The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783-1789

Joseph Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize winning historian is the author of a new book chronicling the period after the American Revolution up to the enactment of the US Constitution in 1788.  Ellis postulates that four men – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison were the drivers behind replacing the barely functioning Articles of Confederation a federal constitution.  He also gives a high degree of credit to Gouverneur Morris and Robert Morris (no relation).

While critics have attacked this book a promoting the simplistic “important man” theory of history, Ellis’s book is highly readable.  It provides a cogent overview to the  process of implementing a system of government which has prospered for over 200 years.  Ellis describes how difficult a task to assemble a political coalition to support changing the status quo and adopt a new form of government.

Certainly there are others than deserved credit, but Ellis provides a concise overview of the period which is especially helpful to those new to the American Revolution.  HIs work is entertaining and easy to read.  I recommend to all that would like to learn more about this seminal period in US history.

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