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  1. says:

    Disclaimer If Joseph Ellis wrote about the mating habits of sea sponges in exhaustive and nauseating detail I’d probably read it And give it at least 4 stars When he’s writing about the Revolutionary War? I generally need a change of undergarments Ellis is freaking amazingI have a rather significant fascination editor’s note really it’s a weird Single White Female style obsession with the Revolutionary War When I was a kid it was because of the mythical heroic status ascribed to all of the principles that and the fact that I share a birthday with Mr Benjamin Franklin though we weren’t of course born in the same year because if we were well I guess I’d look pretty good for my agebut only for my age As I grew older and progressed beyond the stories in schoolbooks and learned about the deep flaws petty jealousies and odious mistakes of the Founding Fathers I only grew intrigued These days I find less fascination in the battles than I do in the story of how the Constitution the Bill of Rights and other seminal documents heh hehI said “seminal” were created editor’s note the author may be approximately 300 years old but he continues to display the maturity of a 12 year old There are two reasons for this 1 as debates rage about everything from civil rights to healthcare to gun control with both sides of each argument interpreting these seminal heh hehI said it again documents differently I want to know as much as I can about how and why the documents were written as they were spoiler alert the Founding Fathers did NOT have all the answers and in fact intentionally created an adaptable framework that could be modified over time as the world changedso no they did NOT necessarily intend for us all to walk around toting semi automatic rifles and popping them off in schools and movie theaters nor did they themselves buy into the notion of “original intent”but that’s neither here nor there; and 2 because I find the process of watching highly intelligent well educated people attack a problem for which there is no precedential solution fascinatingRather than courting controversy by delving deeply into point #1 above it’s #2 that I want to focus on in discussing yet another Joe Ellis masterpiece The uartet is a thoroughly engaging exploration of how four key figures—George Washington John Jay Alexander Hamilton and James Madison—skillfully and deftly maneuvered a suabbling collection of dysfunctional colonies into ultimately becoming the United States as we know it What makes these cats so compelling one—particularly one who freuently fell asleep during history class—might ask? THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE THEIR OWN YOUTUBE CHANNELWell as a way of translating their appeal for a modern audience let’s think about them as a superhero team—the Foundtastic Four if you will GEORGE WASHINGTON Strengths commanding presence really good at riding horses badass auiline profile ability to make you feel like a jerk for complaining about your pounding headache when he talks about people dying of frostbite and starvation at Valley Forge Weaknesses inability to tell lies crunchy foods hard to chew with those wooden teeth obsession with posterity sense of humor surgically removed at birthThere’s a reason George Washington’s name is synonymous with the United States Everyone knows about the apocryphal cherry tree crossing the Delaware Father of our Country blah blah blah But you know what really made Washington a badass? The fact that it’s far less likely that this intrepid uartet nor indeed anyone would have succeeded in creating a stable union after the defeat of the British if this ONE SINGLE MAN hadn’t lent his name to the cause and consented to the presidency that was forced upon him afterward If Superman Optimus Prime and an Eagle Scout had weird three way sex and if cross speciesrobo human same sex procreation was possible George Washington is what would pop out of one very uncomfortably small hole Think about this the guy could essentially have become a king or at least a military dictator—the American Napoleon He didn’t He willingly and happily gave up that power In the course of human history how many people in that position have done that? I can only think of two George Washington and me you all have no idea how much you owe me So if this was a superhero team G Dub would clearly be the leader JOHN JAY Strengths eminent reasonableness sanguine disposition politeness international diplomacyWeaknesses a really wussy list of strengths probably pretty useless in a bar fightWhen you study the revolutionary period in school you hear a few names a lot Washington Adams Franklin Jefferson You don’t often hear about John Jay and yet his skill in international diplomacy and vision of the transformative social and economic impact of westward expansion made him as integral a part of the Revolution as anyone except perhaps for Old Wooden Teeth Even John Adams a man so miserly with praise that he wouldn’t give credit to his mother’s birth canal for facilitating his passage into the world noted that Jay’s work hammering out treaties abroad was essential to winning the warALEXANDER HAMILTON Strengths flamboyant personality incisive wit vast intellect fiscal genius willingness to duel anyone who wrongs himWeaknesses kind of an asshole inability to not get shot and killed when dueling anyone who wrongs himOf the four featured players in this book Hamilton would be most at home in today’s trenchant political miasma He would own Twitter and dominate the 24 hour news cycle with his caustic wit and willingness to speak his mind You could think of him as a hyper intelligent extremely capable funny actually good with money version of Donald Trump The key driver behind the Federalist Papers Hamilton had a pen as sharp as his bayonet and did double duty as an officer in Washington’s army and a member of the Continental Congress And then he got himself killed in a duel with Aaron Burr Oh for the days when our politicians resolved disputes via duels back when men were men and men were morons I guess some things never changeJAMES MADISON Strengths brilliant politician groundbreaking political theorist obsessive compulsive preparer master of backroom political machinations VirginianWeaknesses sickly constitution diminutive stature rud romancer of Japanese body pillows unconfirmedMadison is another guy who tends to get overlooked when we’re being taught about Paul Revere’s midnight ride Ben Franklin’s homespun wit and Thomas Jefferson’s elouent pen or rather Jefferson’s elouenceI’ve heard the pen itself was a little terse and standoffish Yet it was Madison with his vision and manipulation of the political chessboard that was perhaps responsible than anyone for setting the stage for the Constitution to be written and ensuring its ratification afterward If you haven’t experienced the wonder and joy of Joseph Ellis I might suggest starting with Founding Brothers The Revolutionary Generation But any Revolutionary War aficionado will want to check this book out Ellis is a master stylist who distills massive uantities of information into salient cogent arguments as well as any historian I’ve ever read In other words this is good stuff


