Founding Brothers Book Review Essay

627 Words Dec 11th, 2013 3 Pages
Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Print. The book being critiqued in the following review is Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis. Ellis’ goal in writing this book was to define the political events and achievements that gained historical significance because they framed the successive history of the United States. Ellis wrote on this specific topic because he felt the need to argue the fact that the American Revolution and the greatness achieved by the founding generation were the result of a collective effort. Ellis emphasizes that the success of the United States, at the time of its formation, was not an inevitable conclusion. At the time, it was an improbable result that …show more content…
Ellis describes a heated House debate in 1790 where slavery was reluctantly addressed. Benjamin Franklin and James Madison’s reactions are discussed. Ellis recognizes that in this moment, compromise was absent and the divisions within the country were becoming increasingly conspicuous. Ellis emphasize that making slavery a non-issue eventually led to the Civil War. The next event described by Ellis was the publishing of George Washington’s Farewell Address. Ellis addresses Washington’s legacy and regard for future generations of America. In his next story, Ellis examines how the relationships of 1776 turned into more sensible collaborations that would mold American history. Ellis focuses mainly on the relationship between Jefferson and Adams as well as Adams’ collaboration with his wife, Abigail. In his final piece of evidence, Ellis tells the story of the extensive communication between Adams and Jefferson during the last fourteen years of their lives, restoring their lost friendship after a political betrayal. Overall, based on the sources used, the history is unbiased, although Ellis does acknowledge the sometimes exaggerated and biased writings of the Founding Fathers and of those who were around them at the time. These occasional obscurities are recognized and addressed by Ellis. However, the book is historically accurate and gives an objective view of each situation. The claims made by
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