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Founding Brothers – Joseph J. Ellis

April 21, 2008

This was my book club book for April. It’s a book I have had sitting on my bookshelf for probably two years, and I had just never had the chance to get to it. I always get these urges to read smarter books, so I go out and buy a bunch. Then I bring them home and they sit on my shelf because when it comes time to pick a new book, I just never seem to be in the mood for something deep. I research, read, write, and interpret government codes, regulations, and laws all day long. By the time I get home, I just want to sit and read some good chick lit.

So, I was actually very happy when this came up as a book club selection. It meant I finally had to read it.

It took me a bit longer to get through than my usual books. This was a book written at the college level – and I must admit there were lots of words that I had to look up because I didn’t know what they meant. But in the end I really liked it. I have always had an interest in American Politics, and especially presidential biographies, and such. I do have a degree in Political Science, after all. I really just love that period of American History.

I really loved how this book was organized into stories. The book contained six stories including the famous duel between Hamilton and Burr, the Secret Dinner where the location of the Capital was decided, Washington’s Farewell Address, Slavery, and the Adams/Jefferson Friendship. The book was well organized, extremely well researched, and an overall great read. I learned a lot of new things from this book, and the parallels that can be drawn between then and now are amazing.
Oh, and even better, I can count this as my first Pulitzer book, since my goal for the rest of the year is to read more Pulizer Prize winning books. Now I just need to get to that 600-page Ben Franklin biography on my shelf.
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