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What readers think of Founding Brothers, plus links to write your own review.

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Founding Brothers

The Revolutionary Generation

by Joseph J. Ellis

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

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2000, 288 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2002, 304 pages

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Page 7 of 24
There are currently 186 reader reviews for Founding Brothers
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z00

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.
Laur

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.
b

Founding Fathers: the Revolutionary Generation
I have to read this book for AP US History. I have read most of it, but I find it really hard to get through. I've already read The Jungle, Thirteen Day: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and The Killer Angels, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book, however has put me to sleep three times with its boring rehashing of previously stated facts. It could be quite condensed and still give the same information. It would be quite good if it wasn't so long winded. I enjoy the first parts of all the Chapters, but after 15 pages of the same thing it gets boring (and I'm not ADD or ADHD). I wouldn't recommend this book unless you absolutely LOVE Ellis's other works.
Kyle

A nerds review
Phrases I have used in my paper to describe this book include: "I am about to explode from the massive influx of information" "coma inducing" "nasty tendency to roll on forever" and "Random tangents away from the storyline." Normally I love to read a good historical book. It is something I do for fun. Founding Brothers managed to make 250 pages seem like a 1000 page novel.
angelica

founding brothers
I must say this is one of the worst books I have ever read and let me tell you I have read a lot of book in my day. In the first chapter I found myself saying "what in the world does this word mean". I got so lost in trying to figure out the meanings of the words that i could not enjoy the actual plot of the book. Now I do not doubt that Joseph Ellis is a good writer for old people (no offense) and for college nerds ( again no offense) but for a 16 year old just trying to pass her AP course it definitely was not for me. I thought it was one of the most boring books I ever set my eyes on. I mean I know American history is important and all but maybe they should take the facts and make them more interesting. one word of advice before you pick up this book and read it is to read the dictionary first!
caroline

A Review of Founding Bothers
I have a Masters degree in Gifted Education. I took a history course this summer just to have a little more background knowledge of American history. One of the books that we were required to read and do a book review on was the Founding Brothers. I was frustrated beyond belief. While the book reveals a fascinating character analysis of the men who helped shape the foundation of our country, the complex sentence structure, redundancy, and almost purposeful hyperbolism that plagued this book made for excruciating reading. I can't believe this book was assigned to high school kids. Their reviews had me howling with laughter.
Wils

Unbelivable!!!
This book is completely overrated! While reading this book for AP, I can't believe the good ratings it has achieved for such a BORING book. I can understnd that it is a good book, but for people in its league, don't make high school kids read it.!!!
sam

this book totally sucks
as a US AP history student, i was assigned to read this book along with two other less dreadful books. i mean, i like history, especially the history of our country but never in my life have i read such a book that changed my mind so fast, i hate history now, all because of htis total bore. if you are planning to read this book as an assignment, find a younger sibiling to do the job, if you are a teacher reading this to see the views of what the young kids think of the book, all i have to say is- might as well fail them from now rather than sucking the fun out of their lives with such a horrific book.

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