13,010 book reviews and counting...

American Dialogue Reviews

American Dialogue by Joseph J Ellis

American Dialogue: The Founders and Us

Joseph J Ellis

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage
Publication date: 26 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9780804172479

The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American DialogueJoseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" 

3 stars out of 5
28 Nov 2019

"his book is necessary, and part of the tragedy is that those who need it most are less likely to read it, or to learn from it if they do."

Ellis writes that “my hope is that the founding era can become a safe place to gather together, not so much as to find answers to those questions as to argue about them … their greatest legacy is the recognition that the argument itself is the answer.” Yet throughout his own views are crystal clear: he plumps for the liberal tradition in contrast not only to Trumpism but to most of what passes for modern conservatism, starting with Ronald Reagan. To his credit, Ellis admits that “objectivity, in the sense that mathematicians or physicians use the term, is not a realistic goal for historians”.