John Adams, by David McCullough

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America’s influence is best understood if you know more about the founders. David McCullough brings the life of one of the countries great ones into focus with his book, “John Adams”. In many ways the 2nd President is overlooked, but this novel draws from diaries and letters and shows us much about who John Adams was. 
Adams felt divinely inspired to take so many personal risks as he worked to reach past his home in Massachusetts to bring the colonists into focus with the revolution.

He was devoted not just to the cause of the new country, but to his wife Abigail. Their story is a love story within the story. When the war was over George Washington was the natural leader and Adams was a full supporter and became the 1st Vice President. He helped the new country feel the influence of the New England States in the new government that was very much dominated by Virginians. 

Thomas Jefferson was a challenging Virginian for Adams. He had always been, and would remain, a nemesis. The two were very different in character. They differed in the way they treated the slavery issue and this author showed Jefferson as lazy and always in debt which was very different from Adams. Even so they were also good friends and the book does a lot to explore that. Both men were idealist, loved learning and books, and most interesting they both died on the same day, 50 years to the day, of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

The strong character of Adams is clearly shown in this book. His letters to and from his wife show a genuinely good man. His goodness is what you would expect would lead in forming a great country and Jefferson’s intellectual strength is also clear. Reading this book brings a special light and dignity to the founders and is an amazing book.

John Adams Quotes

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

 "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." 

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people."

''A government of laws, and not of and not of men."

John Adams
By David McCullough