John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

( 2 )

Overview

In this fresh and illuminating biography, Fred Kaplan brings into focus the dramatic life of John Quincy Adams—the little-known and much-misunderstood sixth president of the United States and the first son of John and Abigail Adams—and reveals how Adams' inspiring, progressive vision guided his life and helped shape the course of America.

Kaplan draws on a trove of unpublished archival material to trace Adams' evolution from his childhood during the Revolutionary War to his ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$23.12
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$29.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $14.61   
  • New (17) from $16.04   
  • Used (6) from $14.61   
John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$17.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this fresh and illuminating biography, Fred Kaplan brings into focus the dramatic life of John Quincy Adams—the little-known and much-misunderstood sixth president of the United States and the first son of John and Abigail Adams—and reveals how Adams' inspiring, progressive vision guided his life and helped shape the course of America.

Kaplan draws on a trove of unpublished archival material to trace Adams' evolution from his childhood during the Revolutionary War to his brilliant years as Secretary of State to his time in the White House and beyond. He examines Adams' myriad sides: the public and private man, the statesman and writer, the wise thinker and passionate advocate, the leading abolitionist and fervent federalist who believed strongly in both individual liberty and the government's role as an engine of progress and prosperity. In these ways—and in his energy, empathy, sharp intellect, and powerful gift with words both spoken and written—Adams was a predecessor of Lincoln and, later, FDR and Obama. Indeed, this sweeping biography, rich in literary analysis and historical detail, makes clear how Adams' forward-thinking values, his definition of leadership, and his vision for the nation's future is as much about twenty-first-century America as it is about Adams' own time.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, John Quincy Adams paints a rich portrait of this brilliant leader and his vision for a young nation.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Robert W. Merry
…Kaplan has produced a full-length narrative of this remarkable life, rendered in lucid and loving prose. Adams emerges from these pages as a man driven to prove his worth to the world and history, never quite sure he could measure up to his own standards but utterly confident of his values and principles…Adams's political fate suggests he was not a man of his time. But Kaplan rightly portrays him as a man ahead of his time, a statesman whose views and perceptions eventually would seep into the national consciousness and guide the nation in important ways…this is a valuable book about an important American figure whose persistent high dudgeon may have lessened his capacity to play the conventional political game of his time but ultimately rendered him a formidable personage of American political philosophy.
Publishers Weekly
02/10/2014
Widely considered the nation’s greatest secretary of state and its most experienced diplomat, Adams was a member of the House and Senate, President for one term, and one of only two chief executives to return to Congress (the other being Andrew Johnson). Kaplan—an experienced biographer of Carlyle, Dickens, Vidal, Twain, and Lincoln—follows a long line of Adams biographers trying to capture this complex, difficult, multifaceted figure , and he does well enough: while there’s not much new here, Kaplan, unlike most previous Adams biographers, devotes much attention to the man’s private life and interests, especially to his poetry, which Adams wrote all his life and to which Kaplan brings unique attention. But what makes Adams of major historical importance remains his unprecedented experience as an American in Europe, his co-authorship of the Monroe Doctrine, and his brilliant late-life battle in the House against slavery. A full-life biography such as this should give those achievements full prominence, something that is lacking here. That said, Kaplan’s work is an estimable study of a significant American life and very much up to the level of his earlier books. (May)
Robert W. Merry
“Kaplan has produced a full-length narrative of this remarkable life, rendered in lucid and loving prose. . . . Kaplan rightly portrays Adams as a man ahead of his time. . . . A valuable book about an important American figure.”
Carol Berkin
“There is much to praise in this extensively researched book, which is certainly one of the finest biographies of a sadly underrated man. . . . These are the marks of a master historian and biographer.”
Susan Dunn
“An engaging, well-crafted, and deeply researched biography that puts particular emphasis on John Quincy’s rich life of the mind.”
The Boston Globe
“In undertaking John Quincy Adams, Fred Kaplan. . . clearly is trying to do for the son what David McCullough did for the father. . . . It was a notable life, marked now by a notable biography.”
The Christian Science Monitor
