- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster; Later Printing edition (2002)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0028QDN0S
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,571 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,331,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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John Adams Paperback – 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
"Adams" is a terrific piece of work. Relying on a treasure trove of letters and correspondence written by Adams and his tremendous wife Abigail (both of whom were compulsive/obsessive writers), McCullough replays the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Washington Presidency and Adams's tumultuous four years as President with vibrant storytelling and just the right amount of detail without getting weighed down.
In MuCullough's view, Adams was a brilliant, determined, forthright, nonpartisan, stubborn politician who was unabashedly American and ambitious for higher office only to the point that public service (according to Adams) was the greatest calling of all.
Anybody looking for a line by line history of America's birth, from 1776 to 1800, will probably be disappointed. McCullough skips over the details of the American Revolution and the drafting of the Constitution. He instead tracks the diplomatic journeys of Adams, who travels to England, France and Holland with Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (both occasionally) as they try to negotiate various peace and commercial treaties.
The best surprise of the book? Abigail Adams, an amazing woman living entirely ahead of her time.Read more ›
One can almost hear the amiable yet dramatic tones of historian David McCullough, punctuated by paintings of New England blizzards and the sound of hoofbeats. (McCullough is a frequent narrator of documentaries, notably those of Ken Burns.) McCullough's familiar cadence resounds through this extremely well written best-seller. The details never slow the reading or obscure the portrait; instead, source materials (much of it from the Adams' personal letters) illuminate and concretize his subject. McCullough writes clearly, forcefully, and with an ear for detail, humor, and anecdote.
Overall this is a flattering portrait of Adams' longtime service as lawyer, revolutionary, writer and philosopher, diplomat, politician, and farmer. The book could well have been subtitled: "An Appreciation," both because Adams demonstrates so much to admire (including integrity, erudition, patriotism, work ethic, and courage) and because McCullough either doesn't criticize Adams or couches his disapproval by leaving some issues open.
Some readers may suspect a positive bias. Criticized and embattled by Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton--and by the libelous hyperbole of opposition newspapers and rivals--Adams takes on an almost martyr-like persona. To test McCullough's balance, one must read other books on both the Founders and the political culture of the times.Read more ›
Perhaps the greatest success of the book is the correction of many John Adams stereotypes. In this book you meet a John Adams who is a delightful wit, a man deeply in love with his nation, and more-so with his wife. Mr. McCullough also gives Abigail Adams her due as a most delightful person and one of the most important women in our history. The love the couple shared is as deep a love as humans are possible of giving and receiving, and that love is radiated to you from the pages of this book.
A warrning to Jefferson fanatics...during his research, I think McCullough, perhaps more than anybody else, gained a true understanding of Thomas Jefferson and has done the nearly impossible...portraying Jefferson as a human being. As a human being, Jefferson loses some of his shine. As a human being, john Adams shines even brighter.
Mr. McCullough has done with John Adams what he did with Harry Truman a few years ago...he has restored the lustre of a truly great and underrated American. I hope that preparing this book gave Mr. McCullough as much pleasure as I had reading it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
EXCELLENT IN ALL RESPECTS. it's sad that not many American know of his sacrifice and service to our nationPublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Fluid and endearing of a great man, his family, friends, and zest for life.Published 9 days ago by G Roy
Masterfully written book about one of the most important and impressive men that our country has ever produced. Truly remarkable from beginning to end.Published 11 days ago by natalie rodriguez
I am a history major and my schools history department posted a list of 50 books on American History every history major should read. Read morePublished 18 days ago by ElvisH1974
If you want to learn about one of the most important (if not the most important) figures in early American history, read this book. I'm a HUGE fan of John and Abigail Adams. Read morePublished 19 days ago by M. Sean Marshall
The author, David McCullough, is far more detailed than necessary. Better to be there than left wanting.Published 21 days ago by beau628