Though the book gives a insight on the figures, what value does it give to studying our government?
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Sorry, I guess I didn't quite answer your initial question as to the value of the text. I think the text is extremely valuable for the above stated reasons. The Framers are often discarded in today's studies... their intents, beliefs, and actions misconstrued or ignored. American history needs to be taught truthfully, warts and all. I think Ellis goes a long way in his attempt to achieve the reality of the period.
For me, I find this book to be a wealth of information. Studying American history today, you will not find much information on what the Founding Fathers thought and believed. Thus, I think Ellis did a great job in capturing the men and events he wished to portray.
"Ellis establishes his intentions early in the text. In the Preface, Ellis hopes to recover the “sense of urgency” felt at the time of the Revolutionary War. He reiterates to the reader that the Founding Fathers did not know they would win the war. While history has vacillated between viewing the victory as either luck or fate, Ellis wants to distinguish between truth and fiction. Much of our understanding of the Revolutionary War, and of the first days of the republic, are hidden beneath the myths of the period. To a modern reader, the Founding Fathers are legendary, their actions historic and renowned. Ellis hopes to draw attention to the Founding Fathers as they really were: unique men of talent and intelligence caught in the crossfire of a revolution, but entirely human, prone to mistakes and prejudices as well as victory and success. The Preface wishes to qualify this difficult task - he acknowledges the power of these myths, but at the same time believes the story is all the more compelling because its players had such a large potential for failure. Therefore, he focuses primarily on the players themselves, wishing to explore how their relationships resonated through political changes."