John Quincy Adams should be required reading inside the Beltway. . . . Kaplan has penned a richly detailed canticle to his subject. . . . Kaplan’s narrative is both riveting and brimming with telling details.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Well-researched and well-written. . . . An admiring and admirable account.”
Annette Gordon-Reed
“Insightful and engrossing. . . . As Kaplan makes plain in his own clear and finely chiseled prose, John Quincy Adams was, at his core, a writer. . . . A fine biography.”
Louis P. Masur
“An exemplary portrait. . . . Kaplan is accomplished at the art of biography.”
The Washingtonian
“Beautifully researched and written. . . . Biography fans, don’t miss this one.”
The Washington Times
“As well-written, comprehensive, and satisfying account of Adams’s personal life and career as we have seen in print.”
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-26
In this elegant study, Kaplan (Emeritus, English/Queens Coll.; Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, 2008, etc.) portrays our sixth president as a deeply literary man, devout husband, orator, diplomat and teacher who had grand plans for the country's future, including the building of national infrastructure and the abolition of slavery. Indeed, John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) was concerned about America's loss of innocence in its rapid expansion and growing distance from its foundational ideals. A prodigious, gifted writer, he worried about "the internal health of the nation," with the squabbling between the Republicans and Federalists during the contested presidential elections, the addition of slave states to the union and the War of 1812, which had revealed the country's evolution into "a parcel of petty tribes at perpetual war with one another." Like his father, Quincy Adams was Harvard-educated, a lawyer and inculcated to answering the call of his country, despite his own wishes. For example, he was appointed to diplomatic posts (his first training being next to his father in Paris from the age of 10) at The Hague and St. Petersburg. Yet the wandering life suited this restless intellect, and he even rejected a Supreme Court nomination since he fashioned himself a man of action and, moreover, was the only ex-president to serve in Congress (from his home state of Massachusetts). A loyal, loving husband to foreign-born, French-speaking Louisa, he lost all but one son during his lifetime. He was also tainted by the hint of a "corrupt bargain" in trading electoral votes for elevating Henry Clay to secretary of state, and he was hounded out of the presidency by his political opponents led by Andrew Jackson. However, his argument in defense of the Amistad prisoners before the Supreme Court in 1841 was a powerful plea for the cause of justice. Kaplan ably navigates his subject's life, showing us "a president about whom most Americans know very little." A lofty work that may propel readers back to Quincy Adams' own ardent writings.
Library Journal
03/15/2014
Kaplan (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, English, Queens Coll. & CUNY Graduate Ctr.; Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer) reconsiders John Quincy Adams (JQA), secretary of state, academic, attorney (e.g., the Amistad case), one-term president (1825–29), and later an outspoken member of Congress. Using Adams's voluminous diary, correspondence, and writings (including poetry), Kaplan contends that JQA should be remembered for the totality of his life and that he possibly influenced several succeeding presidents. According to Kaplan, JQA anticipated: the abolition of slavery; a national transportation infrastructure; government-funded science; land-grant colleges; U.S. involvement with Latin America; a Panama canal; and an active postpresidency. Multilingual and well informed, he supported both increased individual liberty and the economically stimulative role of the national government. Kaplan relays a great deal about Adams's relationships with his political opponents; his parents, Abigail and John; his wife, Louisa; and his often troubled children, although perhaps too much about their and others' illnesses. VERDICT Aiming to be comprehensive, Kaplan reveals details that scholars will appreciate but that may turn away general readers who might find the briefer, arguably sprightlier, biographies by Robert Remini or Paul Nagel more appealing. However, academics will savor Kaplan's methodical and meticulous study. [See Prepub Alert, 11/3/13.]—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Lib. of Congress, Washington, DC
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061915413
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 29,259
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Kaplan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, which was named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. His biography of Thomas Carlyle was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Boothbay, Maine.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    Another book about J Quincy Adams and why?  Comparing him to pro

    Another book about J Quincy Adams and why?  Comparing him to progressive presidents
    FDR and OBama is enough to float this book into the circles of supposed intellects.
    Please publish a bio once and a while and leave the progressive stamp out please.

    4 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)