Great well written historical Book. Amazing man who made extraordinary contributions to the beginning of the US. He devoted his whole life to his country, family and friends. Very articulate writer. A historical gem!
Joins McCullough's Truman as a truly great biography masterpiece. A wealth of scholarship and historical detail re Adams and the founding of our nation, and yet so immensely readable - was always reluctant to put it down. Highly recommend this "page turner" to every American.
While McCullough is clearly a brilliant author and historian (he made the politics and engineering behind the Brooklyn Bridge entertaining in The Great Bridge), clearly the genius of this work belongs to Adams himself, as well as Abigail, their friends, and family. Every page of this biography seemed to seethe with written correspondence that survives to this day, painting a portrait that no Peale or Stuart could possibly approach. I do not have many to compare it to yet, but I have been told that this is one of the greatest American biographies, and I am a believer.
David McCullough's biographies are so readable and this one is no exception. It's difficult to make the Founding Fathers (and Mothers!) seem human. Not only is there an historical aura that surrounds them, but all we have to see what they looked like are paintings. McCullough makes John Adams and his remarkable wife Abigail come alive in this lengthy but entertaining and informative volume. Abigail was far ahead of her time; had she been alive today, she might be running for President! And Adams valued her intellect and courage. Also fascinating is the account of Adams' feud with Jefferson, their long estrangement, and their eventual reconciliation as old men. Jefferson was a man of many contradictions as McCullough clearly shows. If you're interested in US history, I highly recommend this book!
This is a great book. It was a real joy to read, and made me want to read more about the 18th century and the founding of America.
Author David McCullough notes that history hasn't been generally kind on one-term US Presidents, but John Adams does not come out as a failed President. After nearly a decade as America's first diplomat and a working relationship as Vice President under George Washington, Adams came into his own as Chief Executive. It was during his four year tenure that the executive branch became as strong if not stronger than Congress. Notably he kept his country out of an unnecessary war with France (notwithstanding popular demand) by allowing diplomacy to take its course. Truly remarkable is his relationship with his wife, Abigail Smith. Their 54-year marriage and the exchange of letters between the two tell not only an incredible story of enduring love despite numerous separations, but also give an insight to a woman who defied the traditional role of a wife and was an active counsellor to her husband. This is a book that is very hard to skim through, it is worth reading from front to back.
McCullough does an amazing job at showcasing the life of one of America's prominent Founding Fathers. A must-read for anyone interested in the life of John Adams. The author also does an excellent job of adding details on the lives of those that surrounded Adams.
I just finished re-reading this book. It is a dense read to be sure, but full of flavor and amazing insights.
My favorite is not only learning about John Adams, but also his wife. It is always interesting to find out how a good spouse helps or hinders in someone's life.
David McCullough is unmatched in his writing. This book, to me, is his masterpiece. I revisit this book numerous times each year to reread.
What an excellent book. Entertaining in many ways.
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