John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

Front Cover
HarperCollins, May 27, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 1072 pages
2 Reviews

Fred Kaplan, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Lincoln, returns with John Quincy Adams, an illuminating biography of one of the most overlooked presidents in American history—a leader of sweeping perspective whose progressive values helped shape the course of the nation.

In this fresh and lively biography rich in literary analysis and new historical detail, Fred Kaplan brings into focus the dramatic life of John Quincy Adams—the little known and much misunderstood sixth president of the United States and the first son of John and Abigail Adams—and persuasively demonstrates how Adams's inspiring, progressive vision guided his life and helped shape the course of America.

Kaplan draws on a trove of unpublished archival material to trace Adams's evolution from his childhood during the Revolutionary War to his brilliant years as Secretary of State to his time in the White House and beyond. He examines Adams's myriad sides: the public and private man, the statesman and writer, the wise thinker and passionate advocate, the leading abolitionist and fervent federalist who believed strongly in both individual liberty and the government's role as an engine of progress and prosperity. In these ways—and in his energy, empathy, sharp intellect, and powerful gift with words both spoken and written—he was a predecessor of Lincoln and, later, FDR and Obama. Indeed, this sweeping biography makes clear how Adams's forward-thinking values, his definition of leadership, and his vision for the nation's future is as much about twenty-first century America as it is about Adams's own time.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, John Quincy Adams paints a rich portrait of this brilliant leader and his significance to the nation and our own lives.

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User Review  - walterhistory - LibraryThing

Fred Kaplan's bio of J.Q. Adams is a fairly good work in spite of the author's difficulty in understanding his subject. This work reminds me of Lincoln biographers who write of their subject but end ... Read full review

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User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5251. John Quincy Adams American Visionary, by Fred Kaplan (read 2 Mar 2015) Even though I read Samuel Flagg Bemis' two-volume biography of John Quincy Adams in 1970-1971 and Harlow Giles Unger's ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Fred Kaplan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, which was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. His biography of Thomas Carlyle was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Maine.

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