Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

by

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Cover

 

Awards

2001 Pulitzer Prize for History

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a landmark work of history, the National Book Award-winning author of American Sphinx explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed men — Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison — set the course for our nation.

Joseph Ellis illuminates the profoundly deep bonds and the often fractious, sometimes blind, efforts of the Founding Fathers — re-examined here as Founding Brothers — to realize strikingly different visions of America. During their own time, and even more so in ours, the Founding Fathers were perceived as demigods no more tainted than marble statues by the stain of imperfect humanity. Ellis?s penetrating analysis of six fascinating historical episodes, including Hamilton and Burr?s deadly duel, Washington?s Farewell Address, and the correspondence between Jefferson and Adams, brings these statues to life and their visions into focus.

Review:

"... as the historian Joseph J. Ellis points out in his compelling new book, the achievement of the American Revolution was considerably more improbable at the time....a lively and illuminating, if somewhat arbitrary book that leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"It is the miracle of the founding brothers that they took [the] raw materials of human character and molded them into something bigger than themselves – into an idea that endures...It is the enduring achievement of Joseph J. Ellis that he was able to portray that process, all the more remarkable for its improbability, in a vivid and unforgettable fashion." David M. Shribman, Boston Globe

Review:

"In lesser hands the fractious disputes and hysterical rhetoric of these contentious nation-builders might come across as hyperbolic pettiness. Ellis knows better, and he unpacks the real issues for his readers, revealing the driving assumptions and riveting fears that animated Americans' first encounter with the organized ideologies and interests we call parties." Joyce Appleby, Washington Post Book World

Review:

?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

Review:

?Masterful....Fascinating....Ellis is an elegant stylist....[He] captures the passion the founders brought to the revolutionary project....[A] very fine book.? Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Compelling...lively and illuminating...[Ellis] has written a shrewd, insightful book." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"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

Review:

"Vivid and unforgettable...[an] enduring achievement." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Learned, exceedingly well-written, and perceptive." The Oregonian

Review:

"Lively and illuminating...leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life." The New York Times

Review:

"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

Synopsis:

An illuminating analysis of the intertwined careers of the founders of the American republic documents the lives of John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington and explains how their encounters transformed their era and shaped the history of the United States. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Reprint. 200,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

The Generation

No event in American history which was so improbable at the time has seemed so inevitable in retrospect as the American Revolution. On the inevitability side, it is true there were voices back then urging prospective patriots to regard American independence as an early version of manifest destiny. Tom Paine, for example, claimed that it was simply a matter of common sense that an island could not rule a continent. And Thomas Jefferson's lyrical rendering of the reasons for the entire revolutionary enterprise emphasized the self-evident character of the principles at stake.

Several other prominent American revolutionaries also talked as if they were actors in a historical drama whose script had already been written by the gods. In his old age, John Adams recalled his youthful intimations of the providential forces at work: "There is nothing . . . more ancient in my memory," he wrote in 1807, "than the observation that arts, sciences, and empire had always travelled westward. And in conversation it was always added, since I was a child, that their next leap would be over the Atlantic into America." Adams instructed his beloved Abigail to start saving all his letters even before the outbreak of the war for independence. Then in June of 1776, he purchased "a Folio Book" to preserve copies of his entire correspondence in order to record, as he put it, "the great Events which are passed, and those greater which are rapidly advancing." Of course we tend to remember only the prophets who turn out to be right, but there does seem to have been a broadly shared sense within the revolutionary generation that they were "present at the creation."

These early premonitions of American destiny have been reinforced and locked into our collective memory by the subsequent triumph of the political ideals the American Revolution first announced, as Jefferson so nicely put it, "to a candid world." Throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, former colonies of European powers have won their independence with such predictable regularity that colonial status has become an exotic vestige of bygone days, a mere way station for emerging nations. The republican experiment launched so boldly by the revolutionary generation in America encountered entrenched opposition in the two centuries that followed, but it thoroughly vanquished the monarchical dynasties of the nineteenth century and then the totalitarian despotisms of the twentieth, just as Jefferson predicted it would. Though it seems somewhat extreme to declare, as one contemporary political philosopher has phrased it, that "the end of history" is now at hand, it is true that all alternative forms of political organization appear to be fighting a futile rear-guard action against the liberal institutions and ideas first established in the United States in the late eighteenth century. At least it seems safe to say that some form of representative government based on the principle of popular sovereignty and some form of market economy fueled by the energies of individual citizens have become the commonly accepted ingredients for national success throughout the world. These legacies are so familiar to us, we are so accustomed to taking their success for granted, that the era in which they were born cannot help but be remembered as a land of foregone conclusions.

Despite the confident a

About the Author

Joseph J. Ellis is the author of several books of American history, among them Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won the 1997 National Book Award. He was educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and three sons.

