The brains of Braintree,
This review is from: "John Adams" (Paperback)
If you enjoyed HBO's mini-series on American's second president, John Adams, then why not read the book and find out more about one of America's most overlooked presidents and founding fathers? David McCullough is an expert weaver of historical narrative and manages the complex threads of the American War of Independence, the relationships between Adams and his impressive wife, children and colleagues and the geographic shifts that saw Adams shuttle between his native Massachusetts, Philadelphia, New York, Washington D.C., France, the Netherlands and Britain over the course of a long and eventful life.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this biography is how McCullough manages to convey Adams's own personality, self-awareness, humour, self-deprecation and foibles through extensive quotation of his correspondence. I finished the book feeling strangely fond of Adams as well as being impressed by his role in establishing the United States and saddened that this key role is not accorded quite the attention it deserves. Another personality that comes bursting from the pages is that of Adams's irrepressible wife, Abigail. Vivacious, witty and opinionated, her correspondence offers a fascinating window into these events seen through the eyes of a women.
The only reason I have given this book four stars instead of five is that, for some reason, it doesn't quite have the page turning engrossment of a truly great narrative history. It is, however, very close and I would, if I could, have given it 4.5. Anyone interested in the American War of Independence, the founding fathers, the formation of the United States or American history in general will find this a great read.