I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis
Narrator: Robertson Dean
Length: 8 Hours 25 Minutes
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on 2016-05
Genres: History, Revolutionary, United States, General, Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
In The Quartet, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis tells the unexpected story of America's second great founding and of the men most responsible--Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Jay, and James Madison: why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement, created the new republic. Ellis gives us a dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government. The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth--one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America.
Why Did I Listen To The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis?
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis appeals to me based on subject matter and my love for history. I received a pitch for it back when it came out and I was intrigued enough to download the Netgalley for it. THEN! It just sat until I joined the library and saw the audiobook on Overdrive. This was one of the first audiobooks that I actually had to place a hold for and WAIT which made me anticipate listening to the audiobook even more. There’s something to be said for the psychological impact of demand. I feel like when there is a demand, my excitement just goes up.
What’s The Quartet All About?
Okay, so Joseph Ellis’s The Quartet is about how we went from having the Articles of Confederation to framing the Constitution and then the Bill of Rights. It discusses the Constitutional Convention and the key players during this era. It even goes into depth a little bit on the Federalist Papers as well. The book provides detail on George Washington, John Jay, James Madison, and our favorite patriot, Alexander Hamilton. There is also a bit on Robert Morris too. You will love this book if you’re a history nerd.
What Did I Learn?
I basically learned a whole lot from Joseph Ellis’s book. Probably the most interesting fact that I walked away with was that when these patriots were convening to begin the Revolutionary War and such, George Washington showed up in his military uniform. He was the only one who did that. With his tall and commanding presence, he ended up being nominated to lead the military. The author posits that his wearing a uniform likely influenced this choice.
I also learned a bit more context about the Second Amendment which, as you all know, is kind of a touchy subject. So basically, it was put in there as this book posits, because a lot of young men would join the fight and not know how to use guns. They were ill prepared for war and for use of weapons. So, this Amendment was a way to counteract that, so they would be able to fight better in the milita. At least, that is the impression I got from The Quartet. It truly is fascinating to see how this second revolution connects to today, so to speak.
What Did I Think Of The Quartet?
Overall, The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis is the perfect book for anyone who wants to read Ron Chernow’s work but would like to try a less weighty tome first. I mean, this truly does put you in a history mindset. I think that this book can start that hunger for knowledge of America’s Founding Fathers and serves as a real starting point before you delve into the more meaty works. I really enjoyed this book and felt like I was gaining knowledge as I listened to it.
How’s The Narration?
The Quartet is narrated by Robertson Dean who is a new to me narrator. His voice is rich and deep. It carries the whole 8 hours and 25 minutes of this audiobook quite well. I listened to this audiobook at a speed of 1.25x which I felt was perfect. It never felt too slow or hard to listen to. At the end of the book, Dean reads the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights which I will admit to zoning out during because I am kind of a plebe.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Essentially this GIF is absolutely perfect. We the People, indeed.
Other reviews of The Quartet by Joseph J.Ellis:
Rhapsody In Books – “He does a good job of it”
Support Good Books & Good Wine with your Amazon Purchases Today:
Peek Inside The Quartet: