Download First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis PDF

By Joseph J. Ellis

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, best-selling writer of Founding Brothers and His Excellency brings America’s preeminent first couple to existence in a relocating and illuminating narrative that sweeps during the American Revolution and the republic’s tenuous early years.

John and Abigail Adams left an indelible and remarkably preserved portrait in their lives jointly of their own correspondence: either Adamses have been prolific letter writers (although John conceded that Abigail was once in actual fact the extra talented of the two), and through the years they exchanged greater than twelve hundred letters. Joseph J. Ellis distills this remarkable and unsurpassed checklist to provide us an account either intimate and panoramic; half biography, half political heritage, and half love story.

Ellis describes the 1st assembly among the 2 as inauspicious—John was once twenty-four, Abigail simply fifteen, and every was once totally unimpressed with the opposite. yet they quickly all started a passionate correspondence that led to their marriage 5 years later.

Over the following a long time, the couple have been separated approximately up to they have been jointly. John’s political occupation took him first to Philadelphia, the place he turned the boldest recommend for the measures that might result in the assertion of Independence. but in an effort to attend the second one Continental Congress, he left his spouse and youngsters in the course of the struggle quarter that had through then engulfed Massachusetts. Later he was once despatched to Paris, the place he served as a minister to the courtroom of France along Benjamin Franklin. those years aside under pressure the Adamses’ union nearly past what it could possibly endure: Abigail grew lonely, whereas the Adams youngsters suffered from their father’s absence.

John was once elected the nation’s first vice chairman, yet by the point of his reelection, Abigail’s well-being avoided her from becoming a member of him in Philadelphia, the intervening time capital. She doubtless had extra reservations approximately relocating to the swamp at the Potomac while John grew to become president, even though this time he persuaded her. President Adams inherited a vulnerable and bitterly divided kingdom from George Washington. The political scenario was once perilous at most sensible, and he wanted his closest consultant via his aspect: “I can do nothing,” John informed Abigail after his election, “without you.”

In Ellis’s wealthy and remarkable new background, John and Abigail’s dating unfolds within the context of America’s beginning as a country.

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It also echoed into subsequent boomlets of children as it reached reproductive age—and gave rise to talk of “tidal waves” of population derived from the original bulge. One peculiar feature of demographic goats is that their ingestion sometimes follows a period of starvation and is sometimes followed by another one; the birth rate of the 1950s and 1960s is again an example, following the small cohorts of he depression years, and experiencing the relative shrinkage afterward. The effect was a period of underdemand, followed by a massive growth, followed by a period of excess capacity and then slower growth if not stagnation in the 1970s.

Internationalization of disciplines only extends the problem, as do opportunities for rapid electronic communication outside the community and nation. What university community remains is “a whole series of communities” (Kerr 1963: 1), and perhaps a residual general community that is largely imagined or supposed, one proclaimed on ceremonial occasions by campus leaders and governing boards, at athletic events, and in times of political crisis. If I may end this chapter on a personal, somewhat ironic note, I confess that I often feel that my university is a community, that I am a member of it, and that I love it as a community.

Internationalization of disciplines only extends the problem, as do opportunities for rapid electronic communication outside the community and nation. What university community remains is “a whole series of communities” (Kerr 1963: 1), and perhaps a residual general community that is largely imagined or supposed, one proclaimed on ceremonial occasions by campus leaders and governing boards, at athletic events, and in times of political crisis. If I may end this chapter on a personal, somewhat ironic note, I confess that I often feel that my university is a community, that I am a member of it, and that I love it as a community.

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