Monday, March 17, 2008

Spotlight on John Adams

If you're like me, you were watching the Sunday debut of the first 2 parts (7 all total) of the new HBO mini-series, John Adams.

Seeing as part 3 isn't shown until next Sunday, whatever are we to do now that our appetite has been whetted? Fear not, below are a few reading and viewing suggestions to get you through the long weeks ahead...and this barely scratches the surface on the many reading options available about the American Revolution and the many individuals that make up this rich period of our history.

Books about John Adams, of course, begin with David McCullough's best selling and Pulitzer Prize winning book, John Adams, that the mini-series is based upon. Other biographies worth considering are the two volume set, John Adams by Page Smith and the slim title John Adams by John P. Diggins from The American Presidents series.

Central to understanding John Adams, is his marriage and partnership with his wife, Abagail Adams. Adams was a great letter writer and the book My dearest friend : letters of Abigail and John Adams well documents their mutual love, support and intellectual exchanges.

Other aspects worth reading about include
A magnificent catastrophe : the tumultuous election of 1800, America's first presidential campaign by Edward J. Larson and Adams vs. Jefferson : the tumultuous election of 1800 by John E. Ferling about the tumultuous election of 1800. Do you get the feeling that this election was "tumultuous"?

Some general titles about the founding of our country include
American creation : triumphs and tragedies at the founding of the Republic and
Founding brothers : the revolutionary generation (another Pulitzer Prize winner) both by Joseph J. Ellis; Revolutionary characters : what made the founders different by Gordon S. Wood and 1776 by David McCullough.

DVD watching leads one to a PBS title, John & Abigail Adams; Founding Fathers from A & E; and my favorite film to watch on the Independence Day holiday, the musical, 1776 (who knew John Adams could sing?!)

I'll leave other books and their joy of discovery to you to find on your own....

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