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The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  3 reviews
How the father and son presidents foresaw the rise of the cult of personality and fought those who sought to abuse the weaknesses inherent in our democracy, from the New York Times bestselling author of White Trash.

John and John Quincy Adams: rogue intellectuals, unsparing truth-tellers, too uncensored for their own political good. They held that political participation de
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Hardcover, 576 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Viking
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Lynn
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This s far from a fast read but is worth the effort. In part, it is a joint biography of John and John Quincy Adams, the 2nd and 6th Presidents and the first two Presidents to only serve one term. At this level, the book is very interesting, especially since I learned more about JQA. However the real meat of the book comes when the authors explore why they were both kicked out after one term. Their conclusion (and the problem of democracy in the title) is that they were supremely competent but w ...more
Brian Denton
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intellectual biography of the presidents Adams with important, if unpopular, lessons for today's politics. Take, for instance, their skepticism of popular democracy and the need for judicious institutional restraints on popular sentiment. More apropos, they opposed partisan party politics. They observed that such partisanship cultivated political cults of personality and often had the effect of citizens surrendering their critical thinking skills to party orthodoxy. Anyone familiar with the evap ...more
Bryan Gish
May 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Thankfully, I was able to obtain this at the library and didn't waste my money on buying it because that would have been horribly disheartening.
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Nancy Isenberg is the author of New York Times bestseller White Trash, and Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Biography and won the Oklahoma Book Award for best book in Nonfiction. She is the coauthor, with Andrew Burstein, of Madison and Jefferson. She is the T. Harry Williams Professor of American History at LSU, and writes regularly for S ...more