Thank you to Trish Collins at TLC Book Tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour for The Patriots by Winston Groom! I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Published September 8, 2020
When the Revolutionary War ended in victory, there remained the stupendous problem of how to establish a workable democratic government in the vast, newly independent country. Three key founding fathers played significant roles: John Adams, the brilliant, dour, thin-skinned New Englander; Thomas Jefferson, the aristocratic Southern renaissance man; and Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis. In this complex and riveting narrative, best-selling author Winston Groom tells the story of these men--all of whom served in George Washington's first cabinet--as the patriots fundamentally responsible for the ideas that shaped the foundation of the United States. Their lives and policies could not have been more different; their relationships with each other were complex, and often rife with animosity. And yet these three men led the charge--two of them creating and signing the Declaration of Independence, and the third establishing a national treasury and the earliest delineation of a Republican party. The time in which they lived was fraught with danger; the smell of liberty was in the air, though their excitement was strained by vast antagonisms that recall the intense political polarization of today. But through it all, they managed to shoulder the heavy mantle of creating the United States of America, putting aside their differences to make a great country, once and always. Drawing on extensive correspondence, epic tales of war, and rich histories of their day-to-day interactions, best-selling author Winston Groom shares the remarkable story of the beginnings of our great nation. - from Goodreads
In The Patriots, Winston Groom explores the lives of three of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, and how they worked together despite their differences to create a new nation. I'm a history buff, so I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the origin of the United States, through the focus of three remarkable men.
What I didn't love about this book:
- The format. Particularly at the beginning of the book, each chapter focuses on one man for a period of time. The next chapter then basically resets and spotlights another man in the same time period. Although each chapter features slightly different information, it often felt repetitive. I also had to keep reminding myself where we were in the narrative. I would have preferred more integration of the three men's lives, or at least a more chronological format.
- The information is a bit dry at times, although the writing is very approachable and readable. So much has been written about these men and the beginnings of the United States, so it's hard to impart anything truly "new."
What I enjoyed about this book:
- The inclusion of information about the men's personal lives. Hamilton, Jefferson, and Adams were so important politically and professionally, so it was nice to read about things that humanized them more - their wives, children, and homes.
- The book gives a well-rounded picture of the three men. It doesn't ignore some of the "unsavory" (by standards of today and the past) aspects of their lives.
- The book does a good job giving a comprehensive overview of the struggles these men, and others, faced in trying to establish a new nation. They didn't always agree on things and in fact had some strong divides on certain topics.