Table of Contents

Generation — Duel — Dinner — Silence — Farewell — Callaborators — Friendship.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400077687
Subtitle:
The Revolutionary Generation
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Joseph J. Ellis National Book Award-winning author of American Sphinx
Author:
Joseph J. Ellis
Author:
McCall Smith, Alexander
Author:
Ellis, Joseph J.
Author:
Smith, Alexander McCall
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction-General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography-Historical - General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Historical - General
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Statesmen
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Presidents -- United States.
Subject:
Statesmen -- United States.
Subject:
Audio Books-Biography
Subject:
Audio Books-Literature
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Politics-Political Science
Subject:
US History-18th Century
Subject:
US History-Early American Biography
Subject:
US History-Revolution and Constitution Era
Subject:
History : United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Series Volume:
The Revolutionary Ge
Publication Date:
2000
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
288

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 288 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9781400077687 Reviews:
"Review" by , "... as the historian Joseph J. Ellis points out in his compelling new book, the achievement of the American Revolution was considerably more improbable at the time....a lively and illuminating, if somewhat arbitrary book that leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life."
"Review" by , "It is the miracle of the founding brothers that they took [the] raw materials of human character and molded them into something bigger than themselves – into an idea that endures...It is the enduring achievement of Joseph J. Ellis that he was able to portray that process, all the more remarkable for its improbability, in a vivid and unforgettable fashion."
"Review" by , "In lesser hands the fractious disputes and hysterical rhetoric of these contentious nation-builders might come across as hyperbolic pettiness. Ellis knows better, and he unpacks the real issues for his readers, revealing the driving assumptions and riveting fears that animated Americans' first encounter with the organized ideologies and interests we call parties."
"Review" by , ?Splendid....Revealing....An extraordinary book. Its insightful conclusions rest on extensive research, and its author?s writing is vigorous and lucid.?
"Review" by , ?Masterful....Fascinating....Ellis is an elegant stylist....[He] captures the passion the founders brought to the revolutionary project....[A] very fine book.?
"Review" by , "Compelling...lively and illuminating...[Ellis] has written a shrewd, insightful book."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Vivid and unforgettable...[an] enduring achievement."
"Review" by , "Learned, exceedingly well-written, and perceptive." The Oregonian

"Review" by , "Lively and illuminating...leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life."
"Review" by , "Splendid....Revealing....An extraordinary book. Its insightful conclusions rest on extensive research, and its author's writing is vigorous and lucid."
"Synopsis" by , An illuminating analysis of the intertwined careers of the founders of the American republic documents the lives of John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington and explains how their encounters transformed their era and shaped the history of the United States. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Reprint. 200,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , The Generation

No event in American history which was so improbable at the time has seemed so inevitable in retrospect as the American Revolution. On the inevitability side, it is true there were voices back then urging prospective patriots to regard American independence as an early version of manifest destiny. Tom Paine, for example, claimed that it was simply a matter of common sense that an island could not rule a continent. And Thomas Jefferson's lyrical rendering of the reasons for the entire revolutionary enterprise emphasized the self-evident character of the principles at stake.

Several other prominent American revolutionaries also talked as if they were actors in a historical drama whose script had already been written by the gods. In his old age, John Adams recalled his youthful intimations of the providential forces at work: "There is nothing . . . more ancient in my memory," he wrote in 1807, "than the observation that arts, sciences, and empire had always travelled westward. And in conversation it was always added, since I was a child, that their next leap would be over the Atlantic into America." Adams instructed his beloved Abigail to start saving all his letters even before the outbreak of the war for independence. Then in June of 1776, he purchased "a Folio Book" to preserve copies of his entire correspondence in order to record, as he put it, "the great Events which are passed, and those greater which are rapidly advancing." Of course we tend to remember only the prophets who turn out to be right, but there does seem to have been a broadly shared sense within the revolutionary generation that they were "present at the creation."

These early premonitions of American destiny have been reinforced and locked into our collective memory by the subsequent triumph of the political ideals the American Revolution first announced, as Jefferson so nicely put it, "to a candid world." Throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, former colonies of European powers have won their independence with such predictable regularity that colonial status has become an exotic vestige of bygone days, a mere way station for emerging nations. The republican experiment launched so boldly by the revolutionary generation in America encountered entrenched opposition in the two centuries that followed, but it thoroughly vanquished the monarchical dynasties of the nineteenth century and then the totalitarian despotisms of the twentieth, just as Jefferson predicted it would. Though it seems somewhat extreme to declare, as one contemporary political philosopher has phrased it, that "the end of history" is now at hand, it is true that all alternative forms of political organization appear to be fighting a futile rear-guard action against the liberal institutions and ideas first established in the United States in the late eighteenth century. At least it seems safe to say that some form of representative government based on the principle of popular sovereignty and some form of market economy fueled by the energies of individual citizens have become the commonly accepted ingredients for national success throughout the world. These legacies are so familiar to us, we are so accustomed to taking their success for granted, that the era in which they were born cannot help but be remembered as a land of foregone conclusions.

Despite the confident a

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.