From Publishers Weekly
Mayer employs the same mellow, experienced tone he successfully used recently on Empire of Blue Water and Mellon: An American Life. His familiar voice lends itself nicely to Ellis's sweeping tale of America's evolution from the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775 to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. As the story takes us through the many battles, negotiations and personality conflicts of this tumultuous quarter century-some of which have been largely forgotten in the romanticized versions of our nation's early history-listeners can settle in to Mayer's easy, silken tenor as he describes how these formative events unfolded. Ellis spends considerable time critiquing the shortsightedness and racism that prevented the founders from resolving the slavery question or dealing equitably with Native Americans. Mayer's reading keeps pace with the shifting tones of Ellis's narrative, by turns admiring and critical. Mayer's memorable rendition of Ellis's story manages to be avuncular yet brisk. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, June 4).
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Reviewers embraced American Creation
for the same reason they enjoyed Elliss previous books: his treatment of the Founding Fathers is neither idolatrous nor iconoclastic. He portrays them as the fascinating, complex, and human characters they really were. Some historians disagreed with details of Elliss interpretation, but they tended to emphasize that, like the founders themselves, Ellis has created a useful framework in which the ideas of the Revolutionary period can be discussed. Elliss prose, on the other hand, did not inspire any comparisons with Thomas Jeffersons; in fact, several reviewers suggested another round of editing. But all critics agreed that the authors masterful handling of the material checked and balanced the occasional tyrannical sentence.Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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