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John Adams

by David McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,644176422 (4.32)475
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.… (more)
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» See also 475 mentions

English (172)  Romanian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
While I don't universally love every book written by McCullough, I do like most of them This, to me, is his greatest work! I absolutely loved this book and in reading it, I came to love Jon Adams. Oh that men would stand on principle like he did. He did it at the waste of his reputation and good character often as well. This book clearly teaches the sacrifice of Adams whole life to the cause of freedom, liberty and the creation of a nation that is self governed. I cannot recommend it highly enough! ( )
  WolverineTim | Oct 8, 2020 |
Quotable:

"There are persons whom in my heart I despise, others I abhor. Yet I am not obliged to inform the one of my contempt, nor the other of my detestation. This kind of dissimulation...is a necessary branch of wisdom, and so far from being immoral...that it is a duty and a virtue." ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Noted title by a favorite author. ( )
  MarianneAudio | Aug 16, 2020 |
This book was a bit of a slog in parts (hence how long it took me to finish) but in the end and overall a sympathetic, well-researched, well written biography of an often overlooked President. ( )
  ErinCSmith | Jul 24, 2020 |
Although the Presidency of John Adams ended as the result of the moral and practical mistake of
sponsoring, with the support of Congress and Abigail,
the indefensible Alien and Sedition Act, at least he acted out in the open,
unlike leaders, from George Washington to Churchill and U.S. Presidents all the way through to Obama,

Until recent years, Adams was the easiest target.

Now, with journalists, politicians, Democrats, World Leaders, Native Americans, Veterans,
People of All Colors, Generals, Climate and Environmental activists, Women, People with Autism >
Rightly, Anyone who does not agree with the cruelty and greed demonstrated by
the racist monster is openly reviled and attacked, then subjected to loss of job,
career, money, reputation, and more....

...until the jail sentence and fine offered by John Adams, and that only after valid proof of sinister intent,
may seem like a fair deal.

John Adams' heroic legacy continued on to his son, John Quincy Adams,
who defended Cinque and his men, allowing The Amistad to take them back to Africa as free men.

And, it extended on to his grandson, Charles Frances Adams.
As the American Ambassador to London during The Civil War,
he convinced the British government to stay neutral and so prevented The South
from gaining desperately needed support.

Why John Adams relished renewing his betrayed friendship with the deceitful
adulterous slave master Thomas Jefferson is still a great mystery. Jefferson was definitely,
despite the final extension of friendship, a lying sneaky villain.

Jefferson, owing a lot to George Mason and his Virginia Declaration of Rights,
went astronomically, exponentially, beyond the other presidential slaveowners.

He seduced Sally Hemmings, a slave child who was his wife's relative,
fathered six children with her (Keeping her place hidden at Monticello)
then, in his will, Jefferson freed only their children and not his mistress.
He also refused to free the possibly hundreds of slaves on his plantations.

ALL THE TIME, in public, he strongly claimed to be against slavery.

Related to Adams and his Family, he was a hypocrite, a false friend, adulterer,
and a liar who sneaked behind the President to betray him.

As an American Hero, John Adams and his son were the only ones of the first Presidents:

Washington
Jefferson
Madison
Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Van Buren (the slave he owned escaped)
Harrison
Tyler
Polk
Taylor
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant (freed his only slave) ( )
  m.belljackson | Mar 8, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David McCulloughprimary authorall editionscalculated
Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Runger, NelsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
We live, my dear soul, in an age of trial. What will be the consequence I know not. - John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1774
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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Disambiguation notice
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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.

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