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History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson (Library of America Series) Hardcover – July 4, 1986
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Adams spends a great deal of time examining foreign affairs. There are a few simple reasons for this. The wars between England, France and Spain had a direct and major impact on the growth of the US, and their conflicts were the conflicts of the US. Secondly, the federal government of the US, at the time, was devoted mostly to foreign affairs.
This is a political history. Do not look for descriptions on how the common people lived. Do not look for an inquiry into how women were treated, nor a disquisition on slavery. Do not expect much discussion on Sally Hemmings.
If however, you are looking for an in-depth analysis of a critical time in US history, a well-written, often funny book, read this book.
While it is certainly arguable that Adams was fighting his ancestors' political battles in his work, his unprecedented scholarship in American history puts the burden of so arguing on the claimant. My own opinion is that Adams was merely fair and delved deep, and this approach is not always appreciated when dealing with our forefathers. Some would just rather not know.
Like other great works, right from the beginning, Adams will arouse your interest in not just Jefferson, but also other historical characters of whom you might not have even heard before.
Adams continued his history with the Madison Administration, which continued the unparalleled research and writing, and I equally recommend it with one caveat. Much of that second work, which is even longer, was naturally devoted to the War of 1812 and is quite descriptive when it comes to ships, troops and their movements. For example, he frequently gives detailed measurements of ships, even compares those about to do battle, and lists the troops in each battle, how many killed, wounded, etc. Much of this detail might bore many modern readers, but, some will find the depth of material refreshing and fulfilling.Read more ›
Adams did a wonderful job here, a better example of classical history is hard to find, well documented (even after almost 100 years), with a magnificent literary style, reading better than most action novels, it is an indispensable read to anyone that wants to learn the origins of this country.
It is hard to find negatives here, the only one that should be mentioned is the lack of info regarding some actors of the drama and some incidents that happened before the time of the period covered.
This is probably the fact that, at the time he wrote it, Adams was well aware of the level of knowledge and education of the people he wrote it for. Unfortunately, today, the general knowledge of American history of the majority of the population, leaves a lot to be desired, specially compared to his contemporaries.
Specific cases include, but are not limited too, the main cases of Chief Justice J. Marshall, the XYZ affair, etc. These are mentioned without an explanation, taking for granted the reader's knowledge of them.
With the relevant info just a click away, this should not be a problem.
If you love Americen history, If you are looking for material for a thesis, if you simply enjoy great adventure, this is the book for you.
I simply have not enjoyed an American History book as much as this in a long time.
Warning: If you start, you will be hooked and your social agenda will suffer, you just will not be able to put it down.
In here you will find answers to todays US problems, it is more current today than when it was originally published, a must read for all intelligent, articulate citizens.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply outstanding. Henry Adams is an excellent historian who mastered an incredible body of facts and presented them in highly understandable ways.Published 7 months ago by Michael Crawford
Best "history book" I've ever read. Amazing the things you don't about what went on in early 19th century. Read morePublished 15 months ago by B. Stewart Kopel
The Kindle edition of this book I found has left out at random whole sections of the text, making the book so much nonsense in those places. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Robert Axel
Adams' history is a must read to understand how fragile the United States was in its earliest days. Jefferson is among the most complex of the Founding Fathers. Read morePublished on March 26, 2012 by G. Brozeit
An amazing political history of Thomas Jefferson's presidency. In a sense, the title is misleading. It should read "History of the United States and Europe during the... Read morePublished on November 14, 2010 by C.P.M.
This volume and its sister on the Administrations of James Madison are both excellent! The prose style is flawless; the volumes are so readable that the narrative carries you along... Read morePublished on September 15, 2010 by Marvin C. Bracy
This is a very thorough examination of the US from 1801-1809. It was written in the 1880's but is fairly easy to read. Read morePublished on September 8, 2009 by W. H. Carson
Its not going to win reviews as a paper back book. This is the best history book I have ever read. I have looked at some of the reviews here stating its too long. Read morePublished on February 25, 2008 by Ian Young