Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781400077687
Available:
Release: 2003-12-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this landmark work of history and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Joseph J. Ellis explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals—Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison—confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our nation. The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790. During the decade that followed, the Founding Fathers—re-examined here as Founding Brothers—combined the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the content of the Constitution to create the practical workings of our government. Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes—Hamilton and Burr’s deadly duel, Washington’s precedent-setting Farewell Address, Adams’ administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capital, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery and Madison’s attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence—Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.

Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780375705243
Available:
Release: 2002
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The introduction, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your reading group's discussion of Joseph Ellis's Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation . We hope they will enrich your experience of this Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic--John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.

Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 288
ISBN: 0571212174
Available:
Release: 2002
Editor: Faber & Faber
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Founding Brothers is an illuminating, Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic: Adams, Burr, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington. During the 1790s these great statesmen came together to define the new republic and direct its course for the future. Ellis focuses on six key 'moments' in this era: Burr and Hamilton's deadly duel; the 'secret dinner' of Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison, during which the seat of the nation's capital was determined; Franklin's petition to end slavery, and Madison's efforts to quash it; Washington's farewell address that offered his country some parting advice about US involvement in other nations' affairs; Adams's difficult term as Washington's successor; and Adams and Jefferson's correspondence at the end of their lives, in which they compared their views of the Revolution and its legacy. In a lively and engaging narrative, Ellis shows us the private characters behind the public personas, and argues that the checks and balances that permitted the republic to endure were intensely personal, rooted in the dynamic interaction of these men. Founding Brothers informs our understanding of American politics - then, and now.

Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams

Passionate Sage  The Character and Legacy of John Adams
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780393068276
Available:
Release: 2011-02-14
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Impassioned and erudite.…A captivating portrait of this Massachusetts native as a wonderfully contrary genius possessed of an uncommon moral intelligence and farsighted political wisdom." —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times A fresh look at this astute, likably quirky statesman, by the author of the Pulitzer Award-winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award winning American Sphinx. "The most lovable and most laughable, the warmest and possibly the wisest of the founding fathers, John Adams knew himself as few men do and preserved his knowledge in a voluminous correspondence that still vibrates. Ellis has used it with great skill and perception not only to bring us the man, warts and all, but more importantly to reveal his extraordinary insights into the problems confronting the founders that resonate today in the republic they created." —Edmund S. Morgan, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University

American Dialogue

American Dialogue
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780385353434
Available:
Release: 2018-10-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today. The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.

First Family

First Family
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780307594310
Available:
Release: 2010-10-26
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, best-selling author of Founding Brothers and His Excellency brings America’s preeminent first couple to life in a moving and illuminating narrative that sweeps through the American Revolution and the republic’s tenuous early years. John and Abigail Adams left an indelible and remarkably preserved portrait of their lives together in their personal correspondence: both Adamses were prolific letter writers (although John conceded that Abigail was clearly the more gifted of the two), and over the years they exchanged more than twelve hundred letters. Joseph J. Ellis distills this unprecedented and unsurpassed record to give us an account both intimate and panoramic; part biography, part political history, and part love story. Ellis describes the first meeting between the two as inauspicious—John was twenty-four, Abigail just fifteen, and each was entirely unimpressed with the other. But they soon began a passionate correspondence that resulted in their marriage five years later. Over the next decades, the couple were separated nearly as much as they were together. John’s political career took him first to Philadelphia, where he became the boldest advocate for the measures that would lead to the Declaration of Independence. Yet in order to attend the Second Continental Congress, he left his wife and children in the middle of the war zone that had by then engulfed Massachusetts. Later he was sent to Paris, where he served as a minister to the court of France alongside Benjamin Franklin. These years apart stressed the Adamses’ union almost beyond what it could bear: Abigail grew lonely, while the Adams children suffered from their father’s absence. John was elected the nation’s first vice president, but by the time of his reelection, Abigail’s health prevented her from joining him in Philadelphia, the interim capital. She no doubt had further reservations about moving to the swamp on the Potomac when John became president, although this time he persuaded her. President Adams inherited a weak and bitterly divided country from George Washington. The political situation was perilous at best, and he needed his closest advisor by his side: “I can do nothing,” John told Abigail after his election, “without you.” In Ellis’s rich and striking new history, John and Abigail’s relationship unfolds in the context of America’s birth as a nation.

American Sphinx

American Sphinx
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780375727467
Available:
Release: 1998-11-19
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character. He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature. American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.

