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Author: Joseph Ellis
Ellis is not as good a writer as McCullough, but he is very interesting. I put these two books together, because they are stylistic siblings. In each, he chooses particular instances from the Revolutionary period and examines them separately. He does not claim that the stories form a coherent message, but rather that he is trying to paint a sort of tapestry of events that led to the history that followed. In some of the more interesting chapters, he examines how the revolutionary leaders could not grapple with slavery and Indian rights. He also examines how some of the leading lights of the revolution shaped the country. One of my favorite parts in was the section devoted to the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Not only does he discuss the actual duel, but the political forces that drove Hamilton to accept such a crazy proposition.