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Ellis focuses on six crucial moments in the life of the new nation, including a secret dinner at which the seat of the nation's capital was determined--in exchange for support of Hamilton's financial plan; Washington's precedent-setting Farewell Address; and the Hamilton and Burr duel. Most interesting, perhaps, is the debate (still dividing scholars today) over the meaning of the Revolution. In a fascinating chapter on the renewed friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the end of their lives, Ellis points out the fundamental differences between the Republicans, who saw the Revolution as a liberating act and hold the Declaration of Independence most sacred, and the Federalists, who saw the revolution as a step in the building of American nationhood and hold the Constitution most dear. Throughout the text, Ellis explains the personal, face-to-face nature of early American politics--and notes that the members of the revolutionary generation were conscious of the fact that they were establishing precedents on which future generations would rely.
In Founding Brothers, Ellis (whose American Sphinx won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1997) has written an elegant and engaging narrative, sure to become a classic. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
You think you know something about the nation's founding until you read this book. That slavery was such a problem from the beginning makes me much prouder to be American. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Wendell W Gunn
Excellent book. I also read several reviews complaining about how Ellis writes this book as sounding pompous or over complicated. I did not find that to be the case. Read morePublished 11 days ago by jm72
Author is long winded and trying too hard to impress. Great subject matter and reasonably well organized.Published 11 days ago by Richard starace
There's nothing new here. And nothing interesting or different from what you can read elsewhere. And the items it chooses to focus on are not terribly interesting or special.Published 1 month ago by David N. Thielen
I went to public school in the 70's and 80's, they did not teach this stuff. A must for every student before graduating high school.Published 2 months ago by Kent Ward