- File Size: 2141 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (December 16, 2003)
- Publication Date: December 16, 2003
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000FBJF32
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Kindle Edition
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“Lively and illuminating…leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life.”–The New York Times
“Masterful…. Fascinating…. Ellis is an elegant stylist…. [He] captures the passion the founders brought to the revolutionary project…. [A] very fine book.”–Chicago Tribune
“Learned, exceedingly well-written, and perceptive.”–The Oregonian
“Lucid…. Ellis has such command of the subject matter that it feels fresh, particularly as he segues from psychological to political, even to physical analysis…. Ellis’s storytelling helps us more fully hear the Brothers’ voices.”–Business Week
“Splendid…. Revealing…. An extraordinary book. Its insightful conclusions rest on extensive research, and its author’s writing is vigorous and lucid.”–St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Vivid and unforgettable . . . [an] enduring achievement.” –The Boston Globe
“Founding Brothers is a wonderful book, one of the best . . . on the Founders ever written. . . . Ellis has established himself as the Founders’ historian for our time.” –Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
During the 1790s, which Ellis calls the most decisive decade in our nation's history, the greatest statesmen of their generation--and perhaps any--came together to define the new republic and direct its course for the coming centuries. Ellis focuses on six discrete moments that exemplify the most crucial issues facing the fragile new nation: Burr and Hamilton's deadly duel, and what may have really happened; Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison's secret dinner, during which the seat of the permanent capital was determined in exchange for passage of Hamilton's financial plan; Franklin's petition to end the "peculiar institution" of slavery--his last public act--and Madison's efforts to quash it; Washington's precedent-setting Farewell Address, announcing his retirement from public office and offering his country some final advice; Adams's difficult term as Washington's successor and his alleged scheme to pass the presidency on to his son; and finally, Adams and Jefferson's renewed correspondence at the end of their lives, in which they compared their different views of the Revolution and its legacy.
In a lively and engaging narrative, Ellis recounts the sometimes collaborative, sometimes archly antagonistic interactions between these men, and shows us the private characters behind the public personas: Adams, the ever-combative iconoclast, whose closest political collaborator was his wife, Abigail; Burr, crafty, smooth, and one of the most despised public figures of his time; Hamilton, whose audacious manner and deep economic savvy masked his humble origins; Jefferson, renowned for his eloquence, but so reclusive and taciturn that he rarely spoke more than a few sentences in public; Madison, small, sickly, and paralyzingly shy, yet one of the most effective debaters of his generation; and the stiffly formal Washington, the ultimate realist, larger-than-life, and America's only truly indispensable figure.
Ellis argues that the checks and balances that permitted the infant American republic to endure were not primarily legal, constitutional, or institutional, but intensely personal, rooted in the dynamic interaction of leaders with quite different visions and values. Revisiting the old-fashioned idea that character matters, Founding Brothers informs our understanding of American politics--then and now--and gives us a new perspective on the unpredictable forces that shape history. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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Six chapters are presented, none dependent on the others (you can read them out of sequence), the longest being about forty pages, with the layout being similar to that used in the great book Profiles In Courage.
The togetherness and unity of purpose, so necessary during the Revolution, begins to erode on the road to the Constitution, yielding to a more diverse spectrum of human passion. Fault lines, held in check by the necessities of war, become increasingly apparent in the aftermath of peace. Here, deeper personal reflections take the founders in opposing directions; loyalties are questioned; etiquette and protocol become strained, in some cases fracturing those buried fault lines beyond the repair of civil discourse and famously demonstrated in the duel between Hamilton and Burr.
The plans and maneuvering of the battlefield had now moved to the less bloody theatre of parchment, quills and tables. There are no cannons here, but it’s clear to see that John Adams, by his own doing, set himself up to be everyone’s favorite cannon fodder.
A very well worded book, with gracefully crafted sentences containing so much more that their initial brevity might suggest. For example, Chapter Four, The Farwell: “Washington was the core of gravity that prevented the American Revolution from flying off into random orbits, the stable center around which the revolutionary energies formed.”
Very good book. Recommended.
The book dealt with such “behind the scenes” subjects as the reasons for the Burr-Hamilton duel, the 1790 Quaker petition to end the African slave trade, and the formulation of Washington’s Farewell Address. But, the book was highlighted by the evolution of the Jefferson -Adams relationship: from friendship, to abhorrence; and after 12 years of silence, to reconciliation. Ellis guides us through this relationship to their later years. Here, they have put aside their individual differences to reflect, clarify the record, and focus on their places in history. The book ends on a surprising note.
This book was difficult to read. In explaining and analyzing deep and subtle topics, the book’s sentences could be complex and the paragraphs lengthy. I needed to re-read some sections to grasp their meanings. But, the extra time was worth the effort.
If the events shown in this book had turned out differently we may be having High Tea @ 4 O’clock and speaking The King’s English.
Bottom line- you are reading how a small group of men who faced almost impossible odds shaped our country into what it is today. The same debates on “Big Government” vs States rights to govern themselves, taxes, foreign policy are still wildly debated today....
Fascinating reading, Especially the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, why it happened, the results of its outcome and how ONE event can change everything
Top international reviews
If you are looking for a history book, full of details, written with passion and enthusiasm, this is it.
Top notch service !