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John Adams [Hardcover]

By David McCullough (Author)
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Item Number 153212  
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Item description for John Adams by David McCullough...

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian sheds new light on America's second president, chronicling the life and times of Adams's youth, his career as a Massachusetts farmer and lawyer, his marriage to Abigail, his rivalry with Thomas Jefferson, and his remarkable influence on the birth of the United States of America. 350,000 first printing.

Publishers Description
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.

Awards and Recognitions
John Adams by David McCullough has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Pulitzer Prize - 2002 Winner - Biography category
  • Ambassador Book Awards - 2002 Winner - Biography category
  • ALA Notable Books - 2002 Winner - Nonfiction category
  • Christopher Awards - 2002 Winner - Books for Adults category
  • L.A. Times Book Prize - 2001 Nominee - Biography category

Citations And Professional Reviews
John Adams by David McCullough has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 936
  • Kirkus Reviews - 03/15/2001 page 388
  • Booklist - 03/01/2001 page 1186
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/02/2001 page 47
  • Time - 05/28/2001 page 88
  • Newsweek - 05/21/2001 page 58
  • Bookpage - 06/01/2001 page 13
  • New York Times - 05/27/2001 page 9
  • Business Week - 06/04/2001 page 22
  • Library Journal - 05/01/2001 page 101
  • People Weekly - 06/25/2001 page 49
  • New York Times - 06/03/2001 page 28
  • Entertainment Weekly - 07/13/2001 page 77
  • New York Times - 12/02/2001 page 12
  • Commonweal - 12/07/2001 page 27
  • Booklist Editors Choice/Adult - 01/01/2002 page 758
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 85
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2002 page 434
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 743
  • Harvard Business Review - 03/01/2008 page 45
  • Christianity Today - 05/01/2008 page 71

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Item Specifications...

Format: Deckle Edge
Studio: Simon & Schuster
Pages   752
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.46" Width: 6.62" Height: 1.66"
Weight:   2.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 22, 2001
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0684813637  
ISBN13  9780684813639  

Availability  10 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2017 08:14.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About David McCullough

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for "Truman" and "John Adams," and twice received the National Book Award, for "The Path Between the Seas" and "Mornings on Horseback." He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.

David McCullough was born in 1933.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Presidents & Heads of State
5Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > People, A-Z > ( A ) > Adams, John
6Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 19th Century > General
7Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Colonial Period > General
8Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
9Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Revolution & Founding > General

Reviews - What do customers think about John Adams?

Great portrait of a great patriot  Jun 11, 2008
This book (and the resultant HBO mini-series) rescues John Adams from being the "forgotten" Founding Father with a very human portrait. Prior to this book, I always pictured Adams as a crotchety, bitter, old New Englander. In one of the book's first paragraphs this image is quickly dispelled by a description of Adams that ends, "He was forty years old, and he was a revolutionary."

A forty year-old farmer, lawyer, father and husband - who is a revolutionary? What type of person would be a revolutionary at that stage in life? The rest of the book answers that question. It paints a vivid picture of him, Abigail and the rest of his family. In short, it does what any good biography should do, it brings the person to life in an engaging way.

My only criticism is that the book (or Adams by virtue of an excerpt) will reference one of Adams's faults, but never really examine those faults. Therefore, while not a hagiography, the book certain rubs any sharp edges off of Adams.

In the end, I think the book is accurate depiction of Adams as a man who enjoyed interacting with people. This perception was reinforced during a recent trip to the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy. Near the park office is the church in which Adams, Abigail, John Quincy and his wife Louisa, are entombed. The four of them are in above-ground tombs that you can walk around and touch. The impression is that even in death, Adams is among his countrymen and thereby challenging them to live up to the ideals for which he fought.
Secrets of the Secret Place  Jun 9, 2008
An excellent resource for those desiring to know HOW to draw closer to God. Clear and honest, bite-size scriptural insights with relevant, practical application.
Vibrant  Jun 6, 2008
John Adams comes to life in this outstanding biography. I was especially interested in his relationship with Jefferson as well as his wife Abagail. This well written piece is far from boring and reveals how history does repeat itself.

Good thing J&A took good notes so we can now all profit from their experiences.
Utterly Superb  Jun 4, 2008
This biography was outstanding. It was complete and to the point, while letting the mind explore the life and times of one of America's first great men. Mr. McCullough is an incredible biographer and John Adams is clear evidence of that. It flowed so smoothly and was filled with so much good information. For sure, it did not disappoint and I learned more than I ever thought I would.
The founding father of founding fathers  Jun 4, 2008
John Adams (1735-1826) is probably the most underrated thinker and actor participating in the birth of our nation, the birth of practical liberty (for society at large for the first time in history). The simple truth: were it not for Adam's fierce determination and hard intellectual work of persuasion at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 1776, independence from England would not have been declared, much less achieved....

Certainly, my own appreciation of the book and miniseries focuses on the ideas whose time had come: political liberty and rejection of "any form of tyranny over the mind of man." John Adams is a fascinating story of how the Colonists lived, how they thought, how they fought, and the many obstacles they faced... even among their own people.


For my complete review of this book and for other book and movie
reviews, please visit my site [...]

Brian Wright
Copyright 2008

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