JOHN ADAMS DAVID MCCULLOUGH PDF
Editorial Reviews. resourceone.info Review. Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived John Adams - Kindle edition by David McCullough. Download it. Read John Adams PDF - by David McCullough Simon & Schuster | The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America's founding. Read John Adams by David McCullough for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android.
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FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF JOHN ADAMS On May 15th, David McCullough presented The Course of Human Events. McCullough - David McCullough For Rosalee Barnes McCullough . the flamboyant Lord Mayor of London, John Wilkes, and the leading Whig Congress, was thirty-nine, John Adams, forty, Thomas Jefferson , thirty-two. A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams, First Edition. Edited by David The acclaimed popular historian David McCullough () made his.
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See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab. About this product: Synopsis A biography of the extraordinary man who became the second president of the United States, this book traces John Adams' adventurous life and spirited rivalry with Thomas Jefferson, and encompasses both the American Revolution and the birth of the young republic. 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 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.
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. John Adams was a lawyer and a farmer, a graduate of Harvard College, the husband of Abigail Smith Adams, the father of four children.
He was forty years old and he was a revolutionary. Dismounted, he stood five feet seven or eight inches tall—about middle size in that day—and though verging on portly, he had a straight-up, square-shouldered stance and was, in fact, surprisingly fit and solid.
His hands were the hands of a man accustomed to pruning his own trees, cutting his own hay, and splitting his own firewood. In such bitter cold of winter, the pink of his round, clean-shaven, very English face would all but glow, and if he were hatless or without a wig, his high forehead and thinning hairline made the whole of the face look rounder still. The hair, light brown in color, was full about the ears. The chin was firm, the nose sharp, almost birdlike.
But it was the dark, perfectly arched brows and keen blue eyes that gave the face its vitality. Years afterward, recalling this juncture in his life, he would describe himself as looking rather like a short, thick Archbishop of Canterbury. As befitting a studious lawyer from Braintree, Adams was a plain dressing man.
His oft-stated pleasures were his family, his farm, his books and writing table, a convivial pipe and cup of coffee now that tea was no longer acceptable , or preferably a glass of good Madeira. In the warm seasons he relished long walks and time alone on horseback.
Such exercise, he believed, roused the animal spirits and dispersed melancholy. He loved the open meadows of home, the old acquaintances of rock ledges and breezes from the sea. He was a man who cared deeply for his friends, who, with few exceptions, were to be his friends for life, and in some instances despite severe strains.
And to no one was he more devoted than to his wife, Abigail. She was his Dearest Friend, as he addressed her in letters—his best, dearest, worthiest, wisest friend in the world —while to her he was the tenderest of husbands, her good man. John Adams was also, as many could attest, a great-hearted, persevering man of uncommon ability and force. He had a brilliant mind.
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. Ambitious to excel—to make himself known—he had nonetheless recognized at an early stage that happiness came not from fame and fortune, and all such things, but from an habitual contempt of them, as he wrote.
He prized the Roman ideal of honor, and in this, as in much else, he and Abigail were in perfect accord. Fame without honor, in her view, would be like a faint meteor gliding through the sky, shedding only transient light.
As his family and friends knew, Adams was both a devout Christian and an independent thinker, and he saw no conflict in that. He was hard-headed and a man of sensibility, a close observer of human folly as displayed in everyday life and fired by an inexhaustible love of books and scholarly reflection.
He read Cicero, Tacitus, and others of his Roman heroes in Latin, and Plato and Thucydides in the original Greek, which he considered the supreme language. But in his need to fathom the labyrinth of human nature, as he said, he was drawn to Shakespeare and Swift, and likely to carry Cervantes or a volume of English poetry with him on his journeys.
You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket, he would tell his son Johnny. John Adams was not a man of the world. He enjoyed no social standing. He was an awkward dancer and poor at cards. He never learned to flatter. There was no money in his background, no Adams fortune or elegant Adams homestead like the Boston mansion of John Hancock. It was in the courtrooms of Massachusetts and on the printed page, principally in the newspapers of Boston, that Adams had distinguished himself.
Years of riding the court circuit and his brilliance before the bar had brought him wide recognition and respect. And of greater consequence in recent years had been his spirited determination and eloquence in the cause of American rights and liberties. That he relished the sharp conflict and theater of the courtroom, that he loved the esteem that came with public life, no less than he loved my farm, my family and goose quill, there is no doubt, however frequently he protested to the contrary.
