Apostle McgovernGuestDecember 7, 2020 at 12:56 amPost count: 2526
John Quincy Adams
A Public Life, a Private Life
by Paul C. Nagel
- Release date: September 30, 1997
- Genres: biography, history, presidents, politics, american
- Awards: Minnesota Book Award for Autobiography & Biography (1998)
- Characters: John Quincy Adams
- Publisher: Knopf
- Format: hardcover, 432 pages
- Language: english
- ISBN: 9780679404446 (0679404449)
- Author: Paul C. Nagel
About The Book
Nagel probes deeply into the psyche of this cantankerous, misanthropic, erudite, hardworking son of a former president whose remarkable career spanned many offices: minister to Holland, Russia, and England, U.S. senator, secretary of state, president of the United States (1825-1829), and, finally, U.S. representative (the only ex-president to serve in the House). On the basis of a thorough study of Adams’ seventy-year diary among a host of other documents, the author gives us a richer account than we have yet had of JQAs life — his passionate marriage to Louisa Johnson, his personal tragedies (two sons lost to alcoholism), his brilliant diplomacy, his recurring depression, his exasperating behavior — and shows us why in the end, only Abraham Lincoln’s death evoked a greater outpouring of national sorrow in nineteenth-century America. We come to see how much Adams disliked politics and hoped for more from life than high office; how he sought distinction in literary and scientific endeavors, and drew his greatest pleasure from being a poet, critic, translator, essayist, botanist, and professor of oratory at Harvard; how tension between the public and private Adams vexed his life; and how his frustrations kept him masked and aloof (and unpopular).
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