New York Times Book Review — Editors’ Choice Chicago Tribune — "60 Best Reads for Right Now" St. Louis Post-Dispatch — "50 Fall Books You Should Consider Reading"
Challenging conventional wisdom, The Cause offers a “necessary” (John S. Gardner, Guardian) account of the origins and clashing ideologies of America’s revolutionary era.
For Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Joseph J. Ellis, The Cause marks the culmination of a lifetime of engagement with the founding era, completing a trilogy of books that began with Founding Brothers. Here Ellis, countering popular histories that romanticize the “Spirit of ’76,” demonstrates through “evocative profiles of British loyalists, slaves, Native Americans and soldiers uncertain of what was being founded” (Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune) that the rebels fought not for a nation but under the mantle of “The Cause,” a mutable, conveniently ambiguous principle all but destined to give rise to the warring factions of later American history. Combining action-packed tales of North American military campaigns with characteristically trenchant insight, The Cause “deftly foreshadows all the issues that would complicate America’s trajectory” (Richard Stengel, New York Times Book Review), forcing us to finally reconsider the story we have long told ourselves about our origins—as a people, and as a nation.
“At the intersection of his expertise and our need for coherence about our national founding arrives historian Joseph J. Ellis. . . . Ellis is no apologist, but he is a chronicler of the entire revolution, its best aspirations, its worst contradictions, and its ongoing dilemmas.” —Hugh Hewitt, Washington Post