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John Adams by David McCullough

John Adams (2001)

by David McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,893151339 (4.31)415
  1. 10
    John Adams: Revolutionary Writings, 1775-1783 by John Adams (wildbill)
    wildbill: More of Adams own words in volume two of his Revolutionary Writings.
  2. 10
    Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll (morryb, readysetgo)
  3. 10
    John Adams: Revolutionary Writings, 1755-1775 by John Adams (wildbill)
    wildbill: Read Adams own words in this collection of his writings.
  4. 00
    Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (sergerca)
    sergerca: Similar scope and style as McCullough's about one of Adam's chief contemporaries.
  5. 00
    Truman by David McCullough (readysetgo)
  6. 00
    John Adams and the American Revolution by Catherine Drinker Bowen (gordon361)

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» See also 415 mentions

English (148)  Romanian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
I don't usually choose to read history, but I did find this to be interesting and very readable but very long! While McCullough does focus on Adams, he also includes information about all the other players at the time and how Adams interacted with them. It was eye opening to learn that even in this period of time politics was a dirty business. I would be interested to learn more about Abigail Adams and other wives of presidents. Her relationship to Adams would appear to be critical-without Abigail Adams and the birth of the US may have followed a different path. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
While this is a wonderful biography, I could not get past the rose-colored portrayal of Adams. I think it hurt the integrity of the scholarship. Not that Adams was not a great man, deserving of esteem--- McCullough just seemed to underplay any faults. When someone was critical of Adams- it was viewed from the hurt pride of Adams himself. And when writing a historical account of someone's life- you should never let the subject dictate what his "worst faults" are. McCullough does tell us that Adams had a reputation among his peers of temper and arrogance (one that lasted throughout his life)... yet to the reader, McCullough's affable Adams seems incapable of such actions. Basically, I don't think we every truly got to hear the other side of the story. Also, I think that McCullough allowed his "suppositions" to get a little out of control--- and always to the benefit of Adams' character. As when Adams left the Capitol after losing the presidential election-- McCullough speculates that instead of "human" emotions/weaknesses like shame, humiliation and hurt feelings driving him home to Quincy, that perhaps John was feeling the greatest sense of freedom and eagerness to strike out on the next adventure. In the end, the biggest problem I had with this book is that it is supposed to be an account of Adams' life- not Adams' account of his life. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 16, 2016 |
John Adams was a key figure in the early history of the United States. This book tells his story well. ( )
  rakerman | Dec 29, 2015 |
Great book. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
David McCullough is one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed John Adams very much but I enjoyed Truman better. ( )
  jpb355 | Nov 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David McCulloughprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Runger, NelsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We live, my dear soul, in an age of trial. What will be the consequence I know not. - John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1774
For our sons David, William, and Geoffrey
First words
In the cold, nearly colorless light of a New England winter, two men on horseback traveled the coast road below Boston, heading north.
I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading,
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 141657588X, Paperback)

Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends. As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation.

Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents Washington and Jefferson, who bracketed his tenure in office, Adams emerges from McCullough's brilliant biography as a truly heroic figure--not only for his significant role in the American Revolution but also for maintaining his personal integrity in its strife-filled aftermath. McCullough spends much of his narrative examining the troubled friendship between Adams and Jefferson, who had in common a love for books and ideas but differed on almost every other imaginable point. Reading his pages, it is easy to imagine the two as alter egos. (Strangely, both died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.) But McCullough also considers Adams in his own light, and the portrait that emerges is altogether fascinating. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:09 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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