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John Adams (Hardcover)

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John Adams McCullough, David 1 of 1
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Product Details:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0684813637
ISBN-13: 9780684813639
Sku: 30716033
Publish Date: 5/1/2001
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9.75H x 6.75L x 1.75T
Pages:  752
Age Range:  NA
 
In his first book since Truman, one of America's most distinguished and popular biographers breathes life into history with this compelling look at the second president of the United States, John Adams. More than just a biography, this book looks at the birth of a young republic and explores the extraordinary factors that transformed 13 colonies into a united nation. Lots of illustrations, many in color.

From the Publisher:
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 -- "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him -- 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.

Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries. In particular, the more than one thousand surviving letters between John and Abigail Adams, nearly half of which have never been published, provide extraordinary access to their private lives and make it possible to know John Adams as no other major American of his founding era.

As he has with stunning effect in his previous books, McCullough tells the story from within -- from the point of view of the amazing eighteenth century and of those who, caught up in events, had no sure way of knowing how things would turn out. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, the British spy Edward Bancroft, Madame Lafayette and Jefferson's Paris "interest" Maria Cosway, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the scandalmonger James Callender, Sally Hemings, John Marshall, Talleyrand, and Aaron Burr all figure in this panoramic chronicle, as does, importantly, John Quincy Adams, the adored son whom Adams would live to see become President.

Crucial to the story, as it was to history, is the relationship between Adams and Jefferson, born opposites -- one a Massachusetts farmer's son, the other a Virginia aristocrat and slaveholder, one short and stout, the other tall and spare. Adams embraced conflict; Jefferson avoided it. Adams had great humor; Jefferson, very little. But they were alike in their devotion to their country.

At first they were ardent co-revolutionaries, then fellow diplomats and close friends. With the advent of the two political parties, they became archrivals, even enemies, in the intense struggle for the presidency in 1800, perhaps the most vicious election in history. Then, amazingly, they became friends again, and ultimately, incredibly, they died on the same day -- their day of days -- July 4, in the year 1826.

Much about John Adams's life will come as a surprise to many readers. His courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits that few would have dared and that few readers will ever forget.

It is a life encompassing a huge arc -- Adams lived longer than any president. The story ranges from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the Versailles of Louis XVI, from Spain to Amsterdam, from the Court of St. James's, where Adams was the first American to stand before King George III as a representative of the new nation, to the raw, half-finished Capital by the Potomac, where Adams was the first President to occupy the White House.

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.

Annotation:
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.
Author Bio
David Willis McCullough
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.

Praise

Book
"[C]ombines scholarly research with the readability of historical fiction." - Don McLeese May/June 2001

New York Times
'[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."
- Michiko Kakutani 05/22/2001

Washington Post Book World
"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." - Edwin M. Yoder Jr. 05/27/2001

Boston Globe
"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." - Douglas Brinkley 05/27/2001

Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.)
"[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." - Gene Seymour 06/10/2001

Harper's
"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." - Richard N. Rosenfeld September 2001

Product Attributes
Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0752
Product attributePublisher:   Simon & Schuster
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