  2. says:

    ME contemplates retail therapy of buying The uartet Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783 1789 for only 299 on my KindleME uit hyperventilating it'll still be there when you have moneyME clicks through to Ammy before the waffling is even over Your Cost 073 after book creditsME stares suspiciously at goddessesME okay what horror do I have to endure to earn this?


  3. says:

    Winning independence from Great Britain was only step one and probably less significant than the creation of our system of government The war had brought the colonies to a common cause but afterwards the debt was huge I was shocked to learn it was 40MM with no means to collect taxes they were voluntary by the articles of confederation Our young country didn’t even consider itself a nation until 4 men took leadership Hamilton Madison Jay and reluctantly Washington Forming the United States was nearly inconceivable to the common man and far from the mind of the politicians of the day In fact most were strongly against anything that had the whiff of executive power in the wake of King George’s legacy This is the story of the beginning of congress and the creation of the 3 bodies of our government that are today still the envy of the world It was not divinely ordained nor shrouded in the mist of providence it was born of old style political maneuvering and fierce debate and argument It was every bit as personal human and petty as we see today The argument of federal vs state vs individual power is built into our constitution so we shouldn’t be surprised it is still alive and well What is surprising is the durability of our system This author feels that the founders themselves would likely be amazed that it is still intactEllis is a superb writer and takes full advantage of new sources and has read broadly on source documents His prose is spare and he honestly portrays the dissension in thought Mostly he sticks to the facts and actual content in the letters of these four men Ellis shares the outcome then reminds the reader with repetition of details as to how the matters were settled and came to be As such this does not read like a textbook but like riveting prose What I found interesting is that the brilliance of Hamilton and Madison was so far ahead of the rest of the officials and public that they had to slow down and wait for others to catch up Madison felt he had failed in the first closed debates but in hindsight realized that if he had forced a debate with all the delegates that the constitution would likely not have been ratified It could have failed if he had his way Madison the true architect poorly spoken diminutive convinced his three colleagues that a powerful federal government was the only way to proceed yet ultimately saw the wisdom in compromise and ambiguity in powers between the executive and the states The politics are fascinating All these men agreed that a true democracy would be fatal and that a republic was necessary such that elected representatives could properly filter ideas This was the genius where the platform popularly elected allowed the “people” to choose their leaders but avoid mob rule This resonates today with the discussion about the Electoral College instead of choosing by popular vote John Jay negotiated our treaty with Great Britain and Ellis asserts that getting the entire territory to the Mississippi was as critical to our future as winning independence This was before we had a concept of our geography and west of the Mississippi was France’s and south was owned by Spain Interestingly the uestion of slavery would likely have sabotaged the possibility of a United States so it was mostly not talked about and our great sin was kicked down the road another 75 years History could have turned out very differently – we could have become like Europe with the states warring and competing for resources With a combined national interest these four men intoned we could become recognized worldwide and leverage power for all Our natural enemies Great Britain and Spain in particular were laying in wait for us to become disorganized and certain colonies come back to them for their support We needed a treasury to have credit worldwide and instill confidence as a nationThe power of Virginia and New York in particular was such that they did not want unification They had to be sold and convinced often through back channels Jefferson was away in France as an ambassador and was pro Virginia not at all aligned with his protégé Madison Washington was the de facto leader and had to be begged to come out of retirement and battle for his legacy – he was the only one with enough respect to pull that off In the end we barely became a nation and this would have changed world history forever Thanks to Ellis for a fascinating and entertaining read It is highly relevant today as I hope our system and the checks and balances will preserve the dream of individual liberty regardless of who we put in the white house


