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Summary Of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation By Joseph J. Ellis

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I. Identification of Work For my Nonfiction Book Review Assignment, I read the novel Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by author Joseph J. Ellis. Ellis is a leading historian who was educated at the College of William and Mary and at Yale University and who has taught at Williams College, the University of Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

II. Summary of the Main Ideas Although Ellis expresses many significant points, it is clear that, above all else, Ellis believes the framing of our government was made possible because of the distinctive personalities of the revolutionary generation and their varying viewpoints on the future of our
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With each new founder that is introduced, Ellis uses specific details to give the reader an idea of that founder’s life: their backstory, accomplishments, relationships, appearance, political viewpoints, etc. Readers are given enough information to feel as if they can look into history through the lenses of that founder and understand history from their perspective. Ellis forces the reader to recognize that the founders of our country were not heroes, gods, or saints, as textbooks sometimes make them out to be; they were real people, who were extremely intelligent but were also flawed. Franklin, for example, spent a good deal of his time in Paris flirting with younger women. Even Washington was actually poorly read. As Adams realized, “…all the heroic portraits of the great men were romanticized distortions” (Ellis, 2000, p.217).Although the amount of characterization provided for all the characters in Founding Brothers can become overwhelming, it really does give the reader a better understanding of the characters, as a whole. Ellis’ use of characterization in Founding Brothers brings new life to the long dead founding

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