Reader reviews and comments on Founding Brothers, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Founding Brothers

The Revolutionary Generation

by Joseph J. Ellis

Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis X
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2000, 288 pages
    Feb 2002, 304 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 5 of 24
There are currently 185 reader reviews for Founding Brothers
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

z00 (08/11/10)

Notwithstanding... Is that even a word?
Where do I begin? This work of overly flamboyant vocabulary, 4 page paragraphs, and mind-numbing overcomplexity is the best example to date of three pounds of candy in a 100 pound bag.
I commend Joseph J. Ellis for the 20 years he probably spent poring over a dictionary to fill a story that could be told in a mere 40 pages, with so many adjectives, so much pointless information, and the most annoyingly extreme degree of detail I have ever experienced in a literary work. Let us also not forget to recognize so many school districts for assigning 248 pages (more with notes) of absolute TORTURE as a "summer reading assignment" for the vast majority of A.P. U.S. history students across the country. Not to exaggerate, but I think the suicide rate in children between sixteen and eighteen years of age may experience a spike as the summer draws to a close, and children around the nation begin to pick up this work of excruciating pain, hoping to finish it before the school year begins.
If you are a hermit, despot, or just a fat, mean old man, who wants to be left alone for an afternoon of reading on the beach, please tape the cover of "founding brothers" to the back of your book of choice. When those annoying teenagers spot a glimpse of that beige spine with the presidential portraits, you can be sure they will keep a distance of at least 3 miles.
It's true: somehow, be it to maintain the poseur reputation of a well-read intellectual, some critics will actually claim to ENJOY this novel. I guess in the end, this is a free country (a country whose founding is described in this book in the most boring and tasteless fashion imaginable), but a word of kindly advice to the author of this piece: seeing as the educational system seems to favor your books for their summer reading assignments, in the future, please; just stick to short stories.
Anonymous (08/09/10)

Worst book ever
I was coerced to read this book for AP U.S. History class. a very dull and flavorless book. the confusing language made this book very strenuous and difficult to read. also, the fine detail the author goes into does not enhance the plot whatsoever. words I would use to describe this book would be "pointless, redundant", and "difficult to read." a euphemistic way to describe this book would be "bad".
APUSH student (08/06/10)

Not the best book
As an AP and honors student, I have never read such a boring book. I don't get what Ellis is trying to say because he goes on and on with details. Isn't this book suppose to sum up history in an exciting way? I don't recommend this book to high school students, you won't get it. I had to reread every chapter and I still didn't get it. I don't get why teachers are assigning this book. Students obviously don't understand it and it shows. I'd rather read the history textbook.
Laur (08/05/10)

I think an extremely learned History major...
... might be able to comprehend about a quarter of what the author cranks out onto the page. Granted, Ellis writes extremely fluidly, and the overall quality of the book is hardly mediocre. HOWEVER; I found it extremely redundant, and not at all self-explanatory. A thorough knowledge of the American history and government is required to understand what this book means, let alone the extremely extensive vocabulary that is enough to make more than a few uncomfortable. Overall, I found it pretty painful to read.

I am a 16-year-old AP U.S. student, and I recommend this book to those who are capable of appreciating 'Founding Brothers' unneeded complexity. I, for one, am not one of those people.
APU (07/03/10)

I found the cure for insomniacs!
My fellow Americans, I, Dr. Wantstokillmyselfafterthisbook Jr. the 3rd, have found the CURE for INSOMNIACS! Just read this HORRID and DREADFUL book and you'll be sleeping like a baby.


May cause user to want to kill themselves.
May cause blindness.
If read more than a paragraph a day, user might fall into a coma and die a horrible book related death.

The End.
Q (09/12/09)

Interesting Thesis
A powerful and compelling work, which told of interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the founding of the United States. Each "brother" is examined based on his accomplishments, and equally, his faults. Motives are unveiled, politics unmasked, and the reader ultimately gets the sense that Washington's (the city) political games have really never changed. This inference comes directly from the implication of the title "Founding Brothers," showing that each man was connected in some way to the others, and that together, they were able to create the American Republic we know and live in today.
unluckystudent (08/23/09)

This book was so terrible! I just felt like telling the author to SPIT IT OUT already! the language is was confusing (this coming from a very advanced student). I had to write a few essays on this book and had to read the whole thing twice AND get summaries online before i even had an inkling of an idea on what it was about. I feel bad for anyone else that has to read this. Also...the author went back and forth in time and ideas it was all over the place and not interesting in the slightest.
Fellow Student (08/22/09)

Was It Written In Japanese?
I can't understand it. I have ready many other interesting books. I have to read this over the summer and I have tried over and over to read and re-read paragraphs but I can barely grasp what Joseph Ellis is trying to say. Honestly, how can we call this literature when no normal being can understand it?

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...
  • Book Jacket: The Girls in the Picture
    The Girls in the Picture
    by Melanie Benjamin
    Melanie Benjamin's fine historical novel about the relationship between two women in the early ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The House of Broken Angels
    by Luis Alberto Urrea

    The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story from an acclaimed storyteller.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Y L D W D, Y'll G U W Fleas

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.