  4. says:

    Joseph Ellis' new book The uartet Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783 1789 examines the United States' movement from independence to nationhood following the Revolutionary War Ellis retired as Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College has written many works about early American history and has received both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer PrizeEllis' short but broad thoughtful and provocative book argues that the United States did not become a nation upon winning independence but became instead a group of loosely connected separate states Ellis maintains that most people at the time lacked even a concept of national identity beyond the provincial boundaries of their communities They thought they had fought a hard war to free themselves from the distant centralizing government of Great Britain With the ineffective Articles of Confederation the thirteen states appeared headed for separation and uarrels similar to the nations of EuropeEllis maintains that while the first American Revolution might be viewed from the ground up the second worked from the top down He finds that four individuals the uartet of his title were primarily responsible George Washington Alexander Hamilton James Madison and John Jay The first three names are unsurprising Ellis clearly regards Washington is the essential member of the group and as the leader of both the first and second American revolutions He gives Washington credit than he sometimes receives for his intellectual foresight in an early writing about the deficiency of the Articles of Confederation and the need for a central government Ellis sees Madison as a highly savvy politician and lawyer than as an original thinker The partial surprise on Ellis' the list is John Jay who tends to be less well known than he deserves Jay negotiated the treaty of Paris and worked early and diplomatically including with opponents for the cause of nationhood Other leaders who play supporting roles in Ellis' account include financier Robert Morris Thomas Jefferson and Gouverneur Morris the drafter of the ConstitutionEllis' reading of the second American revolution is avowedly elitist He argues that most people had no interest in nationhood because a broad national vision would be inconsistent in some ways with their limited goals such as avoiding taxation and living beyond their means Ellis recognizes the controversial nature of his perspective He writes in the book's PrefaceAll democratic cultures find such explanations offensive because they violate the hallowed conviction that at least in the long run popular majorities can best decide the direction that history should take However true that conviction might be over the full span of American history and the claim is contestable it does not work for the 1780s which just might be the most conspicuous and conseuential example of the way in which small groups of prominent leaders in disregard of popular opinion carried the American story in a new directionEllis takes the reader through the Confederation years the preliminaries to the Constitutional Convention the Convention itself and the proceedings in the states for the ratification of the Constitution The book concludes with the enactment of the Bill of Rights Ellis does not attribute superhuman wisdom to the founders but he also avoids the current tendency to belittle their accomplishments through an anachronistic importation of today's values into the late 18th Century Among other things his book discusses briefly but well the dilemma the founders faced over slavery The book stresses the value of ideas and thinking compromise practicality commitment and humility in the second American revolution and the founding of the national government and its shifting contours of FederalismThis book has a great deal to teach and provides ample material for reflection It also made me want to learn about George Washington by reading the Library of America volume of his writingsRobin Friedman


  5. says:

