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The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America

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In this masterful narrative, Winston Groom brings his signature storytelling panache to the intricately crafted tale of three of our nation's most fascinating founding fathers--Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams--and paints a vivid picture of the improbable events, bold ideas, and extraordinary characters who created the United States of America. When the In this masterful narrative, Winston Groom brings his signature storytelling panache to the intricately crafted tale of three of our nation's most fascinating founding fathers--Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams--and paints a vivid picture of the improbable events, bold ideas, and extraordinary characters who created the United States of America. 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.


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In this masterful narrative, Winston Groom brings his signature storytelling panache to the intricately crafted tale of three of our nation's most fascinating founding fathers--Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams--and paints a vivid picture of the improbable events, bold ideas, and extraordinary characters who created the United States of America. When the In this masterful narrative, Winston Groom brings his signature storytelling panache to the intricately crafted tale of three of our nation's most fascinating founding fathers--Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams--and paints a vivid picture of the improbable events, bold ideas, and extraordinary characters who created the United States of America. 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.

30 review for The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Winston Groom wrote In THE PATRIOTS about three extraordinary men, the founding fathers of this great nation, the United States of America. Groom as a master storyteller and novelist delivered stories against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War full of dramatic moments as ideas and events shape this country. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams’ stories were powerful, action packed full of twists and turns - Groom tells the story full of insights to how this country was built b Winston Groom wrote In THE PATRIOTS about three extraordinary men, the founding fathers of this great nation, the United States of America. Groom as a master storyteller and novelist delivered stories against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War full of dramatic moments as ideas and events shape this country. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams’ stories were powerful, action packed full of twists and turns - Groom tells the story full of insights to how this country was built brick by brick, giving more than a sneak peak into the room where decisions are made. These celebrated men are an example to our leaders today and reading their stories full of dreams, ambition and passion were truly inspirational. These three men all served under George Washington’s first cabinet and who were responsible for shaping our country as we see it today. Full of strife, differences and polarization, these men could not have been more different from each other, but together two of them created and signed the Declaration of Independence, and the third established the national treasury and the formation of the Republican Party. I do love reading stories about beginnings, how everything started, and learning about the root of our nation’s humble beginnings. Drawing from stories in the battlefield and correspondence, the details and narrative in which this was presented was a marvel and a delight to read. I loved that it read like a novel, the storytelling, timing and vivid scenery and rich detail of the day to day happenings about these powerful men were exceptionally portrayed. A must read for us all who care about this nation and how we can all make a difference by understanding our history and our beginnings.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    According to the WSJ reviewer, if we wished politics was like it was back in 1800 or so, we should be careful what we wish for! https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-patr... (Paywalled. As always, I'm happy to email a copy to non-subscribers) Excerpts: "The election of 1800 was so savagely fought that it resulted in a deadly duel, a constitutional amendment and lifelong estrangement among the Founding Fathers. Whatever we might think of modern political discourse, present-day mud-slingers are relative According to the WSJ reviewer, if we wished politics was like it was back in 1800 or so, we should be careful what we wish for! https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-patr... (Paywalled. As always, I'm happy to email a copy to non-subscribers) Excerpts: "The election of 1800 was so savagely fought that it resulted in a deadly duel, a constitutional amendment and lifelong estrangement among the Founding Fathers. Whatever we might think of modern political discourse, present-day mud-slingers are relative amateurs when stacked against their 18th-century forebears. ... For all Hamilton’s latter-day fame, it is Adams whom Groom paints in the most vibrant colors, beginning with his first words on America’s second president: “John Adams was obnoxious. He said so himself. He talked too much and wrote that he wished he didn’t. He was irritable and wished he wasn’t.” But, Groom adds, “He was brilliant and well-read and energetic to a fault—‘a great-hearted, persevering man of uncommon ability and force. . . . He was honest and everyone knew it.’ ” ... Jefferson, the polymath from Virginia, evokes Groom’s admiration. “Thomas Jefferson was a true Renaissance man,” he writes. “He was a student of philosophy and law, a scientist, inventor, architect, musician, and lover of fine things—a man of vision.” Yet the overleveraged planter, slaveowner and Southern aristocrat could also be “secretive, sly, and cunning” as he morphed into a canny politician after his return from France in 1789. ..." This is Groom's last book: he died last September. Sounds like it's a fine send-off. May he RIP ♰

