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Read Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams ePub ↠ Paperback ↠ ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☀ Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams Author Joseph J. Ellis – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk A fresh look at this astute likably uirky statesman by the author of the PulitzA fresh look at this astute likably uirky statesman by the author of the Pulitzer Award winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award winning American SphinxThe most lovable and most laughable the warmest and possibly the “Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams” by Joseph J Ellis was published in 1993 Though it remains a relatively well read title on our second president in terms of sheer popularity and acclaim it has been overshadowed by recent John Adams biographies Of the modern books on Adams in my library everything since Page Smith’s series “Passionate Sage” is one of the oldest and seemingly the most uniueSomewhat to my surprise “Passionate Sage” is not actually a biography at all Instead it is a character analysis of John Adams and at times almost as much a book of philosophy as of history That fact alone makes it no or less interesting to me than the traditional Adams biographies I’m reading but does make it difficult to directly compare this work to the othersEllis’ key thesis is uickly proposed that John Adams at least as of the date of publication remains one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated of American’s Founding Fathers In defending this thesis Ellis uses his book to examine explore dissect analyze and penetrate the character of Adams principally through his writings – to his wife Abigail with his son John uincy with Thomas Jefferson during his retirement years and with multitudes of others Also used as evidence are his publications such as his Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America published in three parts in 1787 and his Thoughts on Governments which he wrote in 1776The first third or so of the book is essentially a compendium of the author’s conclusions on Adams – almost a summary I would expect to find at the end of a traditional biography This portion of the book often presumes a degree of familiarity with Adams which some readers may not possess Mitigating this somewhat is the fact that the author’s line of reasoning is laid before the reader in significant detail with reference back to primary sourcesThe mid section of the book was a thoughtful but often dry and overly academic discourse on Adams’ political philosophies as revealed through his “retirement years” letters with Thomas Jefferson written between 1812 and 1826 when they both died and his correspondence with and reaction to John Taylor who in 1814 wrote a comprehensive critiue of Adams’ three volume Defence work nearly thirty years earlier Though uite interesting at times this portion of his book often leaves the casual reader bogged down in detail which seems unnecessary to all but the doctoral level history or philosophy studentThe remainder of the book covers the last decade or so of John Adams’ life focusing particularly on his political philosophies and core principles as evidenced by his letters to son John uincy and daughter in law Louisa Catherine who in later years almost seemed to serve as a surrogate Abigail before her death in 1818 she had been John’s most reliable correspondentOverall “Passionate Sage” proves to be a successful thought provoking analysis of John Adams published a decade before the better known McCullough book and some fifteen years before the HBO mini series which popularized this early American hero Though it is not a biography of Adams at its core it is an interesting and convincing book Unfortunately it often wandered a bit within chapters and explored tangents with unnecessary fervor In addition I often had the sense when reading this book of being in class taking notes furiously while listening to a lecturing professor hoping for everything to become clear in the end And in the end the core message is clear but the journey was not carefree or unobstructedFor the serious student of political philosophy or someone wishing to finely calibrate Adam’s political perspectives against those of his peers ”Passionate Sage” is a well argued and thorough analysis For its purpose it is without a doubt an excellent book But for the casual reader of history or someone seeking a good introduction to the life and times of John Adams there are several better places to begin the journeyOverall rating 3¾ stars

Joseph J. Ellis ☆ Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams reader

Wisest of the founding fathers John Adams knew himself as few men do and preserved his knowledge in a voluminous correspondence that still vibrates Ellis has used it with great skill and perception not only to bring us the man w It is always good to find a well written well researched book detailing the history of the Founding Fathers and what they were like Far from icons of perfection they were people of flaws and contradictions Ellis brings this out for Adams but shows us the humanity thoroughly We get a sense of the prickly man behind the legend who fought with so many of his compatriots But the effort he put forth gave us a great nation for many years A wonderful addition to our history lessons

doc á Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John Adams ☆ Joseph J. Ellis

Passionate Sage The Character and Legacy of John AdamsArts and all but importantly to reveal his extraordinary insights into the problems confronting the founders that resonate today in the republic they created Edmund S Morgan Sterling Professor of History Emeritus Yale University For some time I avoided picking up this book because I was so disappointed with Ellis’ treatment of Jefferson in American Sphinx and perhaps I was still impressed with McCullough’s treatment of Adams in his masterful biography But I finally summoned up the energy to tackle Passionate Sage—and I’m glad I didEllis’ focus in this biography is on Adams’ later years from the time he left presidential office until the time of his death Substantial time is spent examining the mercurial Adams who stood in sharp relief to his subdued compatriots One of Ellis’ excellent observations is that Adams felt before he thought And it was this passionate temperament that led him to be both revolutionary and also less influential than his contemporariesThis biography does much to rehabilitate the image of Adams Instead of the Adams of aristocracy and high Federalism we are presented with Adams the pre modern Classicist Adams’ desire to elevate caution over progress morality over money and ideal leaders over mob rule are all explained in a fresh and stimulating way—particularly coming to a surface in the Jefferson Adams letters Unlike Jefferson American Sphinx Ellis’ treatment of Adams involves both interesting biographical information as well as thorough engagement with Adams’ thought While Ellis is uick to caution readers not to read too much of the current debates into the modern classical debate of Jefferson and Adams the touchstones of the debate seem far clearer and applicable than in the other volume I would highly recommend this biography to anyone interested in early American history It would be worth pairing this biography with McCullough’s work in order to get a bigger picture of the entire life of this enigmatic Founding Father

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