A Brief Change of Subject

I read avidly and this year, I struck an interest in bios of presidents and long-gone authors. I used to avoid biographies, because it seems like most authors just want to share their opinion of someone instead of give an honest account of so-and-so’s life and what so-and-so accomplished (or tried). David McCullough doesn’t do that. His writings are colorful and story-like, yet he’s very meticulous in his attention to detail and historical accuracy. Never mind what he thinks about the person, because he won’t tell you.

John Adams. As a girl, I think all I ever knew about John Adams was that he was the second president of the United States, and that his son, John Quincy Adams followed in his footsteps and became the sixth president. (I hated History–too many dates to memorize). He didn’t sound at all like an interesting person in my history textbooks, but an extraordinary biography written by David McCullough quickly changed my mind.

The book has 12 chapters, but there are 650 pages, and you won’t hear of Adams’s presidency until you’re more than half-way through the whopping thing. Most of what Adams did for the cause of our country actually happened before he became president. That told me a lot about his character, and I thought it all quite fascinating.

It took me five months to read John Adams from cover to cover, and yet it seems too soon to part from it. What’s next? Well…

  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearnes Goodwin
  • Truman, David McCullough
  • Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt, David McCullough
  • Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters, and Journals, Ednah Cheney
  • The Reagon Diaries, Ronald Reagon

The list will never end.




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