John Adams: A Life

John Adams: A Life

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by John Ferling
     
 

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John Ferling has nearly forty years of experience as a historian of early America. The author of acclaimed histories such as A Leap into the Dark and Almost a Miracle, he has appeared on many TV and film documentaries on this pivotal period of our history. In John Adams: A Life, Ferling offers a compelling portrait of one of theSee more details below

Overview


John Ferling has nearly forty years of experience as a historian of early America. The author of acclaimed histories such as A Leap into the Dark and Almost a Miracle, he has appeared on many TV and film documentaries on this pivotal period of our history. In John Adams: A Life, Ferling offers a compelling portrait of one of the giants of the Revolutionary era.

Drawing on extensive research, Ferling depicts a reluctant revolutionary, a leader who was deeply troubled by the warfare that he helped to make, and a fiercely independent statesman. The book brings to life an exciting time, an age in which Adams played an important political and intellectual role. Indeed, few were more instrumental in making American independence a reality. He performed yeoman's service in the Continental Congress during the revolution and was a key figure in negotiating the treaty that brought peace following the long War of Independence. He held the highest office in the land and as president he courageously chose to pursue a course that he thought best for the nation, though it was fraught with personal political dangers. Adams emerges here a man full of contradictions. He could be petty and jealous, but also meditative, insightful, and provocative. In private and with friends he could be engagingly witty. He was terribly self-centered, but in his relationship with his wife and children his shortcomings were tempered by a deep, abiding love.

John Ferling's masterful John Adams: A Life is a singular biography of the man who succeeded George Washington in the presidency and shepherded the fragile new nation through the most dangerous of times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Better than any other full-scale biography to date, Ferling's book places Adams in the context of his swirling times and makes clear why he deserves our admiration for his political courage and stubborn independence."--Joseph J. Ellis, The New England Quarterly

"A comprehensive and readable exploration of a fascinating and important statesman, whose life continues to remind us that honesty, integrity, and independence can be political virtues."--William and Mary Quarterly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Historian Ferling presents the highly eventful life and times of the second president. (June)
Library Journal
John Adams will always fascinate historians, if only because he left so many introspective ruminations. Ferling, the biographer of George Washington ( The First of Men , LJ 8/88) masterfully reinterprets these and other writings. Ferling relies heavily on outstanding recent investigations of Adams's family, especially his wife Abigail. His solid, comprehensive, moving biography sees Adams as a ``one-dimensional man'' who sacrificed his family to a relentless pursuit of recognition and fame. ``America's first great nationalist,'' the self-styled ``John Yankee'' could be petty, vain, self-centered, acerbic, and his social skills were extremely limited. He was not a military leader. But he drove himself with intellect and ambition to the front of the Revolution. Ferling emphasizes Adams's compuslive need for personal sacrifice as a substitute for military service. This is an outstanding biography; Adams will not have to be redone for this generation.-- Harry W. Fritz, Univ. of Montana, Missoula

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195398663
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/09/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
443,466
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

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