Title: "American Creation: Triumph and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic"

Author: Joseph Ellis

Publisher: Knopf

Pages: 283

Price: $26.95

In a Nutshell: Joseph Ellis is the most prolific historian of the Founding Fathers, and he writes in a way that can be appreciated by the educated nonhistorian. In this shining volume, he portrays Washington, Adams, Jefferson and others as men of genius but also with measurable shortcomings. They jump off his pages as real, believable but fascinating human beings, not as monuments. His most noteworthy emphasis in this book is his praise of the small, shy man, James Madison, whom Ellis touts as the finest mind of the lot.