Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Informal Book Review: "American Creation" by Joseph Ellis

In recent years, Joseph Ellis has become one of the foremost historians of the American Revolution. His books have been nominated for an array of awards, "Founding Brothers" receiving the Pulitzer Prize. His biographies of Washington and Jefferson have been highly praised as well. His newest book, "American Creation" covers many of the difficulties that the infant American nation faced at the conclusion of the war. As we all know, the United States from 1783-1789 was governed by the Articles of Confederation, which made governing the states in a cohesive manner very difficult. In this book, Ellis covers the issues of the Articles, along with a number of other problems the early American republic faced.

The book was quite entertaining. For those of you that have read Ellis, you know how enjoyable his writing style is. I have to say, however, that I found his book to be somewhat of a repeat of his other works, especially "Founding Brothers." I was expecting to read something that was groundbreaking, but instead found myself reading about stuff I already knew. Clearly this book is written for an audience that has little or no understanding of the American Revolution (I.E. The American public in general!).

My final grade for this book is a B. It was fun to read, but not very enlightening. Certainly this is not another Pulitzer Prize nominee, but it is also not a terrible read.


Brad Hart said...

I havn't had the chance to read this book yet, but your comments are pretty much what I've been hearing from everyone that has read the book.

Lindsey Shuman said...

I have never read anything by Ellis. I only read his bio on Jefferson and to be honest, I don't understand why he is a big deal. Maybe I just like a different style of writing.

Raven said...

I love Joseph Ellis. And I though that this was his best book.

Steve Becknall said...

Raven, I agree that this is a good book, but to call it his best is a bit of a stretch for me. Have you read "Founding Brothers?" I think that is his best. I guess that in the end it all depends on personal preference to a degree, but in terms of its historical analysis, this book falls short of his others.

Andy said...

This is the third book authored by Ellis that I enjoyed. I was unaware of Washington's & Knox's efforts to settle land disputes with the Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

i like Joseph Ellis i read two book authored by Ellis

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