Customer Reviews for

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Average Rating 3.5
( 183 )
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(26)

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(14)

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(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 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 26 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 August 19, 2010

    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 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.

    7 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    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 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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    For those who enjoy history...for pleasure

    Ellis is more than capable to deliver excellent material and this great work is no different. If history puts you to sleep, go back to watching "The Kardashians" an perhaps a book of 'it' will make better summer reading! As far as my personal regard, Ellis' book is insightful, well researched and passionate yet stylistically calm and accesible...excellent for those who enjoy reading history for pleasure.







    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    Ellis's book is very knowledgeable and many of the topics he brought up throughout the book were interesting and made me contemplative. It is very well written and it's far more detailed on parts of the revolution than the normal textbook would be. However, unless you're a complete lover for history / American history, it may either fry your brain or put you to sleep (one or the other)!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    See the Founders Play Politics

    Founding Brothers was an interesting read. The overall point of the book was to humanize these men who are looked up to like gods today. The best thing was the ideological struggle among these men who stood together for independence but gradually became adversaries as the dust settled. Anyone who thinks that the so-called partisan politics or attack ads of today are a new phenomenon needs to read this book. Each chapter details a few events of a founders life that illustrate some point in the continuing struggle to define what America is. Founding Brothers is a quick but informative read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Unique Perspective on American History

    Taking a significant moment in each of the lives of John Adams, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Ellis develops a fascinating discussion of what led up to that moment and its influence on and importance to American history.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Turn the History Around and Live It as The Founders Did.

    This most fascinating book on the Revolutionary Generation in the Age of Enlightenment views these men as they viewed each other, as brothers, in the context of their time. Mr. Ellis engineers a revision of past perception to make these men reliant, devoted, curios, needing, all too human "brothers" who, through reliance on each other build the Nation we know today. With particular focus on sets of competitive relationships, Mr. Ellis makes the past "current" in a way I've never experienced in any other history.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Real History

    This is a wonderful view of the founders of our country. It goes beyond the history books and looks at several of our country's founders influences and actions.

    A little slow to start, but well worth the effort.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    Loved it

    Sparked my new found love for our founders and our great nation. Worth buying & sharing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    Was not my favorite.

    The book for me wasn't a good choice. I loved the first chapter and it kept me interested every page I turned. It was well written and didn't repeat itself too much. After the first chapter is where I started to not like the book so much. The second chapter about "The Dinner" I felt was a little confusing to understand the way it was written. If you are a true die hard history lover you will love this book. I am not a die hard history lover so I felt this book was extremely hard to make it through. Also I felt the last two chapters were repeating themselves over and over again for about 100 pages. It didn't get to the point which i was hoping would happen. I would not reccommend this book to anyone who does not have interest in history or has a little interest in history. You must LOVE history to be able to read this book cover to cover with no complaints. I hope everyone liked this book much more than I did but I do not reccommend this book.

    3 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

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Enthralling if Brief

    This book is an excellent exposition of the travails encountered by individuals Americans know so well from history textbooks. The founding of the USA was frought with external and internal difficulties, with contributions by many of those whom we as Americans regard as mere statuary (stone faced, with little personality and no negative qualities). This book attempts to add color, texture, and movement to these great figures all to often perceived as immovable among the black and white text of history. It talks of personality and power clashes - I was especially interested in Thomas Jefferson's determination to be a partisan thorn in the side of John Adams while simultaneously serving as President Adams' Vice Presidenct (before the days of Prez and VP being on the same partisan electoral ticket). Tidbits like this keep this book enthralling without resorting to revisionist shock-value and/or partisan rhetoric. The only down-side was that it was too short!! <BR/><BR/>I definitely recommend for anyone who is looking for a relatively quick read with a fresh perspective on issues and historical figures we have long since chiseled on the one-dimensional plane of classroom history.

    1 out of 2 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.

    1 out of 2 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    Cheetahgirl

    If you need me on your staff im a good adviser. I have a LOT of people who like my posts in certain areas. No one has ever hated what i advise!! Please respond 'to cheetahgirl'. Thanks!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    Terrible

    Worst book I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    I just finished this book and enjoyed it. Writing style is a li

    I just finished this book and enjoyed it. Writing style is a little hard to get used to, but I got used to it. This book is pretty short and it covers 6 major events that shaped the revolutionary period. It is a good way for someone to get their feet wet in a biography written like a novel covering this period. I am reading George Washington: His Excellency next. This will be a year of biographies for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    CRYSTALGIRL

    Ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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