From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy.
Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.
Mayer employs the same mellow, experienced tone he successfully used recently on Empire of Blue Water and Mellon: An American Life. His familiar voice lends itself nicely to Ellis's sweeping tale of America's evolution from the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775 to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. As the story takes us through the many battles, negotiations and personality conflicts of this tumultuous quarter century-some of which have been largely forgotten in the romanticized versions of our nation's early history-listeners can settle in to Mayer's easy, silken tenor as he describes how these formative events unfolded. Ellis spends considerable time critiquing the shortsightedness and racism that prevented the founders from resolving the slavery question or dealing equitably with Native Americans. Mayer's reading keeps pace with the shifting tones of Ellis's narrative, by turns admiring and critical. Mayer's memorable rendition of Ellis's story manages to be avuncular yet brisk. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, June 4).
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good, but no hyperlinks to footnotes?
A great read, but there are no hyperlinks to the footnotes. This is really the only way to do e-books. Otherwise, it is rather cumbersome and impractical.
I as a 63 year old woman who has been out of school for many years and never obtained a higher than high school education (and with AADD) found this book extremely interesting and insightful. Our early history education in the U.P. of MI in the late 50's early 60's, I feel was quite good in comparison to today's elementary through high school founding historical teaching, but I feel that I learned and gained deeper respect and perspective for the immense heart and intellect of the diverse peoples that first came to the shores of this great (and flawed) nation.
I found myself rereading many passages checking that I had read the right punctuation and context (aadd requires this) to assure that I could separate the author's theory and assumption from facts that he used to explain his ideas. I found it hard to maintain the two, facts vs theory, but enjoyed all of it put together as the author designed.
The deeper insight into the Native American tradgedy that is dear to my heart, living and marrying into the Annishnabee community, was something that definitly was not taught quite so clearly in my day so I appreciate the factual nature of the author's writing.
After reading American Creation I feel I have an even stronger, deeper understanding of our beginnings in this still growing and truely struggling "Republic". I highly recommend this book and for most it should be a short but enlightening read.
I absolutely love this book. I bought this book in hardback otherwise I would have bought it on here. If you want a highly accurate account of the founding of this great nation look no further. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I guarantee you will love this book. I'm an American history fanatic and spend countless hours in my day towards the study of history. I mainly focus on American history and highly recommend this book to anyone. Buy it you won't regret it and make sure to highly recommend it to others.