Lauren B: John Adams

First Family: John and Abigail Adams, by Joseph Ellis

Setting out to read a biography on every president, I know that I’m pretty much reading a few dozen books about old, white men. How awesome was it, only my second book in, to read one that focused so much on the woman at the old white man’s side?!? I LOVED the focus on Abigail Adams in this book. Ellis is one of my favorite historical non-fiction authors, and he did not disappoint. He was able to clearly show how dependent both John and Abigail were on each other throughout everything, and it put a personal spin on the founding of our country that I haven’t read in a lot of other non-fiction from the era.

My only complaint was the lack of detail in this book. It was very short, and while I completely understand that the focus was on the history through the lens of the couple’s relationship, I felt like I was missing things. I would have loved more detail on John’s time abroad (the second time), as well as his time during the presidency.

Also, I must confess that having seen the John Adams HBO miniseries before reading this book, I completely pictured Paul Giamatti the whole time. 🙂

Original Review

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