Revolutionary Summer

Revolutionary Summer
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 219
ISBN: 9780307701220
Available:
Release: 2013-06-04
Editor: Alfred a Knopf Incorporated
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of First Family presents a revelatory account of America's declaration of independence and the political and military responses on both sides throughout the summer of 1776 that influenced key decisions and outcomes.

His Excellency

His Excellency
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781400032532
Available:
Release: 2005
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Draws on the Washington papers from archives at the University of Virginia to chronicle George Washington's military career and presidential years, discussing his struggle to keep an emerging America united and other accomplishments.

American Creation

American Creation
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780307267740
Available:
Release: 2007-10-30
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.

Setting the World Ablaze

Setting the World Ablaze
Author: John E. Ferling
Pages: 392
ISBN: 0195150848
Available:
Release: 2002
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Setting the World Ablaze is the story of the American Revolution and of the three Founders who played crucial roles in winning the War of Independence and creating a new nation: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Braiding three strands into one rich narrative, John Ferling brings these American icons down from their pedestals to show them as men of flesh and blood, and in doing so gives us a new understanding of the passion and uncertainty of the struggle to form a new nation. A leading historian of the Revolutionary era, Ferling draws upon an unsurpassed command of the primary sources and a talent for swiftly moving narrative to give us intimate views of each of these men. He shows us both the overarching historical picture of the era and a gripping sense of how these men encountered the challenges that faced them. We see Washington, containing a profound anger at British injustice within an austere demeanor; Adams, far from home, struggling with severe illness and French duplicity in his crucial negotiations in Paris; and Jefferson, distracted and indecisive, confronting uncertainties about his future in politics. John Adams, in particular, emerges from the narrative as the most under-appreciated hero of the Revolution, while Jefferson is revealed as the most overrated, yet most eloquent, of the Founders. Setting the World Ablaze shows in dramatic detail how these conservative men--successful members of the colonial elite--were transformed into radical revolutionaries.

Book Discussion Kit Founding Brothers

Book Discussion Kit  Founding Brothers
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 329
ISBN: OCLC:61136332
Available:
Release: 2002*
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Revolutionary Characters

Revolutionary Characters
Author: Gordon S. Wood
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781101201664
Available:
Release: 2006-05-18
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this brilliantly illuminating group portrait of the men who came to be known as the Founding Fathers, the incomparable Gordon Wood has written a book that seriously asks, "What made these men great?" and shows us, among many other things, just how much character did in fact matter. The life of each—Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Paine—is presented individually as well as collectively, but the thread that binds these portraits together is the idea of character as a lived reality. They were members of the first generation in history that was self-consciously self-made men who understood that the arc of lives, as of nations, is one of moral progress.

Revolutionary Founders

Revolutionary Founders
Author: Alfred F. Young,Gary B. Nash,Ray Raphael
Pages: 452
ISBN: 9780307455994
Available:
Release: 2012-04
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Explores the founding fathers' more radical contemporaries, who advocated for true liberty for all at the United States' inception, including the abolition of slavery and equality despite race, class, or gender.

Jefferson and Hamilton

Jefferson and Hamilton
Author: John Ferling
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781608195428
Available:
Release: 2013-10-01
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For readers of Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton, the spellbinding history of the epic rivalry that shaped our republic: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and their competing visions for America. The decade of the 1790s has been called the “age of passion.” Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new republic-each side convinced that the other's goals would betray the legacy of the Revolution so recently fought and so dearly won. All understood as well that what was at stake was not a moment's political advantage, but the future course of the American experiment in democracy. In this epochal debate, no two figures loomed larger than Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Both men were visionaries, but their visions of what the United States should be were diametrically opposed. Jefferson, a true revolutionary, believed passionately in individual liberty and a more egalitarian society, with a weak central government and greater powers for the states. Hamilton, a brilliant organizer and tactician, feared chaos and social disorder. He sought to build a powerful national government that could ensure the young nation's security and drive it toward economic greatness. Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggle-both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal-between these two titans. It ended only with the death of Hamilton in a pistol duel, felled by Aaron Burr, Jefferson's vice president. Their competing legacies, like the twin strands of DNA, continue to shape our country to this day. Their personalities, their passions, and their bold dreams for America leap from the page in this epic new work from one of our finest historians. From the award-winning author of Almost a Miracle and The Ascent of George Washington, this is the rare work of scholarship that offers us irresistible human drama even as it enriches our understanding of deep themes in our nation's history.

