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


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The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams + My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams, With a Foreword by Joseph J. Ellis + John Adams
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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: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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"

Book Description

"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

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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5 stars if ever there was a book worthy of 5 stars; again, this IS history.
Bart Breen
For any American History enthusiast, this surely should be recommended without reservation.
Strawgold
My favorite letter is from John Adams to Jefferson to tell him to stop writing his wife.
Karl Dettmer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Karl Dettmer on January 2, 2001
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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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By M. A Newman VINE VOICE on August 12, 2002
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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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Harper on January 8, 2002
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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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bart Breen VINE VOICE on November 29, 2007
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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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams edited by Lester J. Cappon is a remarkable book containing letter correspondence of the time when the United States was being formed and for fifty more years.
It is very interesting to read their letters to find out what really was on their minds concerning issues of the day. Americana at its best is what you come away with after reading these letters. The letters are in chronological order and are placed in order of response to the letter sent. Thomas Jefferson was a very prolific letter writer and the subjects the he discussed with John Adams vary greatly, but that is what made these letters very interesting. Also, the depth and the detail of the letters is remarkable.
Abigail Adams for a woman of her time was well versed and her letters to both Jefferson and her husband showed character, wit, and resolve. She was well aware of what was going on around her and you could tell by her letters that she loved her husband while he was away in the duty of his country.
This collection of letters is a real treasure, if you read or study the American Revolution, you have to own this book. This makes an excellent reference volume to fall back on when you get to the footnotes and want a more detailed reference, you can with these letters readily at hand.
I would recommend this volume for your home library.
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