“John Adams” is the 2001 narrative biography of our nation’s second president, written by author and historian David McCullough. Of the seven John Adams biographies in my library, McCullough’s “John Adams” is the most popular by an enormous margin, and is widely considered one of the best presidential biographies ever written. Among many other accolades, the book received a 2002 Pulitzer Prize.
As my journey through the best presidential biographies swept me from Washington to Adams, I looked forward to this book with great anticipation. Few books in my library have received as many outstanding reviews as this biography. With all but angels singing the book’s praises, I was only slightly worried about reports of the author’s overly-generous treatment of Adams. And in the back of my mind, I harbored some suspicion that Adams may not have supplied history much in the way of interesting raw material.
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