Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams

A Life

Book - 2009
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In this vivid new biography of abigail adams, the most illustrious woman of America's founding era, prize-winning historian Woody Holton offers a sweeping reinterpretation of Adams's life story and of women's roles in the creation of the republic.Using previously overlooked documents from a host of archives,Abigail Adamsshows that the wife of the second president of the United States was far more charismatic and influential than historians have realized. One of the finest writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women's education, denounced sex discrimination, and matched wits not only with her brilliant husband, John, but with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. When male Patriots ignored her famous appeal to "Remember the Ladies," she accomplished her own personal declaration of independence: Defying centuries of legislation that assigned married women's property to their husbands, she amassed a fortune in her own name.Adams's life story encapsulates the history of the founding era, for she defined herself in relation to the people she loved or hated (she was never neutral): her mother, whom she considered terribly overprotective; Benjamin Franklin, who schemed to clip her husband's wings; her sisters, whose dependence upon Abigail's charity strained the family bond; James Lovell, her husband's bawdy congressional colleague, who peppered her with innuendo about John's "rigid patriotism"; her financially naïve husband (Abigail earned money in ways the president considered unsavory, took risks that he wished to avoid -- and made him a rich man); Phoebe Abdee, her father's former slave, who lived free in an Adams property but defied Abigail's prohibition against sheltering others even more desperate than herself; and her son John Quincy, who worried her with his tendency to "study out of spight" but who fueled her pride by following his father into public service, rising to the presidency after her death.At once epic and intimate,Abigail Adamssheds light on a complicated, fascinating woman, one of the most beloved figures of American history.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2009.
ISBN: 9781416546801
Characteristics: p. cm.

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Jan 07, 2013

I had trouble putting this book down each night, because the author did such a great job of drawing me into Abigail's life and times. She's painted neither as especially sympathetic nor is she painted as completely bad. (Although she's primarily a likeable character, she comes across as a real person.) I highly recommend it.


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Jun 18, 2014

This is a great book that shows the life of a female during the Revolutionary war, and the founding of our country. I loved learning about her feelings and opinions of the time. It also shows that Great Presidents have great wives at their sides. They do not run the country on their own.


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