John Adams

He was honest, witty, loyal, brilliant, and indefatigable.  He was also pompous, arrogant, insecure, petty, and cranky.  He probably did more than anyone else to persuade Congress to declare American independence, but he did so at the cost of alienating almost every one of his colleagues.  He was jealous of George Washington, distrusted Benjamin Franklin, despised Alexander Hamilton, and alternately loved and loathed Thomas Jefferson.  He was a loving husband who spent years apart from his wife, and as a father left a great deal to be desired.  He was a man of contradictions, but was always in the thick of the action during the first years of the American nation.  This book almost singlehandedly revived John Adams’s historical reputation, and is already considered a classic.

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