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    This book was so good – it’s non fiction that reads so easy. The author does an excellent job of bringing the history alive so that the reader feels like they are there with the Revolutionaries as they fight for what will become the United States of America. The book focuses on three of our founding fathers; Jefferson, Hamilton, and John Adams. We learn a little of their early lives but while the book is about the men there is a fourth and greater character – the country. It is the separation fr This book was so good – it’s non fiction that reads so easy. The author does an excellent job of bringing the history alive so that the reader feels like they are there with the Revolutionaries as they fight for what will become the United States of America. The book focuses on three of our founding fathers; Jefferson, Hamilton, and John Adams. We learn a little of their early lives but while the book is about the men there is a fourth and greater character – the country. It is the separation from England and the formation of a government that seeks to unite the people as citizes of the United States rather than as colonists of England. It was not a smooth or easy process and truth be told it’s rather miraculous that it worked. It’s been a very long time since I had any American History classes in high school and my college studies were all European history because that is were my passion lies but as I get older I find myself wanting to learn more of the truth of my own country’s history and therefore I read. The founding of this country was an extraordinary event. The men who built it were intelligent and determined to create a new government – one without a king. They were not perfect and the country was founded on the backs of slaves – that cannot be ignored. Many of the Founders were conflicted about slavery but still owned slaves; Hamilton and Jefferson included. That is not ignored in this book but neither is it overplayed – it is what it is. They were men of their times and we cannot interject today’s mores on yesterday’s men. I found that once I started this book I had a really hard time putting it down. It was as fascinating and easy to read as any historical fiction book. Mr. Groom brings the founding of our country alive and presents three of its Founders in well rounded ways. We revere these men as the Founders but they were just men with the temperments and foibles that go along with being human. They did not always get along and they did not always agree but they did manage to bring their diverse backgrounds together to form this great country.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ricki Treleaven

    This is the first history I've read by Winston Groom, and it most certainly won't be my last. He wrote thirteen nonfiction books in all. I've read several of his fiction books: Forrest Gump is probably his most famous novel because the film adaptation won several Oscars. When TLC Book Tours invited me to participate in this book's tour, I was happy to do it because I'm a fan, and Winston Groom was a fellow Alabamian. Sadly, he died in September in Fairhope, Alabama, at the age of 77. I like how t This is the first history I've read by Winston Groom, and it most certainly won't be my last. He wrote thirteen nonfiction books in all. I've read several of his fiction books: Forrest Gump is probably his most famous novel because the film adaptation won several Oscars. When TLC Book Tours invited me to participate in this book's tour, I was happy to do it because I'm a fan, and Winston Groom was a fellow Alabamian. Sadly, he died in September in Fairhope, Alabama, at the age of 77. I like how the book is written in the begging: the first three chapters focus on the men individually. Chapter One gives an overview of Alexander Hamilton and his life up to his impressive victory on the battlefield at Yorktown, the decisive victory for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. Chapter Two focuses on John Adams. I enjoyed this chapter far more than I expected: partly because of the Boston setting, and party because of the inclusion of Samuel Adams, John's cousin. Samuel organized the Boston Tea Party, and surprisingly John, normally a stalwart defender of law and order, thought that the rebellious escapade was the best thing ever: "This is the most Magnificent movement of all. There is a dignity, a Majesty, a Sublimity, in this last effort of the Patriots that I admire...This Destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible and it must have so important Consequences, and so lasting that I cannot but Consider it as am Epocha in History." pp. 85-86 Chapter Three chronicles Thomas Jefferson, the Renaissance man of the Revolutionary Era. He was a polymath, competent in philosophy and law, science, music, and architecture. He was an inventor, planter, expert equestrian, and a brilliant writer. Jefferson was a slaveowner who also took several cases in which slaves sought their freedom. These court cases formed his philosophy concerning personal liberty given by the "author of nature." The rest of the book primarily describes their interactions as the new republic was getting established. One of the chapters I enjoyed most was Chapter Six about Jefferson's ambassadorship to France beginning in 1784. It lasted literally beyond the storming of the Bastille. He was eventually allowed to return home to serve as Washington's Secretary of State. It was fun reading about how he and Hamilton clashed constantly and vexed Washington (John Adams was Washington's VP), and the only thing they agreed on was a second Washington administration. Also included in the book are paintings, etchings, and other art including Jefferson's portrait by Rembrandt Peale. I don't need to retell the history, we know the tragedy of Hamilton, and how Jefferson and Hamilton ever made amends. But I do want to encourage you to read this incredible book. It's encouraging to read about Patriots who put aside differences with other leaders for the common good of the republic. If our leaders today would only do the same....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Really interesting read, you get a condensed biography on the three men and how America was born. Really enjoyed it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Crowe

