John Adams (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, May 22, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 752 pages
45 Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

This is history on a grand scale—a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

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I recently began a project where I am trying to read a biography on each of the U.S. Presidents. As you can tell I am not very far along down the road since I recently got through President #2 in John Adams. Part of this is because Presidential biographies tend to run on the long side and David McCullough's 'John Adams' is no different clocking in at 650 pages. I didn't know much about Adams before I started reading this book and it was my loss - he was truly remarkable. Adams intellect, self-scrifice and sense of adventure makes him a great biographical subject. His travel by sea to Europe and hike across the Pyrenees would put any modern day Lonely Planet traveller to shame . David McCullough does a fantastic job of bringing this founding father to life and has the good fortune that Adams was a prolific letter writer. We learn of the great man in his own words through correspondence with his wife, his son (President #6) and most famously Thomas Jefferson. The book tested my stamina for Colonial history but I can't say there is much fluff or extraneous detail in the book - just be prepared to run the long race. 12/2013 

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Outstanding book. I found this book extremely insightful and educational. One thing I noted that I didn't realize before this book is that the author set out to write a dual biography about Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and in some ways, this book comes off as such. Few men get as little recognition as John Adams, but are as worthy of the praise they do receive as John Adams. 

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Page 40 - ... mastery of the seas; and then the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite us.

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About the author (2001)

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge and The Greater Journey. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

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