Over the past few decades, historians have moved away from a focus on the "Great Men" of history to explore the actions, thoughts, and lives of everyday Americans. Ellis breaks with this trend in his study of the founders. Why does he feel it is important to focus on the founding generation at a time when social history dominates the field? (He gives several reasons.)
Answers 1Add Yours
Ellis focuses his narrative around the most prominent members of the Revolutionary generation, whom he dubs, “Founding Brothers," a shift from their more commonly-used moniker of "Founding Fathers." He attempts to impart both the "sense of urgency" felt at the time, and the improved perspective afforded by centuries of hindsight. His aim is to explore the relationships and conflicts that these particular men had, and the extent to which those personalities either shaped or were shaped by the turbulent period in which they lived and secured their historical reputations. In discovering where America came from, Ellis hopes to find out where America is going or should be going.