    Another fabulous history by Winston Groom! Groom sheds light on the lives and legacies of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton as they devote themselves to founding a new democracy, our own United States. As always, this important history is very readable and full of great stories! It is often said that history repeats itself and that certainly seems to be relevant when comparing the early days of our republic and current times. Loved this story! A must read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality One thing the play Hamilton got right – these three men really didn’t like each other much, although Adams and Jefferson did reconcile in old age. Which doesn’t mean that they didn’t manage to work together for the good of the country they helped to create. There’s definitely a lesson in there. Maybe we’ll start acting upon that lesson again. It’s clear from this book – unlike the U.S. History classes most of us took in school – that there was nothing inevita Originally published at Reading Reality One thing the play Hamilton got right – these three men really didn’t like each other much, although Adams and Jefferson did reconcile in old age. Which doesn’t mean that they didn’t manage to work together for the good of the country they helped to create. There’s definitely a lesson in there. Maybe we’ll start acting upon that lesson again. It’s clear from this book – unlike the U.S. History classes most of us took in school – that there was nothing inevitable about the American Experiment in general or the American Revolution in particular. Every other country on the planet thought that the ragtag army of the fledgling country was going to lose. And by rights it should have. The British Army was the premier fighting force in the entire world in the late 18th century. They had us outgunned, outmanned, and out pretty much everything else. But they also had a very long supply line in a war that was expensive to prosecute. A war over territory that their own people didn’t think much about or care much about. And we had George Washington, who knew that he just had to keep himself and some kind of army out of the hands of the British for the tide to turn. Not the tide of war, but the tide of British willingness to prosecute that war. But the country that the Revolution gave birth to was every bit as fractured as the country we live in today – if not more so. And along some of the same lines. Lines that were baked into the compromises made by the three men profiled in this book, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They kicked the can down the road, in the sure and certain knowledge – from their perspective – that the most important thing was having that can to kick. They compromised to keep the American Experiment alive. It’s time for us to do our parts. Escape Rating A-: I read this on Election Day and Ballot Counting Day (11/3 and 11/4) and it is impossible to separate my reading from real life events, going on in real time, that are the direct result of the actions and compromises that fill this book and our history. So this is a book that made me think and feel a lot about this country and where it currently stands. About the work the Founders left for us to do, and about the difficulties involved in doing it. But I need to talk about the book. First, it is imminently readable. It was so easy to just get sucked in and stay sucked, making it a perfect read for the occasion in multiple ways. It probably helps that the story begins with Hamilton, and does so in such a way that it puts flesh on the bones of a story that we are now so familiar with. At this moment in time, Hamilton feels like the most accessible of the “founding fathers” so starting with him doesn’t just make sense but draws the reader right into the narrative. So even though this book is heavily researched and has lots of footnotes and an extensive bibliography, it NEVER gets bogged down by that research. Instead it illuminates it in a way that brings these men, with all their flaws as well as their virtues, to life. Although, speaking of illustrations, the print edition of this book is undoubtedly heavily illustrated. However, the eARC does not include the pictures. This is one of those times when I really, really wish I’d gotten a print copy to review, because the illustrations I have seen in various promotional materials for the book are both illustrative and gorgeous. As I said, I’m writing this review on November 4, which is Ballot Counting Day or Obsessive Doomscrolling Day or a nauseating combination of the two. That we have a country to vote in and vote for is the legacy of these three men among many others both sung and unsung. The compromises that they enshrined in the U.S. Constitution in order to get both abolitionists and slaveholders, industrial states and farming states, those who feared the government would be overwhelmed by masses of urban voters and those who feared that lower-population rural voters would hold back progress brought us the U.S. Senate as it is currently configured and the Electoral College. They respected each other – whether they could stand each other or not – and they compromised so that we’d have a country to improve upon. Their work is done. Our work continues. After all, they didn’t leave us “a more perfect union” – only the tools with which to achieve it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I love history. I’ve loved to read biographies and non-fiction history since I was a child. As Veteran’s day comes around in November, I love to read about early American history. The Patriots was a very interesting read about the founding of the United States. Author Winston Groom focuses on three of the major people who worked to found our nation and make it is what it is today: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. The first three chapters tackle each of the three men and give I love history. I’ve loved to read biographies and non-fiction history since I was a child. As Veteran’s day comes around in November, I love to read about early American history. The Patriots was a very interesting read about the founding of the United States. Author Winston Groom focuses on three of the major people who worked to found our nation and make it is what it is today: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. The first three chapters tackle each of the three men and gives their early history through the American Revolution. In alternating chapters after that, the book details how the men helped in their own unique way to build the country after winning the revolution. There is also a great center section of pictures showing paintings of the men and where they lived. I enjoyed The Patriots. Groom was able to put together an interesting and very readable book that highlights the major accomplishments and trials of these three founding fathers. I have often