28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, readable account of the men of the Revolution,
This review is from: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (Hardcover)
For those who are interested in the men of the American Revolution, and those who have some knowledge of the events and men of those times, you will find this book a unique, insightful and entertaining read. Rather than following the standard chronological path through the crucial 1790's (the first precarious years of the new republic), Ellis instead chooses to define the times and issues by focusing on 6 key events which affected each man. Unlike some reviewers' posts here, I found the first 47 pages recounting the Hamilton-Burr duel fascinating. Ellis presents his subjects in a very human light. I, for one, finished the book with an even higher admiration for Washington; greater knowledge of Hamilton (whose genius and arrogant ambition reflected the best and worst of his times), greater appreciation for the significant contributions (and self absorbed vanity) of Adams, and finally, insight into the the duplicity and later redemption found in Jefferson. My only disappointment was that Franklin only received minor treatment in this book.
The chapter on Washington's Farewell, and Ellis's treatise on the Slavery question are excellent.
Full appreciation of the book does require some knowledge of the Revolution and early US History. Ellis's writing style is easy to read and absorb--and comes with great insight. I highly recommend this book to any student or fan of Early American History.