During the many years that they were separated by the perils of the American Revolution, John and Abigail Adams exchanged hundreds of letters. Writing to each other of public events and private feelings, loyalty and love, revolution and parenting, they wove a tapestry of correspondence that has become a cherished part of American history and literature.
With Abigail and John Adams, historian G. J. Barker-Benfield mines those familiar letters to a new purpose: teasing out the ways in which they reflected—and helped transform—a language of sensibility, inherited from Britain but, amid the revolutionary fervor, becoming Americanized. Sensibility—a heightened moral consciousness of feeling, rooted in the theories of such thinkers as Descartes, Locke, and Adam Smith and including a “moral sense” akin to the physical senses—threads throughout these letters. As Barker-Benfield makes clear, sensibility was the fertile, humanizing ground on which the Adamses not only founded their marriage, but also the “abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity” they and their contemporaries hoped to plant at the heart of the new nation. Bringing together their correspondence with a wealth of fascinating detail about life and thought, courtship and sex, gender and parenting, and class and politics in the revolutionary generation and beyond, Abigail and John Adams draws a lively, convincing portrait of a marriage endangered by separation, yet surviving by the same ideas and idealism that drove the revolution itself.
A feast of ideas that never neglects the real lives of the man and woman at its center, Abigail and John Adams takes readers into the heart of an unforgettable union in order to illuminate the first days of our nation—and explore our earliest understandings of what it might mean to be an American.
How Paine’s Common Sense and Adams’s Thoughts on Government shaped our modern political institutions
Initially admiring Thomas Paine’s efforts for independence, John Adams nevertheless was rattled by the political philosophy of Common Sense and responded to it by publishing his Thoughts on Government to counteract Paine’s proposals, which Adams said were far too “democratical.” Although John Adams is given credit for his substantive contributions to American constitutionalism, especially his notions of separation of powers, checks and balances, and representation, in John Adams vs Thomas Paine: Rival Plans for the Early Republic, historian Jett B. Conner makes the case that Thomas Paine was more than just a revolutionary figure who spurred Americans toward declaring independence. Common Sense made important contributions to American constitutional thought, too, particularly its call for more equal representation, popular sovereignty, a constitutional convention, and a federal system of governance with a strong central government. The book explores how the two rivals helped shape America’s first constitutions—the Articles of Confederation and those of several states— and how they continued contributing to American political thought as it developed during the so-called “critical period” between the adoption of the Articles of Confederation and the start of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. It also focuses on the creation of our democratic republic and compares Paine’s and Adams’s approaches to structuring constitutions to ensure free government while guarding against abuses of power and the excesses of democratic majorities. An abridged version of Common Sense and the short but complete Thoughts on Government are included in an appendix for easy reader reference.
Reviews of this book: one of the major unpublished diaries of our history --Henry Steele Commager, Book Week
Reviews of this book: The Donald have done a superlative job.Though meticulous and learned, they have not crossed the line to pedantry. Their annotation of the text is discrimination. We are given all-but not more than all-the information we need; our way is smoothed, not choked . . .the style of the notes is literate without being 'fancy', intelligent without being'clever'. The Donalds have tried to serve the diary, not themselves. Finally, there is the precise, complete index, which, in providing additional information on the dramatispersonae, is itself a considerable scholarly achievement
''The Charles Francis Adams diary an an immnsely important record of 19th-centuryAmerica, has found editors worthy of it --Martin B. Duberman, New York Times Book Review
Reviews of this book: These diaries deal '' with the early years when Charles Francis was a none-too-serious student at Harvard, whe he was leisuely reading law in the office of Daniel Webster, and when he was painfully courting Abigail Brooks . . .The value of these volumes lies . . .in the light the throw on th inner and outer factors which go into the making of another Adams.'' --Avery Craven, Chicago Tribune
In mid-March 1781 John Adams received his commission and instructions as minister to the Netherlands and embarked on the boldest initiative of his diplomatic career. Disappointed by the lack of interest shown by Dutch investors in his efforts to raise a loan for the United States, Adams changed his tactics, and in a memorial made a forthright appeal to the States General of the Netherlands for immediate recognition of the United States. Published in Dutch, English, and French, it offered all of Europe a radical vision of the ordinary citizen's role in determining political events. In this volume, for the first time, the circumstances and reasoning behind Adams's bold moves in the spring of 1781 are presented in full.
In July the French court summoned Adams, the only American in Europe empowered to negotiate an Anglo-American peace, to Paris for consultations regarding an offer made by Austria and Russia to mediate the Anglo-French war. In his correspondence with France's foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes, Adams passionately insisted that the United States was fully and unambiguously independent and sovereign and must be recognized as such by Great Britain before any negotiations took place. This volume shows John Adams to be a determined and resourceful diplomat, unafraid to go beyond the bounds of traditional diplomacy to implement his vision of American foreign policy.
