Wednesday, November 7, 2012

John Adams

After I finished 1776 by David McCullough, I had questions.  The book was informative and was an interesting read that I couldn't put down.  However, it was exactly what the title suggested:  it was about the year 1776.  Anyone who knows anything about American History knows that the Revolutionary War was not over at the end of 1776.  The book began with a synopsis of Bunker Hill (which occurred near the end of 1775) and ended in January 1777, just after the surprise Christmas crossing of the Delaware and subsequent defeat of the Hessians.  Pretty much everyone agrees that that particular battle was the turning point in the war, but it was not the end!  Besides a brief epilogue, McCullough didn't tell us what happened after 1776.

In the author's notes, he mentioned that he wrote 1776 to fill in blank places of his biography of John Adams.   Having read the "blank places", I wanted to read the rest of the story.

I picked up John Adams by David McCullough at the library yesterday.  I've already connected with this man and let me show you why.  From the first page of the book,
"He was John Adams of Braintree and he loved to talk.  He was a known talker.  There were some, even among his admirers, who wished he talked less.  He himself wished he talked less, and he had particular regard for those, like General Washington, who somehow managed great reserve under almost any circumstance."
That's me!  She herself wished she talked less!  In fact, she talks so much she started a blog so she wouldn't wear out her family.

A little later, he describes me again:
"John Adams was also, as many could attest, a great-hearted, persevering man of uncommon ability and force.  He was honest and everyone knew it.  Emphatically independent by nature, hardworking, frugal--all traits in the New England tradition--he was anything but cold or laconic as supposedly New Englanders were. He could be high-spirited and affectionate, vain, cranky, impetuous, self-absorbed, and fiercely stubborn; passionate, quick to anger, and all-forgiving; generous and entertaining.  He was blessed with great courage and good humor, yet subject to spells of despair, and especially when separated from his family or during periods of prolonged inactivity."
Obviously we're aren't totally the same, but we share many attributes--both the good and the ill.

Since I am unhappy with current political events, I'll go hide in history.  It may not have been wholly better, but at least it was moral.


  1. You'll have to let me know how you like both books, and whether you would suggest reading one before the other. Thanks!

  2. Hear. Here. I LOVED John Adams. Really loved it. Then I read David McCullough's talk given at BYU and that was good, too.

    I love your last line "Since I am unhappy with current political events, I'll go hide in history. It may not have been wholly better, but at least it was moral."

  3. This sounds like reading I would enjoy- and I even have 1776...if I can just find what box it was packed in (ah, incentive to do some more unpacking).

    I should start blogging more...the only problem is it's easier for me to talk than write (type).