His desire for distinction was too great. Patriotism burned in him like a blue flame. I have a zeal at my heart for my country and her friends which I cannot smother or conceal, he told Abigail, warning that it could mean privation and unhappiness for his family unless regulated by cooler judgment than his own.
He was a second cousin of Samuel Adams, but possessed of another species of character, as his Philadelphia friend Benjamin Rush would explain. He saw the whole of a subject at a glance, and. He was a stranger to dissimulation.
The Cold War: A Military History
It had been John Adams, in the aftermath of Lexington and Concord, who rose in the Congress to speak of the urgent need to save the New England army facing the British at Boston and in the same speech called on Congress to put the Virginian George Washington at the head of the army.
That was now six months past. The general had since established a command at Cambridge, and it was there that Adams was headed. It was his third trip in a week to Cambridge, and the beginning of a much longer undertaking by horseback. He would ride on to Philadelphia, a journey of nearly miles that he had made before, though never in such punishing weather or at so perilous an hour for his country.
The man riding with him was Joseph Bass, a young shoemaker and Braintree neighbor hired temporarily as servant and traveling companion.
The day was Wednesday, January 24, Winter makes its approaches fast, she had written to John in November. I hope I shall not be obliged to spend it without my dearest friend.
I have been like a nun in a cloister ever since you went away. He would never return to Philadelphia without her, he had vowed in a letter from his lodgings there. But they each knew better, just as each understood the importance of having Joseph Bass go with him.
The young man was a tie with home, a familiar home-face. Once Adams had resettled in Philadelphia, Bass would return home with the horses, and bring also whatever could be found of the common small necessities impossible to obtain now, with war at the doorstep. Could Bass bring her a bundle of pins? Abigail had requested earlier, in the bloody spring of Her determination that he play his part was quite as strong as his own.
They were of one and the same spirit. You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you, an inactive spectator, she wrote at her kitchen table. Unlike the delegates at Philadelphia, she and the children were confronted with the reality of war every waking hour.
For though British troops were bottled up in Boston, the British fleet commanded the harbor and the sea and thus no town by the shore was safe from attack. Meanwhile, shortages of sugar, coffee, pepper, shoes, and ordinary pins were worse than he had any idea.
The cry for pins is so great that what we used to buy for 7 shillings and six pence are now 20 shillings and not to be had for that. A bundle of pins contained six thousand, she explained. These she could sell for hard money or use for barter.
There had been a rush of excitement when the British sent an expedition to seize hay and livestock on one of the islands offshore. The alarm flew [like] lightning, Abigail reported, men from all parts came flocking down till 2, were collected.
The crisis had passed, but not her state of nerves, with the house so close to the road and the comings and goings of soldiers. They stopped at her door for food and slept on her kitchen floor. Pewter spoons were melted for bullets in her fireplace.
Sometimes refugees from Boston tired and fatigued, seek an asylum for a day or night, a week, she wrote to John. You can hardly imagine how we live. I endeavor to live in the most frugal manner possible, but I am many times distressed. The day of the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, , the thunder of the bombardment had been terrifying, even at the distance of Braintree. Earlier, in April, when news came of Lexington and Concord, John, who was at home at the time, had saddled his horse and gone to see for himself, riding for miles along the route of the British march, past burned-out houses and scenes of extreme distress.
He knew then what war meant, what the British meant, and warned Abigail that in case of danger she and the children must fly to the woods.
From a granite outcropping that breached the summit like the hump of a whale, they could see the smoke of battle rising beyond Boston, ten miles up the bay. It was the first all-out battle of the war. How many have fallen we know not, she wrote that night. The constant roar of the cannon is so distressing that we cannot eat, drink, or sleep.
A handsome young physician and leading patriot allied with Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, Warren had been one of the worthiest men of the province. John had known him since the smallpox epidemic of , when John had gone to Boston to be inoculated. Now Joseph Warren was dead at age thirty-four, shot through the face, his body horribly mutilated by British bayonets. They would travel the Post Road west across Massachusetts as far as Springfield on the Connecticut River, there cross by ferry and swing south along the west bank, down the valley into Connecticut.
At New York, horses and riders would be ferried over the Hudson River to New Jersey, where they would travel as fine a road as ever trod, in the opinion of John Adams, whose first official position in Braintree had been surveyor of roads. Three more ferry crossings, at Hackensack, Newark, and New Brunswick, would put them on a straightaway ride to the little college town of Princeton.