After the Revolution Profiles of Early American Culture

After the Revolution  Profiles of Early American Culture
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780393072303
Available:
Release: 2002-03-17
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Through portraits of four figures—Charles Willson Peale, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, William Dunlap, and Noah Webster—Joseph Ellis provides a unique perspective on the role of culture in post-Revolutionary America, both its high expectations and its frustrations. Each life is fascinating in its own right, and each is used to brightly illuminate the historical context.

Celia a Slave

Celia  a Slave
Author: Melton A. McLaurin
Pages: 160
ISBN: 0820341592
Available:
Release: 2011-03-15
Editor: University of Georgia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging widower and one of the most prosperous and respected citizens of Callaway County, Missouri. The pattern of sexual abuse that would mark their entire relationship began almost immediately. After purchasing Celia in a neighboring county, Newsom raped her on the journey back to his farm. He then established her in a small cabin near his house and visited her regularly (most likely with the knowledge of the son and two daughters who lived with him). Over the next five years, Celia bore Newsom two children; meanwhile, she became involved with a slave named George and resolved at his insistence to end the relationship with her master. When Newsom refused, Celia one night struck him fatally with a club and disposed of his body in her fireplace. Her act quickly discovered, Celia was brought to trial. She received a surprisingly vigorous defense from her court-appointed attorneys, who built their case on a state law allowing women the use of deadly force to defend their honor. Nevertheless, the court upheld the tenets of a white social order that wielded almost total control over the lives of slaves. Celia was found guilty and hanged. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society. Celia's case demonstrates how one master's abuse of power over a single slave forced whites to make moral decisions about the nature of slavery. McLaurin focuses sharply on the role of gender, exploring the degree to which female slaves were sexually exploited, the conditions that often prevented white women from stopping such abuse, and the inability of male slaves to defend slave women. Setting the case in the context of the 1850s slavery debates, he also probes the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. By granting slaves certain statutory rights (which were usually rendered meaningless by the customary prerogatives of masters), southerners could argue that they observed moral restraint in the operations of their peculiar institution. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, A Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams
Author: Woody Holton
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9781451607369
Available:
Release: 2010-06-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of the Bancroft Prize The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice American Heritage, Best of 2009 In this vivid new biography of Abigail Adams, the most illustrious woman of the founding era, Bancroft Award–winning historian Woody Holton offers a sweeping reinterpretation of Adams’s life story and of women’s roles in the creation of the republic. Using previously overlooked documents from numerous archives, Abigail Adams shows that the wife of the second president of the United States was far more charismatic and influential than historians have realized. One of the finest writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women’s education, denounced sex discrimination, and matched wits not only with her brilliant husband, John, but with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. When male Patriots ignored her famous appeal to "Remember the Ladies," she accomplished her own personal declaration of independence: Defying centuries of legislation that assigned married women’s property to their husbands, she amassed a fortune in her own name. Adams’s life story encapsulates the history of the founding era, for she defined herself in relation to the people she loved or hated (she was never neutral), a cast of characters that included her mother and sisters; Benjamin Franklin and James Lovell, her husband’s bawdy congressional colleagues; Phoebe Abdee, her father’s former slave; her financially naïve husband; and her son John Quincy. At once epic and intimate, Abigail Adams, sheds light on a complicated, fascinating woman, one of the most beloved figures of American history.

Founding Fathers

Founding Fathers
Author: Encyclopaedia Britannica
Pages: 259
ISBN: 9780470117927
Available:
Release: 2007-08-03
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Offers a concise biographical dictionary of important early American statesmen and leaders, from "Abigail Adams" to "George Wythe," with additional entries on key issues and events relevant to the formation of the United States.

The Jefferson Rule

The Jefferson Rule
Author: David Sehat
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781476779799
Available:
Release: 2015-05-19
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In The Jefferson Rule, historian David Sehat describes how everyone from liberals to conservatives, secessionists to unionists have sought out the Founding Fathers to defend their policies. Beginning with the debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton over the future of the nation, and continuing throughout our history—the Civil War, the World Wars, the New Deal, the Reagan Revolution, and Obama and the Tea Party—many politicos have asked, “What would the Founders do?” instead of “What is the common good today?” Both the Right and the Left have used the Founders to sort through such issues as voting rights, campaign finance, free speech, war and peace, gun control, and taxes, though those Fathers were a querulous and divided group who rarely agreed. In this “sobering, informative study” (Publisher’s Weekly), Sehat shows why coming to terms with the past would be the start of a productive debate. The result is, simply put, “required reading for those desperate for sane, intelligent political arguments” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). The Jefferson Rule “takes the reader through an engaging and insightful survey course in American history” (The Christian Science Monitor).