First Family – Abigail & John Adams by Joseph Ellis

My second Joseph Ellis, I’ve come to enjoy his ‘to the point’, ‘no frills’ style of writing. Though McCullough’s “John Adams”, which is cited by Ellis, provides a more in depth and detailed version of much of the same material, Ellis tells it in fewer words, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

First Family: Abigail and John AdamsFirst Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is amazing that the correspondence between husband and wife has turned into such a valuable national treasure. Obviously, John Adams was aware of the fact, and who knows how much he tailored his letters for the sake of posterity, nevertheless, it is mind-boggling how the 2 maintained their unconditional love for each other from opposite sides of the globe for so long. In this day and age, with your partner merely a speed-dial away no matter how physically far apart you may be, it would be challenging to keep a relationship intact for so long at such a distance.

My second Ellis read, I appreciate his ‘no nonsense’ style of writing. He doesn’t fluff up the account merely to fill pages, he seems to be a true scholar. After reading McCullough’s rendition of John Adams, I assumed that it would be a tough act to follow, though I enjoyed Ellis’s account for the very reason stated above.

Perhaps, John and Abigail are finally getting the credit they so anticipated and truly deserve.

View all my reviews

Steve D.


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