Every now and again I come across a book that I have no expectations for and am blown away. This was one of those books. I loved every minute I spent with this book and learned more about early American history from this read than any book I can remember in a long time.
This biography of John Quincy Adams is simply outstanding. The author does a fabulous job weaving the story of early America with the life of Adams (who was really a central part of the history of the country from a very young age). I felt the author was very fair in his assessments of Adams and his decisions, and he clearly shows how Adams was more or less a failure as a husband and in many ways as a father. However, his dedication to his country and his principles are second to none and as a reader, you can't help but come away impressed and in awe.
Adams did not accomplish very much as President, but as Secretary of State and as a member of the House in his post-presidency, Adams was a key figure in our country's history. The decades of the 1810s through the 1830s are probably not as well known by most students of history as the Revolutionary Period or the years leading up to the Civil War, but the events of those years helped shape the country and are essential to have a deep understanding of our history. This book covers all of it in detail but with inspired writing. Highly recommended.