The book is a good discussion starter about President Monroe, it is by no means a complete biography, but it’s not meant to be either. The narrow scope of the book is interesting, concise and well written; a welcomed introduction a president many have forgotten.
Mr. Ellis tries to explain what cannot be explained – the paradox which is Jefferson. The contradictions between Jefferson’s written letters and his actions
John Adams, an interesting figure, was a person with a high standard of integrity, a standard which drove him all his life. The president’s relations with his contemporaries such as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and especially Thomas Jefferson were intriguing and fascinating.
The stories are very interesting, Mr. Katz has picked a handful of people he considered Jewish heroes (at least one is not Jewish though) and gives us some short details about their lives, what made them heroes and drawing a line between them and the biblical Jewish heroes as well as their spirit.
In His Excellency: George Washington Joseph J. Ellis tries to take a man which has become a myth in his own time and deconstruct him to see what makes him tick
The book simply didn’t speak to me. I couldn’t feel sorry for the author, maybe because the story of her divorce isn’t complete and the missing pieces seem essential to understanding the tragedy (not to mention all the guilt she felt without really explaining why).
I was hooked on the first few pages of the book, the art is wonderful, the story is told through a very personal point of view and the format is engaging