Michelle Stie's Reviews > John Adams

John Adams by David McCullough
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's review
Oct 04, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography
Recommended for: history buffs
Read in August, 2008 , read count: 1

I picked up this book when the HBO series came out. I didn't know much about John Adams--just that he was a Founding Father and was married to an exceptional woman in Abigail Adams. McCullough's portrait of Adams is exceptionally done; his work is guided by question "what inspires greatness?". The author takes great pains to present a picture of Adams that is fair--his foibles and strengths are presented in equal measure. Evidently, no one was a tougher critic on Adams than Adams himself, and the diary entries included in the book are a fascinating glimpse Adams' brillant, yet insecure, persona. Jefferson has long overshadowed Adams in the American psyche as a much more colorful President, and I appreciate McCollugh's efforts to bring Adams out of Jefferson's shadow and to compare and contrast the two men's strengths and weaknesses. When I finished the book, I was saddened by the fact we don't seem to have the same kinds of politicians running the country as we did in the 1770s. We could use a few Adamses now.
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