Ashley Hoopes's Reviews > John Adams

John Adams by David McCullough
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it was amazing

One of the best books I have read. A voracious journal-er, whose main stumbling block was his own sense of inadequacy, John Adams was one of the most complex characters in our nation's history. Passionately believing in his own set of ideals, and naively believing in the good of his fellow founding brothers, he takes his role as shaper of our land's constitution with grave seriousness. While in many ways diametrically opposed to Jefferson, he shares many commonalities with his fellow politician, including his desire to be memorialized as something bigger than himself. A bad father in many senses..an absent husband for enormous periods of time, he was however always a lover of the law and a believer in this nation's ideals. As a young adult, I liked to fashion Adams as the unloved underdog who was on the side of right. While Jefferson hussied in and stole all the glory with his devilish good looks and charm. Now I see them in less certain terms..with each man convinced of his position of right, and his moral duty to convey that truth, no matter the cost. As a journal-or, I am deeply grateful that he was not so prideful, that he would be concerned with vanity in his later years and censor his journals (like Jefferson did). Seeing the human flaws and the struggles of his life makes me realize that this country was not founded by flawless heroes, but by mortal men. The icing on the cake is following this up with Abigail Adams, by Bober, where you see that much of the genius was within the female who shared a life with Adams.
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