American Connections by James Burke
The Founding Fathers. Networked.

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Using the unique approach that he has employed in his previous books, author, columnist, and television commentator James Burke shows us our connections to the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Over the two hundred-plus years that separate us, these connections are often surprising and always fascinating. Burke turns the signers from historical icons into flesh-and-blood people: Some were shady financial manipulators, most were masterful political operators, a few were good human beings, and some were great men. The network that links them to us is also peopled by all sorts, from spies and assassins to lovers and adulterers, inventors and artists. The ties may be more direct for some of us than others, but we are all linked in some way to these founders of our nation.

If you enjoyed Martin Sheen as the president on television's The West Wing, then you're connected to founder Josiah Bartlett. The connection from signer Bartlett to Sheen includes John Paul Jones; Judge William Cooper, father of James Fenimore; Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales; an incestuous astronomer; an itinerant math teacher; early inventors of television; and pioneering TV personality Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the inspiration for Ramon Estevez's screen name, Martin Sheen.

About James Burke

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James Burke's books include the bestselling Connections and The Day the Universe Changed. He contributes a monthly column to Scientific American and serves as director, writer and host of the television series Connections 3, which airs on the Learning Channel. He lives in England, France and airplanes.
Published July 3, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Connections

Publishers Weekly

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In his latest, columnist and author Burke (Twin Tracks) looks at the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence through his history-as-networking perspective, an approach I've been using for

Jul 02 2007 | Read Full Review of American Connections: The Fou...

BC Books

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What screwy person would sign on to be a Founding Father anyway?

Jul 04 2007 | Read Full Review of American Connections: The Fou...

BC Books

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If you missed the scores of television shows and books by the author, here is a crude impersonation of a Burkean sequitur: The Founding Fathers helped orchestrate the American Revolution: the Commander and Chief of the revolutionary naval force was Esek Hopkins: Esek Hopkins was a member of The...

Jul 04 2007 | Read Full Review of American Connections: The Fou...


Perhaps the best description is to call American Connections a curiosity an experiment in what you can do with names, people and places, from the mundane to the bizarre, to arrive at connections that no one would imagine possible least of all the Founding Fathers.

Jan 16 2015 | Read Full Review of American Connections: The Fou...

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