    This might in reality be worth a third star but it's getting so many five star reviews that I had to downrate itEllis is writing primarily pablum when he's not outrightly wrongAnd he is outrightly wrong on a couple of major issues right at the startFirst while Charles Beard and his progressive historian followers may have overstated the importance of class issues whether in the American Revolution or the Constitutional Revolution even they weren't all wrong contra Ellis' claims Indeed there's been a resurgence in a moderated version of Beard's thesisRelated to that Ellis presents a false dichotomy that the Constitutional Revolution can either be about confederationists vs nationalists OR democrats vs aristocrats but not both And if there's a totally wrong it's that false dichotomySecond Ellis gets the issue of slavery all wrongFirst of all at the Constitutional Convention nobody was arguing for abolition; in fact nobody was even arguing for immediate cessation of slave importation The only argument was if slaves counted as people for census purposes while not counting for people otherwise or not THAT WAS ITSecondly Ellis ignores several new books that point out how deeply slavery was already a half decade before the cotton gin engrained in the American economyGerald Horne's The Counter Revolution of 1776 is a great starting pointThirdly he ignores that people like one of his uartet Hamilton and another founding father Franklin were both actually involved with abolition effortsThe third main issue as other reviewers note is to essentially dismiss the whole mindset behind Lincoln's fourscore and seven years at Gettysburg rather than noting that that was a deliberate stake in the ground — an assertion that contra Ellis the United States did begin in 1776Ellis IMO goes further downhill with each new book; with this one he accelerates his rate of decline


  6. says:

    A fascinating work on the origins of the American Constitution Ellis who has authored other excellent historical analyses contends that four people are critical to understanding why we have a the Constitution that we now have George Washington Alexander Hamilton James Madison and John Jay Two others contributed greatly as well Gouverneur Morris and James WilsonThis book explores how the uartet upset with the poor performance of the United States under the Articles of Confederation labored to create a new government with a energetic national structure that would address the ills under the Articles For instance under the Articles the national government could reuest but not demand or enforce fiscal support from the different states Many states simply ignored this meaning that the national government never had the funding neededMany seem to think that George Washington was somewhat of a figurehead for others such as Hamilton and Madison This and many other books surely should end that canard Washington has been depicted by many historians as an active player in the move toward a new national government systemThe book does a nice job on a number of fronts One it highlights to active role of the uartet Two it gives a sense of the politics of the Constitution that is well done well done by others too Three it shows that the Founders were not demigods but active and calculating politiciansOn the other hand some cavils At one point the author dismisses the fear of one of the uartet that under the rules a vice presidential candidate might get electoral votes than a presidential candidate in this case Washington versus John Adams The election of 1800 shows that this was a well founded fear as VP candidate Aaron Burr was in a tie with the presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson Second limiting the key figures to just the uartet and their allies understates the relevance of others in the process such as Roger Sherman and Robert Morris Three Ellis does a nice job of demolishing critics such as Charles Beard But Beard's view was in a shambles by the 1960s Others such as Jackson Turner Main had critiues of the economic background that probably warranted consideration in this volume Forrest McDonald from a different perspective probably should be acknowledged as wellAt any rate this is a fine volume and warrants attention by readers They will learn a great deal about the origins of the United States under the Constitution here


  7. says:

    George Washington aghast at the failure of Congress to properly feed and fund his ill euipped army during the fight with the British lamented “We have become a many headed monster a heterogeneous mass that never will nor can steer to the same point” Loosely affiliated under the Articles of Confederation the 13 states each pursued their own agendasPulitzer winning historian Joseph J Ellis tells the story how this heterogeneous mass was made to steer to the same point Ellis reveals how four men George Washington John Jay Alexander Hamilton and James Madison conceived and promoted a new political framework built on the Constitution Ellis shows how during the years 1783 to 1789 these four men called for the constitutional convention set the agenda orchestrated the debates and drafted the Bill of RightsSome historians have viewed the Constitution as a betrayal of the American Revolution Ellis however reminds us that democracy was viewed skeptically in the 18th century; he prefers to see the effects of the uartet as “a uite brilliant rescue” of revolutionary principlesThe book is well written and researched Ellis has a way of taking a lot of information and turning it into easy readable prose This is a book to keep in your reference library I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible Robertson Dean narrated the book


  8. says:

    The Constitution was intended less to resolve arguments than to make argument itself the solution For judicial devotees of originalism or original intent this should be a disarming insight since it made the Constitution the foundation for an ever shifting political dialogue that like history itself was an argument without end Madison's original intention was to make all original intentions infinitely negotiable in the future Pg 172


  9. says:

    Yes This is my 10th Revolutionary period book I've read since the new year yeah I get on a kick sometimes and I've been enjoying it all The part I have found most fascinating through it all is the actual creation of the government The sitting down bashing it and each other out and trying to create this never before seen government yes there have been republics but not like this and all previous eventually failed and all the compromise and wrangling that had to go into it well beyond what we can even comprehend And that this creation was so orchestrated by the few yet knowing that the masses likely just wanted to be let alone to get on with life leave them out of politics but all the while this momentous thing was happening ANYWAY This book is ALL about thatEllis has given an excellent account of this nation creation with a really excellent analysis of the thoughtsfeelingsmotivations surrounding it from so many sides He also covers the concept of what would the founding fathers think of xyz today? and how that thought process doesn't really work “like trying to plant cut flowers” That realistically the one thing they'd be amazed at is that the constitution they wrote was still in use He covers the serious moral compromises that had to be made and also that they didn't want the future to be stuck on notions of original intentI don't think I'd recommend this as someone's first read into the era but for those who have a little bit than the avg Joe's knowledge about the period it's a great read and great for lovers of history


  10. says:

    In this interesting and readable book Joseph Ellis has made a valuable contribution to the explication of a period in United States history that is often overlooked and relatively poorly understood The period in uestion is the 1780’s that time between the acceptance of the Articles of Confederation and the final approval of the US Constitution a time when the lack of effectiveness of the former was increasingly apparent and dangers to the persistence of the new Confederation were increasing Ellis focuses his narrative through the eyes of four pivotal figures who worked diligently to replace the Articles rather than simply to tinker with them and make only minor changes Those individuals the “uartet” of the book’s title were George Washington Alexander Hamilton John Jay and James MadisonEllis writes fluently and well unveiling a story that is enjoyable to read While the book is popular than academic in tone it is well researched and referenced Ellis begins with a discussion of the increasing dissatisfaction with the existing functioning of the country under the Articles proceeds to an exploration of how the new Constitution was crafted and finishes by talking about the process of final ratification He explores the authors’ distrust of full and popular democracy aware as they were of the dangers of mob passions and impulsiveness and the tendency of this to inadeuately protect the rights of minorities a distrust that led them to promote instead a representative democracy where popular passions were filtered up through several layers before consummating in action He also explores that fierce anti centralization passions that resulted from the war itself and the struggle against the tyranny of King George passions that resisted attempts to strengthen the national government Interesting he also emphasizes the inevitable compromises inherent in the Constitution some tragic but politically necessary such as the issue of slavery and others left deliberately vague to allow for evolution and adjustments as future events reuired “It was designed not to offer clear answers to the sovereignty uestion or for that matter to the scope of executive or judicial authority but instead to provide a political arena in which arguments about those contested issues could continue in a deliberative fashion The Constitution was intended less to resolve arguments than to make argument itself the solution For judicial devotees of ‘originalism’ or ‘original intent’ this should be a disarming insight since it made the Constitution the foundation for an ever shifting political dialogue that like history itself was an argument without end” For those readers familiar with the events of the Revolutionary War itself and the early years of the republic under the Constitution this solid and interesting work fills in the gap of the near decade that intervened completing this pivotal chronology


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CHARACTERS Ã TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK ☆ Joseph J. Ellis

The uartet Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783 1789

Linuish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their individual autonomy  The uartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men responsible some familiar such as George Washington Alexander Hamilton John Jay and James Madison and some less so such as Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris It was these men who shaped the contours Joseph Ellis' new

DOWNLOAD The uartet Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783 1789

The prizewinning author of  Founding Brothers  and   American Sphinx  now gives us the unexpected story brilliantly told of why the thirteen colonies having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power would decide to subordinate themselves anewThe triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor political guarantee that the colonies would re Disclaimer If Jose

CHARACTERS Ã TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK ☆ Joseph J. Ellis

Of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation manipulating the political process to force a calling of the Constitutional Convention conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions and finally drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settleme George Washington

  • Hardcover
  • 320
  • The uartet Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783 1789
  • Joseph J. Ellis
  • English
  • 21 September 2018
  • 9780385353403

About the Author: Joseph J. Ellis

American Sphinx The Orchestrating the PDF ✓ Character of Thomas Jefferson and the Pulitzer Prize The uartet ePUB ✓ for.