John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty

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Overview

"This is the most thorough and most sophisticated assessment of the political thought of John Adams yet written. Here Adams recovers his rightful place alongside James Madison as one of the leading political thinkers of the revolutionary generation."—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams

"A remarkable achievement. Thompson gives us a fresh and lucid survey of John Adams' political writings and—something no scholar has done before—provides a thorough analysis of the contexts in which they were written. What is more, he offers a convincing description of Adams' thought processes. All in all, a superb study."—Forrest Mc Donald, author of Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution

Author Biography: C. Bradley Thompson is an associate professor of history and political science at Ashland University.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
An important book. Convincingly demonstrates that Adams earned a place among America's greatest political thinkers.
Times Literary Supplement
This is intellectual history as it should be written: powerful and penetrating, compelling and convincing.
Booknews
Although John Adams was the second president of the United States and a prolific writer on political science and philosophy, his life and work have been comparatively neglected by contemporary scholars. Thompson (history and political science, Ashland University) reexamines Adams' writings, focusing on the distinction he drew between the "principles of liberty" and the "principles of political architecture," and concludes that he was the 18th century's finest student of the political sciences, embodying the mind of the American Revolution. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Michael Novak
No single man is more responsible for the Fourth of July than John Adams....[I]n one of the greatest acts of abnegation in American history, he stood aside and let Thomas Jefferson...claim the glory of declaring our independence....[D]espitre paying insufficient heed to Adams's regligious thought, Thomson has prepared an intellectually exhilarating volume.
The Weekly Standard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700611812
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: American Political Thought Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 1,323,678
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Pt. 1 Principles of Liberty
1 Calvin, Locke, and the American Enlightenment 3
2 Lawyer, Statesman, and Lawgiver 24
3 The Spirit of Liberty 44
4 The Principles of Liberty 66
Pt. 2 Principles of Political Architecture
5 A Guidebook for Lawgivers 91
6 The Science of Politics 107
7 The Science of History 126
8 The Science of Human Nature 148
9 Republican Government 174
10 The Principles of Government 202
11 The Art of Political Architecture 229
12 Posterity Must Judge 250
Notes 281
Bibliography 327
Index 333
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