n July 4th, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died.
From his deathbed, Adams whispered those famous last words: "Thomas Jefferson survives."Literally speaking, he was mistaken. In another sense, though, he was right: the Jefferson legacy continued to live and prosper, while Adams's reputation, figuratively speaking, died an ignominious death.
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.
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.Publishers Weekly This life of Adams is an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary man who has not received his due in America's early political history but whose life work significantly affected his country's future.... Kirkus Reviews While Mc Cullough never misses an episode in Adams's long and often troubled life, he includes enough biographical material on Jefferson that this can be considered two biographies for the price of one--which explains some of its portliness.Despite the whopping length, there's not a wasted word in this superb, swiftly moving narrative, which brings new and overdue honor to a Founding Father. The author puts real flesh on historical figures making them complicated yet awe inspiring human beings. I will recommend this summer reading to my bookclub.Read More Steve As a 20 something who is not normally apt to reading books thicker then a brick I was completly captivated by the epic story of John Adams life. This book has been a catalyst for conversation in my ...Read More books Book Browse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.Mc Cullough'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.Nothing about the harsh landscape differed from other winters.Nor was there anything to distinguish the two riders, no signs of rank or title, no liveried retinue bringing up the rear.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. 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.