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Founders: The People Who Brought You a Nation (The New Press) Hardcover – May 12, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this brisk narrative survey, Raphael offers a history of the events between the outbreak of colonial protest in the 1760s and the ratification of the Constitution in 1788. He does so through the lives of seven people, some, like George Washington, justly celebrated, others obscure. All seven and many others come alive in their acts and words, their stories serving as the spine of the book. No one will come away without a better idea of how social class, ideas, careers, ambitions and plain luck interwove themselves into the revolution carried on by an entire people. Raphael also weaves his tale around such staple themes of American history as the growth of popular sovereignty and westward expansion. From the author of A People's History of the American Revolution, none of this is surprising, nor is the skill of his pen. The book adds nothing to what's already known, but it will delight readers and no doubt add to their knowledge through a tale rarely told so well. 27 b&w illus. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Raphael (A People's History of the American Revolution; Founding Myths) again attempts to give credit to patriots whose contributions to the nation's founding are not celebrated or even widely known. Stars of this entertaining yet informative account include military bankroller Robert Morris, conservative politician and reluctant rebel Henry Laurens, blacksmith-turned-insurgent Timothy Bigelow, young and eager soldier Joseph Plumb Martin, rabble-rousing country doctor Thomas Young, and Puritan poet-turned-political commentator and historian Mercy Otis Warren. The final key player in this narrative is George Washington, and Raphael manages to put a fresh spin on his overly familiar story. The author relies heavily on primary sources, especially diaries, letters, and Martin's and Warren's published works, to craft a highly readable work of popular history that is sure to be a hit among readers who prefer to look at history from a bottom-up perspective. A worthy complement to Raphael's previous works, this is recommended for American history collections in all public libraries.—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595583270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595583277
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast delivery, inexpensive and excellent quality. Ray Raphael is a wonderful writer who is more like a novelist than an academic professor. He does in depth research but doesn't write like it is for an academic publication. His work is always a pleasure to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The more times I read this book, the more times I see clay feet. Yet, with or without clay feet, without these people our nation would not have been formed. It hints at the fact that our nation has always been sharply divided in our political views, still, we found ways to advance closer to the ideals only foreseen by the founding fathers and their followers.
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Format: Paperback
Founders: The People Who Brought You a Nation is an immensely readable, up-close and personal portrait of seven crucial individuals among a "sampling of Revolutionary Americans", the type of people who are all but overlooked in the wake of legends such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. For example, Robert Morris was the wealthy merchant whose personal credit helped keep the emerging nation of America solvent; his critical contribution to America's stability is all but unknown today. The other personages portrayed are private Jospeh Plumb Martin, who served in Washington's army and chronicled his battle experience; Mercy Otis Warren, a political woman who wrote one of the first histories of America; Timothy Bigelow, a blacksmith who resisted British authority the year before Lexington and Concord; conservative Henry Laurens of South Carolina, a prisoner of Britain; Thomas Young, a country doctor who advocated revolution. The quintessential founding father George Washington himself is also portrayed, in this aptly researched, riveting account of a handful of the people who labored and paid with their blood for America's independence. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library American History shelves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the story of the founding of the United States of America, but it is presented in more detail than usual. The major heroes of the Revolutionary and Federalist periods--Washington, Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, and John Adams-- are all included, but we are also introduced to Private Joseph Plumb Martin, Mercy Otis Warren, Robert Morris, Colonel Timothy Bigelow, Continental Congress President Henry Laurens, and Dr. Thomas Young who all played important, though often neglected roles in the founding of our country. More that the usual attention is given to places like Worcester and Plymouth, Massachusetts and Charleston, South Carolina and the overall effect is the creation of a depth of understanding which is not available in most history books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting and entertaining way of showing the interconnected issues and motivations of founding patriots, and how the various forces led to action. The enjoyment is amplified by following people who are not the major names we all learn in school (General Washington being the exception).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be most enjoyable. The author brings a different perspective through the eyes of participants in the American Revolution of various social rank. This book drives home the message, and supports with facts, that the Revolution was truly a bottom up event driven by thousands of common citizens fed up with the excess of the British King and Parliament. It is well written and easy to read. If you are a lover of American History and would like a different perspective on the Revolution, I recommend this book for your reading pleasure.
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