8 Responses

  1. Rose City Reader
    Rose City Reader December 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

    I read this one shortly after it came out for the same reasons you did and enjoyed it a ton. I thought it offered the perfect blend of overview and mini-biographies, like you describe. I thought he was very honest in his portraits and made the Founding Brothers feel like real, modern people, not dusty old historical figures.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid December 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

      Rose City Reader » exactly! They WERE real, and I loved how Ellis managed to bring them to “life”.

  2. neal
    neal December 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    During my first year in ROTC in college, Founding Brothers was the required text for my first military science class. I don’t recall being impacted so strongly by it…but I was also rather sleep deprived. I also don’t think I’d realized it won a Pulitzer. Your review makes me want to go back and check it out again.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid December 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

      neal » I really liked it! I think it’s well worth a regular reread.

  3. Rebecca Scaglione
    Rebecca Scaglione December 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |

    I know you said it was a “readable” book. My question is about how much information is given at a time. Did you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information, or was it just the right amount? Do you think your background and prior knowledge made the book an easier read? I’m always interested in those answers for nonfiction reads because some can be super heavy and difficult to comprehend.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid December 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

      Rebecca Scaglione » I think it was just the right amount of information! But I’m a very fast reader and I made myself slow down as I read it. So maybe in that respect it does have more than meets the eye. I feel like my background knowledge helped but I also felt that Ellis took the challenge of bringing familiar names, dates, and events and making them real, so we start with what we already know and build on that. If I reread it in a year I’ll bet I’ll learn even more. There is so much in there I KNOW I didn’t get it all. Federalism/anti-federalism is a complicated bit of politics and politics in general were quite different in that era, and those are things I hadn’t realized to such an extent before.

      So in short, it is possible a different reader could be overwhelmed by the amount of info. But I take my nonfiction reads with the understanding that it is one perspective and that I will have to approach the subject repeatedly from different perspectives or rereads to completely understand. For me it was a perfect balance of both depth and not too much at a time. I hope it works for you too!

  4. leslie lehr
    leslie lehr December 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    I’m going to recommend this book to my husband. I used to be bored by the very idea of reading history for pleasure, but last week on our first night out in a month, regaled me with details from the book 1861 by Adam Goodheart. There were so many amazing anecdotes about the reshaping of ours country – to the details of when clothes first needed to be uniformly sized – for uniforms! Now I have two history books to read. Since history is determined so much by the pov, I’ll consider them to be creative nonfiction!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid December 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

      leslie lehr » I love history! I hope you find something you’ll enjoy.

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