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Review of The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation)

The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation)
by Anne Quirk; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley
Intermediate    Knopf    118 pp.    g
8/17    978-1-5247-0035-5    $16.99
Library ed.  978-1-5247-0036-2    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5247-0119-2    $10.99

“It hurts to be on the wrong side of history. Winners, like George Washington, have great cities named for them and spiky monuments. Losers, like King George III, are the butt of jokes. They lose the respect of their people. They lose power. They can even lose their minds.” In a style reminiscent of Sheinkin’s Two Miserable Presidents and King George: What Was His Problem? (rev. 7/08), Quirk employs a breezy, conversational tone to explore the famous feuds of early American history: King George and Washington, Benjamin Franklin and his wayward Loyalist son, William; Alexander Hamilton and just about everybody (but only with Aaron Burr did it prove fatal); John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Each feud is given a name — Adams and Jefferson are cleverly dubbed “The Founding Frenemies” — and sections start with illustrative epigraphs from both participants; dates are frequently provided as chapter heads to orient readers in history. Piquant quotes and revealing anecdotes bring this briskly paced, humorously illustrated historical survey to life, tantalizing readers who may turn to the source notes and bibliography to find out more.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.



About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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