John Adams

The book by David Mccullough may be just slightly better than the epic mini-series, which was on HBO two or three years ago and nothing short of awesome. Paul Giamatti might have been born to play John Adams while Laura Linney delivered as always in her portrayal of Mrs. Adams.

Similar to the series, the book left me with rich illustrations of our history and of the people who helped shape it. Unlike the series, the book delves into Adams’ adolescence and his first meeting Abigail. His presidency is also given such detail that I almost feel as though I can account for each day therein.

What I found particularly interesting was the friendship between Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and how it changed throughout their lives and political careers. I thought about our elected leaders today, and whether there is between any two of them a relationship that comes anywhere close to that of the two founders–whether there are any that are so intimate and treasured, any that have been so influenced by politics or that will be studied as much by future historians.

It has had me thinking increasingly about the advantages and sheer beauties of the written word. It strikes me with a strange sense of dissatisfaction to know that we will instead rely on old television reels than on written accounts (letters and diaries) when studying and referring to history. What would Adams, with his deep affection for books and for writing down his ever-flowing thoughts, think of such a discipline. Would he look down upon it? Or would he, more than likely like Jefferson, be too caught up in the wonder of changing and innovative technologies to really notice or care?

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