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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.
David McCullough, who made his mark writing popular history and biography, grew up in Pennsylvania and credits his reading of the classics--and movies like SERGEANT YORK--as influences on his choice of career. After earning a B.A. from Yale University, McCullough worked for Time, Inc.--which he termed his "apprenticeship")--, as a writer for the U.S. Information Agency, and then for American Heritage magazine. He has also written for public television and has appeared on SMITHSONIAN WORLD and THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE as host. His first book was THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. His later book THE GREAT BRIDGE, about the building of New York's Brooklyn Bridge, is noted for its detailed portrait of architect John Roebling. For his book on the Panama Canal, THE PATH BETWEEN THE SEAS, McCullough was awarded a National Book Award. He has also written on three U.S. presidents: MORNINGS ON HORSEBACK (about Theodore Roosevelt), TRUMAN, and JOHN ADAMS.
"[C]ombines scholarly research with the readability of historical fiction."
'[A] lucid and compelling work....Writing in a fluent narrative style that combines a novelist's sense of drama with a scholar's meticulous attention to the historical record, Mr. McCullough gives the reader a palpable sense of the many perils attending the birth of the American nation and the heated, often acrimonious politics of the day. He conveys the momentousness of the actions undertaken by Adams and other members of the revolutionary generation, as well as the daunting odds against them, not only in winning independence but also in establishing a form of government that would endure across the years.What comes across most insistently in this absorbing book is a sense of Adams's exuberant, conflicted and thoroughly engaging personality: an ambitious, sometimes vain statesman who was also a devoted family man; an astonishingly well-read intellectual who could see "large subjects largely" but who took his greatest pleasure in the simple chores of farm life; a politician who almost always spoke his mind."
"The authentic John Adams has been concealed too long in the glamorous shadows of Jefferson and Washington, and some rectification is past due. McCullough's biography will go far to provide it, for none before it--not even Gilbert Chinard's classic of a generation or more ago--has attained its height of narrative art. But that is only to be expected of the writer who is our historian laureate in waiting."
"As in his magisterial TRUMAN, McCullough spins out the story of John Adams through scads of solidly researched anecdotes of the sort that breathe real life into nonfiction. Never does McCullough's lively prose let his tale drag down into the torpors of academe. JOHN ADAMS is that rare, solid, scholarly history so well written it's truly a pleasure to read."
"[McCullough] is...a master storyteller whose sentences flow with sturdy pacing and seamless grace. Those familiar with McCullough's televised voice-overs can almost hear his lean, crisp voice recounting the story of Adams' life."
"McCullough's finely crafted and eminently readable JOHN ADAMS would doubtless please the founder whom Democrats dubbed 'His Rotundity.' But in pandering to the highly remunerative national yearning for heroes, David McCullough denies Americans the critical lessons in liberty and democracy that every history of the Early Republic should teach."
From the Publisher
This biography of the second President of the United States is by the esteemed historian whose biography TRUMAN won a Pulitzer Prize. McCullough tells of Adams's life as a farmer and lawyer, his relationship with his beloved Abigail, and the role he played in the turbulent events which led to the founding of a nation. He explores his relationships with the other Founding Fathers, especially the important differences with his rival, Thomas Jefferson. A New York Times Editors' Choice selection for 2001.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of John Adams chronicles the life of America's second president, including his youth, his career as a Massachusetts farmer and lawyer, his marriage to Abigail, his rivalry with Thomas Jefferson, and his influence on the birth of the United States. Reissue. (A seven-part HBO miniseries, written by Kirk Ellis, directed by Tom Hooper, airing January 2008, starring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, David Morse, & others) (Biography & Autobiography)