President John Adams Books

President John Adams

Easton Press books:
John Adams Biography - 2 volumes - Page Smith - 1988
The works of John Adams - 2 volumes - 1992
John Adams A Life - John Ferling - 2001
President John Adams - David McCullough - 2002

President John Adams leather bound

President John Adams biography

Adams, John {1735-1826}, second President of the United States, born in Braintree (now Quincy), Mass, and educated at Harvard College. After teaching in Worcester, Mass, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1758. In 1764 he married Abigail Smith, whose influence and help were important in his later career, and soon after he enters politics. In 1765 John Adams helped present and argue for a memorial presented by Boston to the British government against the Stamp Act, and in following year he wrote essays for the newspaper the Boston Gazette in support of the rights of the colonies. While a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives John Adams was chosen as one of five delegates to the first Continental Congress in 1774. He was one of the leading exponents in that body of complete American independence, and was a member of the committed selected by its successor, the Second Continental Congress, to draw up the Declaration of Independence. Though the document was mainly the work of Thomas Jefferson, Adams was especially influential in securing its adoption, and was one of its best-known signers.

President John Adams portrait

In 1778 Adams was sent to France to replace the diplomat Silas Deane in the negotiation for a treaty pledging French aid to America in the Revolution. The negotiations were concluded before his arrival. He returned to America to join the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention and was the principal member of the committee which drafted the Massachusetts constitution (1780). In the same year John Adams was appointed minister to Holland. There he negotiated a loan to aid the American colonies in their struggle against Great Britain, and in 1782 he at last succeeded in obtaining recognition from Holland as a minister from an independent nation. Late in 1782 Adams joined the diplomats John Jay and Benjamin Franklin in Paris for the negotiation of a peace treaty with Great Britain. Three years latter he became the first United States minister to Great Britain. The hostility of the British made John Adams post a difficult one, and he was unable to render his country any special service; in 1788 he returned to America, and in the same year was elected the first Vice-President of the United States under its new constitution.

President John Adams Easton Press

John Adams served two terms as Vice President, becoming a leader of the Federalist Party and an opponent of support for Great Britain and opposition to France in international affairs. In 1796 he was elected President to succeed George Washington, defeating his opponent, Thomas Jefferson, by only three electoral votes. During his term of office, a conflict arose over control of the Federalist Party, with Adams and Alexander Hamilton as the leaders of rival factions. Eventually, Hamilton virtually controlled John Adams' cabinet, and John Adams' own administration consistently obstructed his plans. Adams refused to become involved in a war with France, even under extreme provocation, thus further alienating his party. Finally, the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, designed to suppress all criticism of the administration, provoked nationwide hostility toward the Federalists and against John Adams in particular. Though re-nominated for the Presidency in 1800, he was badly defeated by Thomas Jefferson. Thereafter he remained in retirement, a constant and often outspoken critic of national affairs.

Books by John Adams are as follows:
Thoughts on Government - 1776

Essays in support of independence and defense of the constitutions of government of the United States - 3 volumes - 1787 to 1788

Study of the State constitutions of the United States - written during service in England

President John Adams Books

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

President John Adams by David McCullough
The enthralling, often surprising story of John Adams, one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries. In particular, the more than one thousand surviving letters between John and Abigail Adams, nearly half of which have never been published, provide extraordinary access to their private lives and make it possible to know John Adams as no other major American of his founding era.

As he has with stunning effect in his previous books, McCullough tells the story from within from the point of view of the amazing eighteenth century and of those who, caught up in events, had no sure way of knowing how things would turn out. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, the British spy Edward Bancroft, Madame Lafayette and Jefferson's Paris "interest" Maria Cosway, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the scandalmonger James Callender, Sally Hemings, John Marshall, Talleyrand, and Aaron Burr all figure in this panoramic chronicle, as does, importantly, John Quincy Adams, the adored son whom Adams would live to see become President.

Crucial to the story, as it was to history, is the relationship between Adams and Jefferson, born opposites one a Massachusetts farmer's son, the other a Virginia aristocrat and slaveholder, one short and stout, the other tall and spare. Adams embraced conflict; Jefferson avoided it. Adams had great humor; Jefferson, very little. But they were alike in their devotion to their country.

At first they were ardent co-revolutionaries, then fellow diplomats and close friends. With the advent of the two political parties, they became archrivals, even enemies, in the intense struggle for the presidency in 1800, perhaps the most vicious election in history. Then, amazingly, they became friends again, and ultimately, incredibly, they died on the same day their day of days July 4, in the year 1826.

Much about John Adams's life will come as a surprise to many readers. His courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits that few would have dared and that few readers will ever forget.

It is a life encompassing a huge arc Adams lived longer than any president. The story ranges from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the Versailles of Louis XVI, from Spain to Amsterdam, from the Court of St. James's, where Adams was the first American to stand before King George III as a representative of the new nation, to the raw, half-finished Capital by the Potomac, where Adams was the first President to occupy the White House.

This is history on a grand scale a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.


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