Then came Trenton and a final ferry crossing over the Delaware to Pennsylvania. In another twenty miles they would be in sight of Philadelphia. All told, they would pass through more than fifty towns in five provinces—some twenty towns in Massachusetts alone—stopping several times a day to eat, sleep, or tend the horses. With ice clogging the rivers, there was no estimating how long delays might be at ferry crossings.
Making the journey in , Adams had traveled in style, with the full Massachusetts delegation, everyone in a state of high expectation. He had been a different man then, torn between elation and despair over what might be expected of him.
It had been his first chance to see something of the world. His father had lived his entire life in Braintree, and no Adams had ever taken part in public life beyond Braintree.
He himself had never set foot out of New England, and many days he suffered intense torment over his ability to meet the demands of the new role to be played. Politics did not come easily to him. But was there anyone of sufficient experience or ability to meet the demands of the moment?
I wander alone, and ponder. I muse, I mope, I ruminate, he wrote in the seclusion of his diary. We have not men fit for the times. We are deficient in genius, education, in travel, fortune—in everything.
I feel unutterable anxiety. He must prepare for a long journey indeed, he had told Abigail.
But if the length of the journey was all, it would be no burden. Great things are wanted to be done. I think it will be necessary to make me up a couple of pieces of new linen. I am told they wash miserably at N[ew] York, the Jerseys, and Philadelphia, too, in comparison of Boston, and am advised to carry a great deal of linen. Whether to make me a suit of new clothes at Boston or to make them at Philadelphia, and what to make I know not.
Still, the prospect of a gathering of such historic portent stirred him as nothing ever had. It is to be a school of political prophets I suppose—a nursery of American statesmen, he wrote to a friend, James Warren of Plymouth. May it thrive and prosper and flourish and from this fountain may there issue streams, which shall gladden all the cities and towns in North America, forever. There had been a rousing send-off in Boston, on August 10, , and in full view of British troops.
Samuel Adams, never a fancy dresser, had appeared in a stunning new red coat, new wig, silver-buckled shoes, gold knee buckles, the best silk hose, a spotless new cocked hat on his massive head, and carrying a gold-headed cane, all gifts from the Sons of Liberty.
It was thought that as leader of the delegation he should look the part. In addition, they had provided a little purse for expenses. It had been a triumphal, leisurely journey of nearly three weeks, with welcoming parties riding out to greet them at town after town. They were feted and toasted, prayers were said, church bells rang. Silas Deane, a Connecticut delegate who joined the procession, assured John Adams that the Congress was to be the grandest, most important assembly ever held in America.
At New Haven every bell was clanging, people were crowding at doors and windows as if to see a coronation. In New York they were shown the sights—City Hall, the college, and at Bowling Green, at the foot of Broadway, the gilded equestrian statue of King George III, which had yet to be pulled from its pedestal by an angry mob. The grand houses and hospitality were such as Adams had never known, even if, as a self-respecting New Englander, he thought New Yorkers lacking in decorum.
They talk very loud, very fast, and altogether, he observed. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer, they will break out upon you again—and talk away.
Tomorrow we reach the theater of action. God Almighty grant us wisdom and virtue sufficient for the high trust that is devolved upon us. But that had been nearly two years past. It had been high summer, green and baking hot under summer skies, an entirely different time that now seemed far past, so much had happened since. Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love. Sign up and get a free eBook! Trade Paperback. Price may vary by retailer.
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Reading Group Guide. About The Author. Photograph by William B. David McCullough. Product Details.
Related Articles.A good-looking, active boy, if small for his age, he was unusually sensitive to criticism but also quickly responsive to praise, as well as being extremely bright, which his father saw early, and decided he must go to Harvard to become a minister. On the morning Washington departed Philadelphia to assume command at Boston, he and others of the Massachusetts delegation had traveled a short way with the general and his entourage, to a rousing accompaniment of fifes and drums, Adams feeling extremely sorry for himself for having to stay behind to tend what had become the unglamorous labors of Congress.
Thomas Thayer his wife, she reported. As a former delegate to Philadelphia, Washington understood the need to keep Congress informed. Above all,John Adamsis an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
By most accounts, the food was wretched. Once, the records show, Adams was fined three shillings, nine pence for absence from college longer than the time allowed for vacation or by permission. See more by David McCullough.
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