Published by Simon and Schuster on December 11th 2012
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, General
A huge bestseller in America, David McCullough's JOHN ADAMS tells the extraordinary story of the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot -- 'the colossus of independence', as Thomas Jefferson called him -- who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution and who rose to become the second President of the United States.Both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, JOHN ADAMS has the sweep and vitality of a great novel, taking us from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the Versailles of Louis XVI, from Spain to Amsterdam to London, where Adams was the first American to stand before King George III as a representative of the new nation.This is history on a grand scale -- a book about politics and war, but also about human nature, love, faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
This fits in nicely with Non-fiction November being hosted by Sophisticated Dorkiness and Regular Rumination. This week it’s Be/Ask/Become the expert. I’ve read widely on George Washington (personal hero) but I’m working on expanding that body of knowledge to other U.S. Presidents and Revolutionary War heroes. So, I bring you John Adams!
I hate that it’s an abridged edition – alas it was all the library had. I found the contrast between Washington (who will always be my hero) and Adams very interesting. The fact that Adams seems to have expressed many of the basic rights that were put into the Constitution long before the Constitution was ever written is amazing.
Also interesting is the contrast between Washington’s youthful desire (and many attempts) to be commissioned fully by the British Army (instead of just a colonial commission). Adams on the other hand turned down a lucrative royal appointment because he disagreed so vehemently with the British on taxation without representation.
This book was fantastic. I feel like Adams’ life and presidency are overshadowed with the likes of men like Washington, Madison, and Jefferson (ironically, all from Virginia). But Adams is truly one of the unsung heroes of the revolution. If Jefferson was the pen behind the ‘Declaration of Independence’ then Adams was the voice.
Narration was good.