Adams on Adams is an autobiographical account of an extraordinary journey. Drawing from Adamss own letters, diaries, notes, and autobiographies, editor Paul M. Zall creates a fresh portrait of the nations second president. Adamss words reveal how a man lacking the advantages of money, connections, class, or patronage promoted American independence at home and abroad. Zall focuses on how the presidents inner strengths, although at times conflicting with his sense of inferiority and his obsession with fame, helped win self-rule for America and national respect abroad.
Adamss writings are passionate and persistent; according toThomas Jefferson, Adams was "always an honest man, often a great onebut sometimes absolutely mad." His abrasive personality earned him the name "The Last Angry Man." Despite this, Adams achieved respect, diplomatic recognition, and peace for an emerging nation, as well as credit for the countrys survival during its difficult early years. Although he believed the voice of the people was as sacred as the voice of God, Adams learned through experience that Americans could be "the silliest peopleunder Heaven," and sometimes he counted himself among them.
As president, Adams took pride in establishing a navy whose presence ensured stability and helped in peace negotiations with Native Americans and foreign countries. After he retired, Adamsspent a quarter-century writing memoirs, letters, and articles in newspapers defending himself against being labeled an "aristocrat" or "monarchist" for insisting on a strong, well-balanced government as the best defense against the self-delusions of blind ambition or personal gratification.
Adams on Adams is a new look at one of Americas most famous presidents as the determined leader follows his passions for America and her future. Adamss feisty temperament, combined with his conversational style of writing, depicts a man who lived and died by his word.