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John Adams by David McCullough

John Adams (2001)

by David McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,524157304 (4.32)441
  1. 20
    Truman by David McCullough (readysetgo)
  2. 10
    Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (sergerca)
    sergerca: Similar scope and style as McCullough's about one of Adam's chief contemporaries.
  3. 10
    Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (mattries37315)
  4. 10
    John Adams: Revolutionary Writings, 1775-1783 by John Adams (wildbill)
    wildbill: More of Adams own words in volume two of his Revolutionary Writings.
  5. 10
    Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll (morryb, readysetgo)
  6. 10
    John Adams: Revolutionary Writings, 1755-1775 by John Adams (wildbill)
    wildbill: Read Adams own words in this collection of his writings.
  7. 00
    John Adams and the American Revolution by Catherine Drinker Bowen (gordon361)

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» See also 441 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Extensive biography of one of the framers of the Constitution, first vice president, second president, strong advocate for the Navy. Amazing to think that there was a time when the president would/could join a bucket brigade to fight a fire in the Treasury Building. ( )
  ritaer | Oct 20, 2017 |
This is an amazing book. I strongly recommend it as it gives clarity.
  RaskFamilyLibrary | Mar 30, 2017 |

After having spent this past year reading much about the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, I can say that McCullough's "John Adams" is the best by far.

Part of the reason this is so is due to how human McCullough presents his subject. We get to know Adams (and his family) for the people they were; and not how they're remembered. Adams himself (along with Abigail of course) should receive much of this credit as so much of the book is based on letters he wrote.

If you're interested in the period and have not read "John Adams," you're doing yourself a disservice.

Another reason this book shines is its tone. Some of the books I've read are quite academic in style; but not McCullough's work. He offers an easy style that is digestible by most. ( )
  Jarratt | Dec 11, 2016 |
A great biography of the second President, who sometimes is lost among Founding giants Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin. But McCullough tells the story of Adams, one of the most important figures in Independence and the following Revolution. The combination of the authors narrative and letters from Adams, Abigail Adams, Jefferson and others of the time make this biography interesting and informative. ( )
  SethAndrew | Aug 14, 2016 |
I loved it. Not a light read but not heavy going. Thought provoking AND informative. The author made me love this man and his wife. Thank you David McCullough
  newnoz | Aug 6, 2016 |
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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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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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