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Homeland: The Crown Family Saga Begins

Homeland: The Crown Family Saga Begins

3.7 12
by John Jakes

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As America hurtles through the final explosive events of the nineteenth century, a young German immigrant named Pauli Kroner is about to realize his dream: Hew will taste a life of privilege in the Chicago mansion of his uncle, Joe Crown, head of a brewery dynasty. But Pauli's ultimate clash with that stern, proud, patriarch will force him to a risky


As America hurtles through the final explosive events of the nineteenth century, a young German immigrant named Pauli Kroner is about to realize his dream: Hew will taste a life of privilege in the Chicago mansion of his uncle, Joe Crown, head of a brewery dynasty. But Pauli's ultimate clash with that stern, proud, patriarch will force him to a risky existence on the city's dark side. Here he will become Paul Crown, a bold, ambitious man driven by a powerful vision. His rise from penniless newcomer to pioneer newsreel cameraman will span a tumultuous decade of strikes, war, family scandal, and heartbreak in the country he has chosen as his...Homeland.

"Pick up Homeland and read a couple of chapters and you'll very soon discover why John Jakes sells a lot of books. He is, quite simply, a master of the ancient art of storytelling."—The New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The bestselling author of North and South returns with a new first-rate historical series that begins in 1890s Berlin, where young Pauli Kroner ekes out a living as a kitchen helper in a posh hotel. When his consumptive aunt dies, the orphaned Pauli books steerage to America, hoping to be reunited with his wealthy uncle, Joseph Crown, who fought for the Union Army and now heads a brewery empire in Chicago. Surviving a long, perilous journey, Pauli meets his American relatives, among them Aunt Ilsa, whose progressive views cause almost as much friction in the family as eldest son Joe Jr.'s alliance with the socialist labor movement. Pauli unexpectedly falls in love with Julie Vanderhoff, strong-willed daughter of a Chicago meat-packing millionaire who hates foreigners, further complicating the drama. Jakes portrays the Crowns, leading civic figures in Chicago, moving among a crowd of influential and important people, including Jane Addams, Teddy Roosevelt and Eugene Debs. Chock-full of fascinating period detail, his captivating story brings to life the sounds, smells and tastes of turn-of-the-century America in a manner comparable to Michener's Hawaii and Doctorow's Ragtime . An absolute must for the beach. Author tour; major ad/promo. (July)
Library Journal
Jakes, the best-selling author of The Bastard (see review above) returns with his latest piece of historical fiction . Homeland , the first in a new series, focuses on the life of Paul Crown, who at age 15 leaves Germany to search for his uncle in America. A wealthy Chicago beer magnate, Joseph Crown warmly accepts Paul into his home and encourages him to join the family business. Paul, however, has other ideas and, after a falling out with his uncle, sets off to apprentice in the fledgling moving picture industry. Jakes introduces Paul to a wide range of characters, both real and fictional, who add spunk and interest to the plot. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, Clara Barton, and Eugene V. Debs are just a few of the legendary personalities woven into this captivating story. The colorful narration by veteran actor Edward Herrmann and background musical enhancement give an air of theatrics to this well-produced audiobook that works well as an abridgment. An excellent purchase for all public libraries.-- Gretchen Browne, Rockville Centre P.L., N.Y.
School Library Journal
YA-In 1892, an orphaned German teenager, Pauli, comes to America to live with his uncle's family in Chicago. He arrives with the typical immigrant's vision of a flawless new homeland. During the next 10 years he experiences firsthand labor strife; poverty, greed, and crime in the city's slums; and suffering in the Cuban battlefields of 1898. Increasingly, his idealistic picture of the country changes until the end of the book when he sees his new homeland as a place where ``men are free.'' Likewise, the three-dimensional main characters have strengths and weaknesses, good points and faults. Theodore Roosevelt, Eugene Debs, Thomas Edison, Clara Barton, and Jane Addams make their appearances, and readers witness the growing labor-union movement, the women's-rights struggle, national expansionism, and the beginning of the moving-picture industry. The book's major drawback is its length. However, readers who are willing to invest the time will find it an interesting view of the U.S. at the turn of the century.- Shirley B. Blaes, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Historical Romance, Signet Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

John Jakes is the bestselling author of Charleston, the Kent Family Chronicles, the North and South trilogy, On Secret Service, California Gold, Homeland, and American Dreams. Descended from a soldier of the Virginia Continental Line who fought in the American Revolution, Jakes is one of today’s most distinguished authors of historical fiction.

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Homeland: The Crown Family Saga Begins 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
BettyF More than 1 year ago
I've just started reading this book and I'm about 1/3 of the way through it. It gives a lot of background information about that period of time in that location of the country. It loosely follows several families' experiences, but mostly it is based on the history of that era. I would recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a long fan of the NOrth and South trilogy and when I read Homeland I realized just why I love John Jakes so much. The length of the book can be intimidating but once I started, I couldn't stop reading. I found myself wanting to know whatever I could about the Crowns, even the minor characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most memorable books I have read. I read it nearly six years ago and have never forgotten it. In fact, I've read all John Jakes books but this was my favorite. I would recommend to anyone interested in a weave of history and good story writing. I just got a nook and was looking to add books to my library that I have loved and own in paperback so I can pass those on. This is a definite I will be adding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much of a storyline, very disappointed!
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LillMagill More than 1 year ago
A great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
At a time when the world stood on the brink of a new century, America struggled to find its place upon the global stage, and huddled masses of immigrants streamed across its borders with little more than the clothing on their backs and a yearning to breath free. It was a time of innovation and invention, a birth of a new technological age, when labor collided violently with management; fathers with sons and America found itself in a war to set a country free. ¿Homeland,¿ John Jakes¿ epic tome is not set during the turbulent decade of 1990¿s (as one might expect after having read my introductory paragraph) but rather a full century earlier. Beginning where his ¿Kent Family Chronicles¿ left off in 1891, and ending in the first year of the twentieth century, 1901, Jakes begins a new cycle of novels with a new family, the Crowns of Chicago. Jakes casts his protagonist, Pauli Kroner, as a young urchin, wandering the streets of Berlin. Orphaned, Pauli lives with his consumptive aunt, Charlotte, who, in a last act of selflessness sends Pauli to live with his uncle, Joseph Crown, who has amassed his fortune in the brewing trade of Chicago. But all is not happy in the Crown household. The forces of change at work in America are straining the family. Uncle Joe barely tolerates the progressive attitude of his wife Ilsa and has constant verbal clashes with his oldest son, Joe Jr., who has taken up sides with the socialist labor union movement, an issue which precipitates one final clash between father and son, after which Joe Jr. runs away and Pauli finds himself expelled from the household for aiding his cousin in his escape. Now known as Paul Crown he must eke out an existence in the streets of Chicago, and soon finds himself standing at the doorstep of the fledgling moving picture business as a camera operator and an eyewitness to history. From the Pullman strike and the fairgrounds of Chicago¿s Colombian Exposition to the Cuban battlefields of the Spanish-American War John Jakes intricately weaves the historical events of the last decade of the nineteenth century throughout his novel and peppers it with historical Characters such as Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Addams, Clara Barton, Eugene Debs and Thomas Edison to name but a few. John Jakes has earned the title ¿Godfather of the Historical Novel,¿ and with ¿Homeland¿ the Crowns of Chicago can rightfully take their place beside the Kents of ¿The Kent Family Chronicles,¿ the Hazard and Main families of the ¿North and South¿ trilogy, and the Chances of ¿California Gold.¿