Friday, June 24, 2011

John Adams- Final Post

I did not post faithfully every week because I often fell behind with the reading but I am very happy to say that I did finish in time to join in the last discussion!

Most everyone doing the Read-Along has agreed that this is a fantastic book, McCullough is masterful and that this should be required reading. I am in complete agreement. I not only learned so much from reading this, I felt as though I went back in time. I now find myself looking around my small town and noticing when government buildings went up and thinking about what was going on at the time, how long was it before the First Continental Congress, where was Adams at the time? London, Paris, Amsterdam?

The last chapter wrapped things up for us. As it came to a conclusion we see Adams the grandfather, presiding over his family from his farm in Quincy,keeping abreast of the times but no longer getting too fired up. I was happy he lived to see John Quincy become president, Incredibily shocked that he and Jefferson died on the same day and it was the 4th of July!

A few lasting impressions and ideas:
1. I needed to know why Hamilton and Burr duelled. So I looked it up and essentially it was because Burr found out that Hamilton was going around saying he had a low opinion of Burr. Is that right? It just seems so trivial. If that were the case, then Adams should have duelled at least 1/2 of congress.
2. I feel about Jefferson as Abigail did- attached to the man but not able to esteem him. He criticized Adams, was always writing harsh things to his clique-y friend Madison, and then when called out on it, he acted all innocent. He never owned up to all of his intriguing. And I feel he owed more loyalty to Adams. He all but lived with them for awhile when first in Europe. The entire Adams family treated him like one of the family.
3. Does anyone else find it odd that Washington then directed the army under Adams? I can't imagine one of our recent presidents doing anything of the sort. I suppose they were different times.

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