pondered about how such uncommon individuals were able to all be together at exactly the right time in our history. This book tells how these three grew into the men they became and were able to create “a more just and promising world.” Favorite Quotes: “A man of striking intelligence, remarkable presence, and driving ambition, Alexander Hamilton tried to outrun his unpropitious beginnings most of his life.” “It wasn’t only his writing ability but his reasoning ability that allowed Hamilton to achieve what Washington described as ‘thinking as one.’” “John Adams was obnoxious. He said so himself. He talked too much and wrote that he wished he didn’t. He was irritable and wished he wasn’t. He did not suffer fools glad (and his notion of a fool was set at a very low bar). But he was brilliant and well-read and energetic to a fault – ‘a great-hearted, persevering man of uncommon ability and force . . . He was hones and everyone knew it.’” “Thomas Jefferson was a true Renaissance man.” Overall, The Patriots is a good history of three important men from very different backgrounds and how they were able to compromise to bring out country to fruition. Book Source: A Review from Hachette Book Group as part of the TLC Book Tour This review was first posted on my blog at: https://lauragerold.blogspot.com/2020...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    A phenomenal historical account of the structure of the American government system by three of the founding fathers. The American revolutionary war took six years of fighting and another year of British occupation before the treaty was finally signed. But the fighting was far from over. Now it turned inward as the colonies tried to figure out the best form of government. No one wanted a monarchy or a tyranny, but democracy seemed like a pipe dream that couldn’t be obtained. Each state had their p A phenomenal historical account of the structure of the American government system by three of the founding fathers. The American revolutionary war took six years of fighting and another year of British occupation before the treaty was finally signed. But the fighting was far from over. Now it turned inward as the colonies tried to figure out the best form of government. No one wanted a monarchy or a tyranny, but democracy seemed like a pipe dream that couldn’t be obtained. Each state had their preferences, and no one seemed to want to have collective oversight. Multiple plans were presented and dismissed before the founding fathers finally came to an agreement and ratified the constitution. Three of the founding fathers were instrumental in this process. Alexander Hamilton, who was an immigrant from the island of St. Croix; Thomas Jefferson, who was born into wealth and a widely known southern Renaissance man; and John Adams, the outspoken lawyer from Massachusetts. All three men played heavy parts in the war, from Hamilton as General Washington’s top aide to both Adams and Jefferson as delegates to the Continental Congress. But their interaction did not stop there. They also played huge roles in framing the constitution and keeping their respective colony’s interests uncompromised. While they each had visions of a great county, the visions could not have been more different, and the three men developed a hatred for each other. Groom’s account is comprised of nine chapters, three dedicated to each person. The first three chapters give an overview of each man’s upbringing and involvement in the revolutionary war. The second three chapters describe their involvement during the framing of the constitution as well as their private affairs. And the final three chapters close out their lives. Groom’s histories are always very well received and interesting. It feels more as though you are reading a story than a nonfiction historical account. I couldn’t put the book down. I haven’t read as much about these gentlemen as I should, but this book really brought their stories to light. This will definitely stay in my collection. I recommend this to history buffs as well as anyone who has an interest in how our country’s politics came to be. I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Concise and well-paced biography of the founding fathers. Hamilton is covered in the most detail out of the three founding fathers. I was impressed with the level of detail in this book. Groom keeps his story telling techniques together when venturing into this non-fiction book. I have read a number of books on the founding fathers, this book is in my top 10 about the founding fathers. I hope Groom dives into more non-fiction topics, he has the talent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    An excellently written book, readable and easily understood. Learned new insight into each of these three founding fathers. Would’ve given it five stars but with it going backwards and forwards in years based on the person he was currently writing about it was sometimes hard to follow where you were. All being said, an excellent book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    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 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Chipps

    Excellent. Follows Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington individually throughout different time periods. So good at focusing on each of them in relation to events of the time. Extraordinary men. I learned so much about events during the revolutionary time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dan Cotter

    Entertaining narrative of the three Patriots and the coming together for establishing the nation. The last book of the author, who passed last year

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gerard

    Fantastic last book from a great historian! One of the best!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peary Perry

    as always Groom performs...this is an excellent current book on the lives of these 3 men who were so important in the founding of this country....you will enjoy this one...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brian Penick

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joan France

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erica Dugue

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyson Wetzel

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jd Delay

  23. 4 out of 5

    T Brown

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eoghan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dyl Pickle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jack B Miller

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Cole

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nathanael Meneer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Austin Kallemeyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    CLM

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