by Reviewer10 on January 29, 2009McCullough, as usual, writes an interesting historical book--- not a novel-- and in a style that I found easy to read and digest. John Adams is depicted as the typical Yankee farmer with a deep thirst for education and independence for the colonists. He is thrifty, a believer and a prodigious worker. Starting young, as ws the custom, he attended Harvard and graduates in law, but soon selected to represent Massachusetts at the capital of the loosely knit colonies in Philadelphia, later New York. He spends his entire life working to bring the colonies--Massachusetts is called a Commonwelath while other were named states-- into a recognized republic, including the pirates of the Barbary Coast of North Africa.. Of interest to me is how long the British remained in America after the D of I after having lost many battles and surrendering; .how many years Adams spent in France, Holland and England, serving the causei, appointed finally as first ambassador to represent the states at the Court of William III. The press for American recognition and a sound economy are major, major concerns. McCullough offers many insights, including quotes from letters written by Adams, Abigail and others. Adams is at the center of things, with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin, Rush and others. The strength and abilities of his wife, Abigail, takes up considerable amount of the historical picture. She is a stalwart and capable woman without whom, in my opinion, Adam's might have had to give up his extended time away from home in Masschusestts. The two of them are solid in their belief that holding slaves is a sin and had only paid help and servants, at times going with very little help as Adams's remuneration from Congress was less than adequate. More is told about their children, the emphasis on education and good manners and morals; the closeness of the family is very appealing.
There is a great deal that I did not know about the sacrifices and contributions of Adams and his effect on the forming documents and of Congress, etc. This should be required rading for anyone with any interest at all in history, along with the biographical book, 1776. on George Washinton--and, by the way,any potential or ready law student. His efforts should be appreciated by all of us who live in the United States and in liberty and freedom.
'Tis a good read, indeed.
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