After watching the HBO miniseries adapted from this book, I knew I had to read it. The miniseries was so well-done and informative on the life of a President I knew only slightly. I knew John Adams was instrumental in the Revolution, but I wasn’t aware how involved he truly was, nor how he impacted our relations with numerous European countries. I enjoyed learning more about our country’s founding and those involved. Almost more than the history, I became enchanted with the marriage of John and Abigail. Even though they spent much of their marriage apart, only connecting through handwritten letters, there love and friendship remained strong. At numerous times, they would go years without seeing each other, only receiving letters and those letters would be months behind. I can only imagine how hard it would be keeping a marriage strong through that, year after year. The Adams’ were true friends and bounced their thoughts and ideas, political and otherwise, off each other. I find that inspiring and romantic. John Adams was an interesting man, with political opinions that evolved over time, but in many aspects he was ahead of the times. He despised slavery and both were disheartened to find slave labor upon their move into the in-progress White House. They both valued education for both the wealthy and the poor. John Adams thought that education for all was the key to a successful society.
In all, I found this book to be an excellent account of historical events and of a detailed look into the Adams’ family and life. David McCullough writes with such fluency that I almost forgot this was non-fiction, but rather a novel. It wasn’t boring or overwhelmed with facts and names to the point of being unreadable like many non-fiction biographies can become.