“There is much to praise in this extensively researched book, which is certainly one of the finest biographies of a sadly underrated man. . . . [Kaplan is] a master historian and biographer. . . . If he could read this biography, Adams would be satisfied that he had been fairly dealt with at last.” —Carol Berkin, Washington Post
In this fresh and illuminating biography, Fred Kaplan, the acclaimed author of Lincoln, brings into focus the dramatic life of John Quincy Adams—the little-known and much-misunderstood sixth president of the United States and the first son of John and Abigail Adams—and reveals how Adams' inspiring, progressive vision guided his life and helped shape the course of America.
Kaplan draws on a trove of unpublished archival material to trace Adams' evolution from his childhood during the Revolutionary War to his brilliant years as Secretary of State to his time in the White House and beyond. He examines Adams' myriad sides: the public and private man, the statesman and writer, the wise thinker and passionate advocate, the leading abolitionist and fervent federalist. In these ways, Adams was a predecessor of Lincoln and, later, FDR and Obama. This sweeping biography makes clear how Adams' forward-thinking values, his definition of leadership, and his vision for the nation's future is as much about twenty-first-century America as it is about Adams' own time.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, John Quincy Adams paints a rich portrait of this brilliant leader and his vision for a young nation.