The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.
In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.
This is history on a grand scale—a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
Here a preeminent master of narrative history takes on the most fascinating of our founders to create a benchmark for all Adams biographers. With a keen eye for telling detail and a master storyteller's instinct for human interest, McCullough (Truman; Mornings on Horseback) resurrects the great Federalist (1735 1826), revealing in particular his restrained, sometimes off-putting disposition, as well as his political guile. The events McCullough recounts are well-known, but with his astute marshaling of facts, the author surpasses previous biographers in depicting Adams's years at Harvard, his early public life in Boston and his role in the first Continental Congress, where he helped shape the philosophical basis for the Revolution. McCullough also makes vivid Adams's actions in the second Congress, during which he was the first to propose George Washington to command the new Continental Army. Later on, we see Adams bickering with Tom Paine's plan for government as suggested in Common Sense, helping push through the draft for the Declaration of Independence penned by his longtime friend and frequent rival, Thomas Jefferson, and serving as commissioner to France and envoy to the Court of St. James's. The author is likewise brilliant in portraying Adams's complex relationship with Jefferson, who ousted him from the White House in 1800 and with whom he would share a remarkable death date 26 years later: July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A true insight!
I stumbled upon this book while looking at some material for Thomas Jefferson. I must tell everyone that the nature, character and political astuteness contained in the person of John Adams, as written by the author, compels one through each succeeding page.
The level of detail David McCollugh delves into presents a great man, of humble beginnings, as he was. Bittern by his own insecurities, the book details how at crucial points in his life and during the founding of the nation, Mr. Adams went from farmer to President of the United States.
For those interested in reading a study of the true principles of a republican form of government, you must read this insightful portrayal of not just the facts, but the soul of John Adams. The book also includes a portrait of the fallibilities of his children, as well as the tender, loving relationship he had with his family, including the beloved Abigail Adams.
The only sadness for me was coming to the end of the book. I loved it that much, I wrote about it on my personal blog. If you are a history buff like me, you will want to add this to your collection.
Good book, bad price
This is a good, interesting book. You are nuts if you pay 15 bucks for it on iBooks though. I paid 1 dollar for the hardcover at a church book sale. Only a sucker would pay 15 bucks.
The Original American
A great story of possibly the greatest of the great men who conceived of and brought to fruition our great nation! Compelling narrative of the differences in the characters of the men who created the United States of America.
Also a tremendous love story of two people who truly lived for and needed each other throughout their lives. Both were able to bare their souls to each other and truly express their love for one another!
I feel this is a book that should be read by every American! Without John Adams, I fear the United States would never have been an independent nation!