I knew when I picked up this book that it would be a good read. Having learned about the author and already read a highly popular recent publication (1776) I hoped I would find this biography as enjoyable.
I was not disappointed.
In my senior year of college as a history major I took a class on Historical Writing...the things to do and not to do. David McCullough manages to write an enjoyable read while being historically accurate and delicately weaving in primary sources (things written at the time) without boring the reader.
Since I was a child I knew that John Adams was the second president of the US, kind of chubby, served only one term and had a son that did the same. To be honest, Adams' physical appearance was sort of a turn off to learning any more about him. How foolish I was.
McCullough paints a realistic picture. Emerging from this book I feel like I know John Adams as a person. To be perfectly honest I have even more admiration for him now than his contemporary Thomas Jefferson. I learned about Adams and his wife along with his entire family without being concerned about the fact that this man (and his wife) was rather stout. That's the amazing thing about words.
The one thing I wish that McCullough would have elaborated on is John Adams' flurry of appointees during the lame duck period of his presidency. McCullough mentions that Adams' prudence of the beginning of his term contrasted with these appointments but doesn't attempt to explain them or mention that there is no primary informaiton on Adams' reasoning behidn this.
I can't wait until I read another of McCullough's books.