rivalry as they disagreed on many critical principles of the government. These events opened my eyes to the fact that it wasn't easy and there were times where they wanted to quit, but these men never gave up and compromised for the common good of the United States. Ellis showed me how hard it was for these men, and the twists and turns they constantly faced over the fragile nation they were trying to build. Thank you Joseph Ellis for writing this masterpiece that is a vital book for everyone to read, as it uncovers the true reality and struggle in American poltics, and the persistence of our Founding Fathers to give us a land of freedom that did not come at an easy price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

    I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this to anyone who is considering to buy it. In high school we learn about all these events: the duel, the dinner, the farewell, the silence, the collaborators, and the friendship, but we only learn it on a very thin layer. We are only told about what happened, not the actual feelings and personal life. I think Ellis does a great job explaining everyones attitude and defining the personalities. My favorite part of the book was the first chapter of the duel between Hamilton and Burr. I had never heard of the confrontation prior to reading this. The hatred between the two and how the duel was actually performed really intrigued me. Another good part of the book was 'The Silence' about slavery. Although with the Constitution finally established, slavery still existed. The Founding Fathers wanted it abolished but the Southerners did not, and for many years these Brothers saw the hyprocrisy of 'eveny man is created equal' while trying to conserve the Union to be one. I also found the relationship of Adams and his wife to be very interesting from a personal and political standpoint. The most ompelling part of the book to me is how all the Founding Brothers did not have the same vision in everything and essentially almost disagreed on most topics. They were not a group of 'all for one, one for all' in any sense, all trying to have their vision be set. However, without their disagreement they country may not be the same. Good job by Mr. Ellis, a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2007

    Early American History- A Wonderful Read

    Mr. Ellis writes very well. Early American history is one of my favorite subjects and Mr. Ellis has done an excellent job of research, writing and producing a work that is engaging and informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007

    Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

    This book brilliantly displays the intricate thoughts and motivations of seven of our country's most highly thought of, influential men. I found it incredibly interesting to discover the mind processes of the men that had arguably the most impact on our nation's government. I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid and capturing details of the dual between Hamilton and Burr. Arguements such as that are commonly discussed in high school text books, yet never brought to life like as in this book. Another part I enjoyed learning more about was the relationship between John Adams and his wife. They loved each other but also had a political partnership his wife definitely spoke her mind on prominent issues in governement. I've always wondered why slavery was kept around so long in America's history and this book helped me to understand more about the subject. In general the founding fathers did not even want slavery to be allowed, but because of the pressing importance of union throughout the states, they disregarded the differences in opinions to keep from any splitting off of opposing states. There was an endless amount of vital issues in that important decade of America's history, and reading about them from the perspective of the men most involved brought all the details to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    Amazing

    This book is just one of the best ones I've ever read. I am really into the American Revolution, and I'm even working on a book right now (and yeah, I'm only a Sophmore in High School). My dream is to be a teacher of Early American History I had personally met the author, Dr. Joseph J. Ellis, at a camp I recently had gone to, and I must say the lecture was just as exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2007

    'This book is to hard for me MOMMY!'

    Wow... you guys who read this book and said that high school students shouldn't read it because of how complex it is must have dropped out of school and forgot to get your GEDs. I can't believe you said this book is boring, it just shows your too brainless to understand important history. Go read children's books if you have such a hard time with this book. I'm 16 and I read this with ease and found that it was very informative. I happened to get 50 extra points on a test because I knew everything on the test. My teacher actually thought I was a revolutionary genius. This book teaches much, so don't neglect that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    Good read, if you can put a book down and pick it back up a day or two later....

    I've been reading this book off and on for about 2 months. I read a lot of books and have developed a method to harness the madness.....I read methodically, stopping to look up words I don't know or that are used in a context I'm not used to reading. I also keep note cards in my books on which I'll jot down names of people I may later want to research, or works cited I may wanted to read later (breaks up monotony). I tend to read several books at the same time, which one I pick up depends on my mood. There are some books however you just can't put down! Such as The Case for Christ. Sorry Ellis..... This book has not been a quick read for me, but became enjoyable once I found the right pace of the book. I like to remember dates, names and events long after I've closed the cover. Why else would one bother?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    Literature for grownups

    One reader complained that there were 'too many big words' which comments not so much on Mr. Ellis' ability to communicate as to the readers arrested developent as a reader. True, I did find myself refering to the dictionary a few times, but it was worth it in order to appreciate the author's precise meaning. Founding Brothers goes beyond just names and dates. Ellis takes you back to the era and into the heads of the principle players of this incredible segment of our nation's history.

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