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The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams Paperback – September 30, 1988

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A major treasure of national literature.

C. Vann Woodward, "Key Reporter""

[This] is a correspondence that covers all topics; . . that reveals both of these statesmen and philosophers at their most felicitous.

Henry Steele Commager

"The publication, in full and integrated form, of the remarkable correspondence between these two eminent men is a notable event.

Dumas Malone,

New York Times Book Review""

A major treasure of national literature.

C. Vann Woodward, "Key Reporter"

ÝThis¨ is a correspondence that covers all topics; . . that reveals both of these statesmen and philosophers at their most felicitous.

Henry Steele Commager

The publication, in full and integrated form, of the remarkable correspondence between these two eminent men is a notable event.

Dumas Malone,

New York Times Book Review"

Review

American history offers no parallel to the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, spanning the first half century of the Republic. . . . The publication, in full and integrated form, of the remarkable correspondence between these two eminent men is a notable event.--Dumas Malone, New York Times Book Review



[This] is a correspondence that covers all topics; that embraces most of two lifetimes; that never fails of learning, wit, grace, and charm; and that reveals both of these statesmen and philosophers at their most felicitous.--Henry Steele Commager



A major treasure of national literature.--C. Vann Woodward, Key Reporter

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Product Details

  • Series: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Paperback: 690 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1st edition (September 30, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807842303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807842300
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What a joy it is to read the correspondence between two of America's greatest founding fathers. Through this collection of letters we begin to get into the minds of men who created and shaped this nation. We read of their dreams, expectations and fears for this new nation as well as typical correspondence between friends. That is when they were talking to each other. When the two men weren't, Abigail continued to write Jefferson to try and heal the breach. My favorite letter is from John Adams to Jefferson to tell him to stop writing his wife. This is a book for anyone who loves the human side of history and enjoys getting to know the real people behind the legends. I first read it in college, and then spent ten years trying to find it again. Now that I have, it will never leave my bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback
When Jefferson and the Adamses retired from public life, the result was the basis for this wonderful little book. Lester Cappon has produced one of the gems of scholarship on the autumn relationship of Adams and Jefferson. Perhaps the greatest testament to the scholarship and skill of the editor is the fact that this book has remained in print continuously since 1959. Though unlikely ever to score the impressive sales record of the recent biography of John Adams, this work is for those interested readers who want to learn more about the early days of the republic. One warning, the participants were all products of the 18th century. One should not be misled by the formality of the prose (any more than one should be misled by the gushy emotionalism of the victorian era). Adams reveals himself (this was his justification for his life and beliefs) in a straight forward manner. Jefferson, tells us more about himself by his personality by his lack of candor.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall and to be able to share in the thoughts and happenings of important places and people? Well, if your desires in that regard include the office of the Presidency of the United States and the early days following the American Revolution, that is exactly what this book provides.

As was typical of statesmen of that day, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams maintained a lengthy personal and professional correspondance the subjects of which were both mundane and highly intellectual. This book takes that correspondance, chronologically arranges it and then groups it according the characteristics of the time and the themes of their correspondance. As an additional bonus, John's wife Abigail Adams is included as well.

My attraction to this volume was to seek clarity and focus on several questions that are quite relevant to today. What was meant and intended by the concept of Separation of Church and State and what was the philisophic and religious thinking of there two important figures? There's no shortage of resources out there to tell you what these men thought, the context of their society and usually as an added bonus how these matters in one way or another support the agenda or perspective of the one putting the source together.

At some point however, if you really want to grapple with these issues or just understand the times and importance of these two men, there is no substitute for simply reading and allowing them to speak for themselves.
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Format: Paperback
The Adams-Jefferson Letters could be our modern Plutarch. Thomas Jefferson carried on a lifelong correspondence with John and Abigail Adams, and the collected letters show three brilliant but unlike minds shooting sparks of wit, philosophy, politics and friendship. They join forces in a great cause, they bicker and fall out, they make up, and at the end they look back on their remarkable generation from the grave's edge. What more could you want? This book ought to be in every public library in America, and if an American owns three books, this should be one of them.
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Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely invaluable volume; the complete correspondence of two of our most important and able minds whose untiring efforts did much to shape our new nation and its form of government.

The fact that our current government has departed so far from their vision is the fault of lesser men who followed these early men of genius, who were so devoted to the ideal of a workable constitutional republic. Indeed, for the last several generations of politicians it sometimes seems that principle has been replaced by expediency in our public servants.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were, without any doubt at all, true geniuses who mastered a large variety of disciplines, from literature to philosophy, theology, governmental design, the mastery of several languages, engineering, astronomy, navigation (see their remarks concerning Nathanael Bowditch, pp. 534,536,540), and especially diplomacy and political intrigue.

Jefferson's remarks about the pronunciation of the ancient Greek language (pp. 536-539) shows a deep and penetrating interest in a subject that today is of interest only to advanced scholars. Indeed, most of their correspondence in their later years demonstrates an interest and, indeed, vast knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Theirs was an age of generalists -- men who were conversant on a broad range of subjects -- as opposed to today, when we tend to specialization.

Much of their early correspondence included references to Dr. Benjamin Franklin, with whom they were associated while the three of them represented the United States in Europe and England, in creating trade treaties and diplomatic ventures, including relations with the Barbary states (pirates).
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