Abigail Adams

Overview

Wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman living at an extraordinary time in American history. A tireless letter writer and diarist, her penetrating and often caustic impressions of most of the major persons of her day—including Ben Franklin, George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and King George III, among others—provide one of the best first-hand accounts of the American Revolution. This biography, researched and written over a ...

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Abigail Adams: A Biography

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Overview

Wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman living at an extraordinary time in American history. A tireless letter writer and diarist, her penetrating and often caustic impressions of most of the major persons of her day—including Ben Franklin, George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and King George III, among others—provide one of the best first-hand accounts of the American Revolution. This biography, researched and written over a fourteen-year period, is a fascinating portrait of a brilliant woman at the center of the founding of the American republic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"After 200 years, thanks to Ms. Levin, Abigail Adams can speak her mind to what will surely be a large audience."--The New York Times

"Abigail Adams has much to say to us about her world; Phyllis Lee Levin has helped her convey this in a compelling book and has produced a close and believable portrait of the woman within."--The Washington Post

"Full of wonderful, immediate dailiness, the biography . . . [presents] an altogether personal account of the events presaging and following the American Revolution, perceived by a woman with the ability to record and interpret her era for posterity with uncommon verve and wisdom."--Los Angeles Times

"[Mrs. Levin found] details that give impressive breadth and depth to her account . . . The frequent apt selections from her letters and other primary sources are woven into a narrative that is reportorial in tone, but always sympathetic . . . Levin's life accurate reflects the intimacy and expansiveness [of Abigail's] interests."--Christian Science Monitor

"In her biography, Abigail Adams, Levin goes beyond heroine worship. She underlines the bitterness of self-sacrifice to liberty's demands, the abuse from journalists, the physical and financial hardships served up to Abigail and her family as they moved from their quiet country life to European courts and the Presidential mansion . . . Abigail Adams is candid and perceptive."--Smithsonian

"[Abigail Adams] is a pleasure to read, and Levin's rich documentation makes this the most complete biography we have on this remarkable First Lady."--Betty Boyd Caroli author of First Ladies

"As wife of the second president and mother of the sixth, she was an intimate and enthusiastic participant in the founding of the new nation . . . Those readers with a serious interest in early American history will be attracted to [Levin's] book."--Dallas Times-Herald

"A biography that reads much like a diary . . . Levin's touching book presents interesting insights into the life of revolutionary America."--UPI

"One of the great women of the time was Abigail Adams, the strong hand guiding the Adams family . . . Abigail Adams was indeed real, and this biography brings that home to the modern reader."--Detroit Free Press

Library Journal
Levin promises to reconstruct the complex character of Abigail Adams: a champion of women's rights and a keen political observer who nonetheless felt that a woman's role properly revolved around the home. Disappointingly, she churns out chapter after chapter of paraphrased letters written to or by Abigail during her lifetime (1744-1818) and seldom interprets . Rather than pinpointing the historical and personal forces that motivated her subject, Levin provides a superficial history of a pathbreaking early American social commentator. The thesis and the most interesting material in this book have already been presented in a more compelling manner in Lynne Withey's Dearest Friend: a life of Abigail Adams ( LJ 9/15/81). BOMC, History Book Club, and Quality Paperback Book Club selections. David Szatmary, Continuing Education, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312291686
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 1,350,498
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Abigail Adams is Phyllis Lee Levin's third book. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has been a reporter, editor, and columnist for The New York Times. She was also a feature writer and editor for numerous Condé Nast publications. Mrs. Levin lives in Manhattan.

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