Table of Contents:
Descriptive List of Illustrations
Introduction 1. Public Diplomacy at the Hague 2. John Adams and His Letterbooks 3. Notes on Editorial Method
Acknowledgments Guide to Editorial Apparatus 1. Textual Devices 2. Adams Family Code Names 3. Descriptive Symbols 4. Location Symbols 5. Other Abbreviations and Conventional Terms 6. Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited
Papers of John Adams, January-September 1781 Appendix: List of Omitted Documents Index
Reviews of this book: The heart of the matter, quite simply, is John Adams--fussing, fuming, stretching his mind to its widest effort, using his eyes to detect everything visible and supposable about the human comedy and tragedy of which he is an event making part. --Adrienne Koch, New York Times Book Review
Reviews of this book: The high quality of production that readers have come to expect from The Adams Papers has been maintained by the Belknap Press. The editors are to he congratulated for so capably continuing publication of this comprehensive and useful documentary edition. --Richard Middleton, William and Mary Quarterly
Reviews of this book: Mr. Butterfield brought to the immense project the high scholarly and literary standards that have distinguished it to this day, as publication of the Papers continues in one splendid volume after another. --David McCullough, John Adams
Reviews of this book: The modern craft of documentary editing--which these superb volumes illustrate at its best--is facing a crisis of funding and of confidence. Volumes such as these and the cumulative insight that they give us as scholars and as a people into the origins of our national institutions are a powerful argument for continuing to invest in the scholarship that produces them. --Constance B. Schulz, Journal of Southern History
Reviews of this book: In the Papers of John Adams the superb standard of editorial scholarship that has been the hallmark of the Adams papers remains evident. It is all there: scrupulous care in presenting the texts; thorough, judicious, and insightful annotation; and the detailed analytic system of indexing that makes it possible to consult the published Adams papers so efficiently...As a result, the new volumes interlock closely with the old so as to enhance the utility of each part of the entire group. --Richard D. Brown, American Historical Review
Adams, with Franklin and Jefferson, formed a joint commission to conclude commercial treaties with the nations of Europe and North Africa. As minister to the Netherlands he raised a new Dutch loan to save America from financial ruin. For the first time since 1778, Adams was no longer engaged in “militia diplomacy.”
Volume 18 of the Papers of John Adams chronicles John Adams’ tenure as minister to Great Britain and his joint commission, with Jefferson, to negotiate treaties with Europe and North Africa. Adams found it impossible to do “any Thing Satisfactory” with Britain, and the volume ends with his decision to resign his posts.
Reviews of this book: Taken together with the celebrated Diary and Autobiography, The Earliest Diary, the Adams Family Correspondence, and The Legal Papers of John Adams, they constitute as revealing and complete a documentation of the development, both personal and public, of a successful revolutionist as modern history affords...In [these letters] the writer bequeathed to posterity a means of sensing some of the excitement, the importance, the fears, the apprehensions of the decade in which 'the real American revolution' was taking place--in short, the flavor of the times. --Carl Bridenbaugh, Times Literary Supplement
The 2002 revelation that George Washington kept slaves in his executive mansion at Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park in the 1790s prompted an eight-year controversy about the role of slavery in America's commemorative landscape. When the President's House installation opened in 2010, it became the first federal property to feature a slave memorial.
In Upon the Ruins of Liberty, Roger Aden offers a compelling account that explores the development of this important historic site and how history, space, and public memory intersected with contemporary racial politics. Aden constructs this engrossing tale by drawing on archival material and interviews with principal figures in the controversy-including historian Ed Lawler, site activist Michael Coard, and site designer Emanuel Kelly.
Upon the Ruins of Liberty chronicles the politically-charged efforts to create a fitting tribute to the place where George Washington (and later, John Adams) shaped the presidency while denying freedom to the nine enslaved Africans in his household. From design to execution, the plans prompted advocates to embrace stories informed by race, and address difficulties that included how to handle the results of the site excavation. As such, this landmark project raised concerns and provided lessons about the role of public memory and how places are made to shape the nation's identity.
"Prepared by a psychologist who works with deaf students and their
families, You and Your Deaf Child is handy for advice as different
"This self-instructional manual for parents of deaf or hard of
hearing children provides practical information and techniques for
understanding and dealing with hearing loss."
--Exceptional Child Education Resources
"It will be invaluable to the parents of children with newly
diagnosed hearing loss."
--Ear and Hearing
You and Your Deaf Child is a guide for parents of deaf or hard of
hearing children that explores how parents and their children interact.
It examines the special impact of having a deaf child in the family.
Eleven chapters focus on such topics as feelings about hearing
loss, the importance of communication in the family, and effective
behavior management. Many chapters contain practice activities and
questions to help parents retain skills taught in the chapter and check
their grasp of the material. Four appendices provide references, general
resources, and guidelines for evaluating educational programs.
Once parents have worked through You and Your Deaf Child, this
friendly guide can be referred to for specific information and advice as
different situations arise.
John W. Adams is a psychologist at St. Mary's School for the Deaf
and also at The Family Center of Western New York, both in Buffalo, NY.