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Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation | [Joseph J. Ellis]

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

A New York Times best seller, Founding Brothers is an engrossing work of nonfiction from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph J. Ellis. It is a book that uncovers the substance behind many of our most cherished historical tales. Here are six fascinating, well-researched chapters involving such icons as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.
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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2001

A New York Times best seller, Founding Brothers is an engrossing work of nonfiction from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph J. Ellis. It is a book that uncovers the substance behind many of our most cherished historical tales. Here are six fascinating, well-researched chapters involving such icons as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Each chapter illuminates a particular occurrence that helped determine the course of American history while the nation was still in its infancy. Witness the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and a secret dinner party that ended the haggling over a site for a permanent national capital.

The Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, Joseph J. Ellis draws on his expertise to craft an engaging portrait of the men who shaped democracy. Nelson Runger, acclaimed for his narrations of nonfiction works, delivers a crisp reading that breathes life back into America's founders.

©2000 Joseph J. Ellis; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Lively and illuminating...leaves the reader with a visceral sense of a formative era in American life." (The New York Times)
"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)
"Vivid and unforgettable...[an] enduring achievement." (The Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (674 )
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3.9 (217 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Claudia Reston, VA, USA 01-25-08
    Claudia Reston, VA, USA 01-25-08 Member Since 2002

    Audible listener for MANY years. I love mysteries and spy novels, biographies, historical fiction, and many other things in between.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Reads More Like a Textbook"

    I love the subject and I've seen the author speak and was impressed, but this book reads much more like a textbook than a story. Not bad, as long as you are anticipating this style - I was expecting something more along the lines of John Adams (which I loved). There were WAY too many "salient" points.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William TARRYTOWN, NY, USA 04-17-05
    William TARRYTOWN, NY, USA 04-17-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Founding Fathers brought to life!"

    A "Must Listen" for everyone who was ever inundated with the idea that the Founding Fathers are just a bunch of dead white men. This book illustrates that they are alive in every aspect of our daily lives. Dirty politics, greed, lust, passion, slander, murder, thievery; it is all here on the road to Independency!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 03-04-14
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1503
    ratings
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    447
    206
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    57
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    Story
    "Doesn't get better than this!!!"

    I am mystified that this book doesn't have a higher rating. Perhaps it's a factor of expectations; for the book is not pure history, but more a discussion of interesting events, really looking at the facts and dissecting the motives and hidden agendas that accompany many stories told by the founding fathers themselves. Having just finished 5 biographies of the founding fathers, the stories were fresh in my mind, making these discussions very interesting and offering a fresh perspective to the pivotal events of the time. Had I listened to this book before reading the other detailed biographies, my experience may have been very different.
    For those with an interest and basic knowledge of early American history, I definitely recommend this book. The follow-up to this book, American Creation, is perhaps even better than this. I really like the approach taken by Ellis, even if I don't agree with all his arguments. He presents a fascinating discussion and thorough analysis of many notable historical moments. His style is compelling, thought-provoking and well-balanced. The overall effect of his writing style truly brings history to life. I know sounds cliché, but it is absolutely true.

    The narration is excellent. The perfect match for the style of the book.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 01-22-09
    Suzanne 01-22-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Founding Brothers"

    Very little new material if you have read biographies of our founding fathers. Needed a little more editing or tightening.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Martin Littleton, MA United States 03-16-06
    Andrew Martin Littleton, MA United States 03-16-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    91
    1
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    "Excessively pedantic"

    As an enourmous fan of audible's unabridged Churchill biography I emphasise that the flaws are with this audiobook and not the genre.

    The topic should be fascinating but instead the tales are needlessly empurpled and not allowed to stand on their own. The narrator exacerbates the problem with long, deliberate pauses between the many clauses of this didactic prose.

    Sadly, this book is a sleeping aid instead of an educational escape.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul H. 04-27-10
    Paul H. 04-27-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "A Tough Hear"

    Interesting historical content but painful to listen to. Narration leaves much to be desired and lulls you to sleep.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Austin, TX, USA 03-26-05
    Elizabeth Austin, TX, USA 03-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "Still Can't Manage To Finish It..."

    A previous reviewer said this book starts off slow, but is worth reading. Although I normally enjoy history and biography, I found this book so boring that I stopped midway through the Alexander Hamilton portion and have had no desire to hear any more of it--unusual, because I almost always finish a book once I start it. The narration is good, and there are interesting bits, but once it bogged down, it's hard for me to work up any enthusiasm about finishing it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Santa Claus, IN, USA 08-12-05
    Tim Santa Claus, IN, USA 08-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "Too boring"

    I was really looking forward to this selection, unfortantely it did not hold my interest.

    I found the subject matter interesting and the author was apparently well educated in the topic. Much of the information was interesting.

    My dislike lies in the presentation. I found it dull and extremely verbose. The forward alone was close to a hour long. I think the subject could have been covered just as well in a shorter format. I felt the author was more interested in impressing me with his vast knowledge on the subject than he was in educating me about the relationships between the Founding Brothers.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Rochester, MN, USA 12-28-05
    Shawn Rochester, MN, USA 12-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    5
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    "Couldn't finish it; boring!"

    I was really looking forward to this book and was sadly disappointed. It took a while for me to catch on to what it was that made this so dull. Finally I figured it out: the author made his point early on, and then went on to make the same point over and over and over. It felt as if someone, perhaps the publiser, was pushing for more bulk and the chapters were stretched out with repetetive fluff. I am a vetern of many audio books and this is the first one I just stopped listening to!

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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