I don't usually read history/biography type books anymore, but after this amazing book by David McCullough I might need to start again.
I am a little ashamed of that actually, because I have a history degree and used to read them a lot, but as I have gotten older I have gravitated towards the fiction. This book though is amazing. It sometimes reads like a novel, and other times like a great history of the US, not just a story about Adams.
I always knew Adams was the second president since grade school, but I had no idea how involved he was during the revolutionary war up through his presidency. He pushed hard for independence. He worked hard to get the French involved. He not only signed the declaration of indepence, but also the Paris peace treaty that ended the war. He twice went to Europe in a time where a trip across the Ocean could take up to 8 weeks depending on the winds.
It is also amazing some of the inner workings, and the relationships that developed. For instance, Adams didn't particularly like Ben Franklin and thought Washington was somewhat aloof.
And everything is magically outlined because Adams was a tremendous writer. He wrote diaries. He wrote letters to friends. He wrote letters to his wife during their many separations. At one time they were separated for 4 years! This book covers almost his entire life, though a little sparse on the years before 40 all the way to his death at near 90.
Enough can't be said about this excellent book, but I don't have to. It run the Pulitzer Prize. It is a tough read, as the 650 pages are so crammed with information that it seems like each page is double a normal page. If you like history books or biographies this is a must read.
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