And in the back of my mind, I harbored some suspicion that Adams may not have supplied history much in the way of interesting raw material. It makes me want to read a biography of that much maligned man. Adams loved Abigail more than anyone and his affection was clear throughout their long marriage.
His wife kept him grounded and was his best friend and closest confidante—just the way I would want it in my life. In nearly every instance of possible controversy, the facts of the moment are laid clear and McCullough finishes with a conclusory remark that is invariably favorable to Adams.
Two simple but very important reasons.
Reading this book was pleasurable—not just in learning about a man of such importance, but also just in the act of reading. Buy from Amazon I am a little bit late to the party with this book. Unlike Martha Washington, who burned her correspondence with George upon his death, over 1, letters between John and Abigail Adams survive, along with countless letters they each wrote and received from other important figures of their day.
Adams Book review john adams often called overseas and he served many years away from his family. Boy, did it ever! Never more so than at its end when relating the rapprochement and friendship of Adams and Jefferson in retirement, both struggling to live until the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
This is no little praise for a man who had previously won a Pulitzer prize for his biography of Harry Truman —a reward he was to receive again for John Adams.
Tidy up your prose, sharpen your story-telling, knowledge up on your source material and bring your entire bag of game, because the gauntlet has been chucked, the bar has been raised and David McCullough has taken off his literary glove and pasted all of you upside your second rate heads.
McCullough is a masterful communicator. Later in life at least two of his children became alcoholics and essentially wasted their lives. He was content to live a simple life consumed with hard work and lots of good books. But Flexner certainly made a case for a Hamilton much more loyal than Ferling admits, and a Jefferson much, much more dishonest, even treacherous, than Ferling ever hints at.
Sponsor Become a Patron John Adams loved life and sought to truly enjoy it. Looking elsewhere it seems reasonably clear that Adams was more deist than Christian, but this did not come through clearly in the book.
Ferling cited plenty of evidence that Adams was an advocate of monarchy, that he considered "hereditary rule inevitable" then excoriated Hamilton and others as unfair for attacking Adams on that basis.
True, he was short tempered and intellectually vain in so far as he very much desired to be acknowledged as "great" by his countrymen. My next read is a biography of Thomas Jefferson by Cunningham.
I will leave that to the historians. That McCullough is enormously sympathetic to John Adams cannot be seriously challenged. Everyone that is, except John Adams, who never seemed to waiver from the path his conscience set before him.
It is a must-read for anyone with an interest in American history or with a particular interest in biographies. His long and frequent separations from her were the greatest trials he faced in life and he really seemed to be only half a man without her.
His greatest pleasures were his wife, his books, and his friends. He loved sharing life with others. Like John Adams I find reading to be a source of great pleasure.
Call me sappy and overly sentimental, but I was absolutely awe struck by the level of commitment and affection that they felt and showed to one another even across great distances and during long years when they hardly even saw each other.
Few books in my library have received as many outstanding reviews as this biography. It is epic epicness on an epically epic scale. On the surface, he was not infrequently a crusty New Englander, but his true temperament was far more complicated.
If the Stockholm Syndrome-like attachment of biographers for their subjects holds there, I somehow doubt Alexander Hamilton is going to fare any better. I liked how Ferling, unlike Flexner in his one-volume work, constantly referred to other historians and biographers of the leading figures, airing the various controversies among them.
So why John Adams? After finishing this book, I believe the John Adams is the "founding father" I most admire. By making that statement, I do not want to downgrade the importance of the others. Adams proved a character of enormous interest and versatility — not only for his roles during the American Revolution as a Founding Father and assistant in drafting the Declaration of Independence among other tasksand as both Vice President and President, but also for his work in France, Holland and Great Britain on behalf of our fledgling country.
I said in that review that no doubt reading a biography of a different American founder by another author would complicate the picture. I point that out not to bash Jefferson who I also admire but to demonstrate that even the best of men had moments when they did not act in accordance with their conscience.
Reflecting on being a father, Adams seems to have accepted some of the blame for their ways, acknowledging that his long absences from the family deprived them of the father they needed.This book on John Adams by John Ferling is an excellent read. I have read David McCullough's book on Adams and, although I loved McCullough's book, I think Ferling's bio is more balanced and I would give it a slightly higher rating than McCullough's book/5.
I felt like McCullough went out of his way to praise Adams much as he does in his other books. I have read The Wright Brothers,Truman, and this book shares the theme of excessive praise to the point where John Adams seems almost infallible.
I am a little bit late to the party with this book. Released in hardcover in and paperback inJohn Adams is regarded as one of David McCullough’s greatest achievements.
This is no little praise for a man who had previously won a Pulitzer prize (for his biography of Harry Truman)—a reward he was to receive again for John Adams. “John Adams” is the narrative biography of our nation’s second president, written by author and historian David McCullough.
Of the seven John Adams biographies in my library, McCullough’s “John Adams” is the most popular by an enormous margin, and is widely considered one of the best presidential biographies ever written.
John Adams is a well researched and beautifully written biography about the life and times of John Adams and early American history. Using letters and entries from John Adams diary, David McCullough paints such a vivid picture as to /5.
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 storytel.Download