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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Quartet" by Joseph J. Ellis
By Milton M. Gross
Jan 10, 2016 - 1:00:11 AM

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Joseph J. Ellis, author of The Quartet has triggered a question for me. Why didn't any of our elementary, high school, or college teachers tell us this. They indicated that George Washington retired from the military after the Revolutionary War and then became our first President. According to Ellis, he retired to spend the rest of his life on his Virginia plantation and eventually was dragged back to politics to serve as President. Milt Gross photo.
The Quartet was a total education for me in that it explained what apparently actually occurred as our nation came to be. Neither Miss Hook, nor Miss Crook, nor any college professor presented any of these facts.

Were we too uneducationable (new word invented by me) to understand or was the world of education trying to simplify history so much they ended by creating a fictional history?

I read in the back of this 2015 A. Knopp, NY, publication that Ellis is available for speaking engagements on this enlightening writer. From the front cover, "The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men most responsible -- George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison."

On the same front, it states, "Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government."

A quick summary is that after the Revolution, there were colonies in control of themselves but no national government. These colonies had no intention or even idea of a federal government. This book tells how these colonies were persuaded to join the federal effort, the beginning of a new country.

"The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth -- one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America," continues the front cover.

By way of explanation, states that same front cover, "In 1776, thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British."

This story is too different from what we were all taught as young people to miss. For $27.95, the price on the cover and $18.37 for the hardcover at and $13.99 for the Kindle Edition. The front of the book lists ten others, all about early America, by the same author.

This brand new book, available online, at bookstores, and at your library is a "must read" for all of us who were taught by the Miss Crooks of our days in education. It tells the true tale of how we got here -- to be the United States.

Strong suggestion: go find your copy and learn what "they" didn't tell us in school.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015

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