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Title The education of John Adams / R.B. Bernstein.
Author Bernstein, Richard B., 1956- author.
Publication New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
Description 1 online resource (viii, 349 pages) : illustrations
Call # eBOOK
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Preface "Let us dare to read, think, speak and write" -- "Something should be said of my origin": From Braintree to Harvard (1735-1755) -- "It is my Destiny to dig Treasures with my own fingers": Law and Marriage (1755-1765) -- "Britain and America are staring at each other": Revolutionary Advocate (1761-1774) -- "We must for the future stand upon our own Leggs or fall": Continental Congress and Independence (1774-1777) -- "May the Design of my Voyage be answered": Revolutionary Diplomat, Polemicist, and Constitution-Maker (1777-1783) -- "every phenomenon that occurs in the history of government": American Minister and Constitutional Commentator (1783-1788) -- "The most insignificant office": Vice President (1788-1797) -- "May none but wise and honest Men ever rule under this roof": President John Adams (1797-1801) -- "In dogmatizing, laughing, and scolding I find delight": Retirement (1801-1812) -- "What was the Revolution?" The Sage of Quincy (1812-1826) -- Epilogue: "Whether you or I were right Posterity must judge.": The Legacies of John Adams.
Summary "Let us dare to read, think, speak and write...." In 1765, John Adams, a twenty-nine-year-old Massachusetts lawyer, pondered the crisis engulfing Great Britain and its North American colonies. In his view, the dispute's focus was how the British Empire was to be governed under the unwritten English constitution. To address that problem, Adams drafted a pamphlet, "A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law." He likened Britain's abuse of its authority over the colonists to the enslavement of medieval Europe by kings and lords allied with the Roman Catholic Church. Juxtaposing dangers past and present, he warned that a new tyranny was on the horizon, but, he added, the colonists had means to resist it. Knowledge of American rights under the English constitution, he maintained, would bolster American resistance: "This spirit [of liberty], however, without knowledge, would be little better than a brutal rage. Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write." 1 Adams's exhortation to his readers illuminated his life, his part in the American Revolution, and his role in the evolution of American constitutionalism. In the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers fought in different ways and using different means. Adams marshaled words and arguments in the American revolutionary cause. As lawyer, politician, legislator, constitution-maker, diplomat, and executive, he mobilized legal and historical knowledge for the greater good, drawing on the best of the past to save the future: Let every order and degree among the people rouse their attention and animate their resolution. Let them all become attentive to the grounds and principles of government, ecclesiastical and civil. Let us study the law of nature; search into the spirit of the British constitution; read the histories of ancient ages; contemplate the great examples of Greece and Rome; set before us the conduct of our own British ancestors, who have defended for us the inherent rights of mankind against foreign and domestic tyrants and usurpers, against arbitrary kings and cruel priests, in short, against the gates of earth and hell. Adams lived with books at his elbow and a pen in his hand. Insatiably curious about the world around him, he educated himself and sought to teach his contemporaries and posterity what he had learned. These lifelong processes of learning and teaching constitute the education of John Adams. 2 Previous studies of Adams use one of two competing approaches to Adams, neither capturing his life's complexity or significance. Dazzled by his colorful personality, his self-awareness, and his revealing himself on paper, most biographers stress Adams's character, some reducing his constitutional and political advocacy and analysis to mere products of his internal conflicts. 3 The competing biographical school spotlights him as a constitutional and political thinker, rooted in an intellectual tradition extending from Greece and Rome to the Enlightenment - but pushing his nonpolitical life into the background.4 Deciding between character without ideas (reducing Adams to an idiosyncratic volcano but ignoring his intellectual depth) and ideas without character (seeing Adams as a learned intellectual but shortchanging his humanity) is a false choice. Juxtaposing his ideas with his character, this book sets him within intersecting contexts - personal, regional, lawyerly, political, and intellectual - that shaped his vision of the world and of his place in it. 5 Setting Adams in context deepens our understanding of his life's personal dimension. Adams's resentments, explosions of temper, and paroxysms of vanity become more comprehensible when we grasp why he felt and expressed himself that way. His outbursts, voicing his sense of his virtues and failings, had roots in and resonated with his intellectual and cultural contexts. Given, for example, that he and his contemporaries saw fame as this world's just reward for service to the public good, and that his sense of fame resonated with the moral heritage of his Calvinist roots, he had reasons to take personally efforts to denigrate his labors. Those seeking to deny him fame, he thought, were trying to take away what he had earned. By denigrating him, they rejected the worth of his labors and his arguments. 6 His battles with Benjamin Franklin, with Alexander Hamilton, and with Thomas Jefferson were clashes of personality and of principled intellectual disputes about political theory and practice."-- Provided by publisher.
Note Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on May 01, 2020).
Subject Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1775-1783.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1809.
Adams, John, 1735-1826. (OCoLC)fst00042531
Politics and government. (OCoLC)fst01919741
Presidents. (OCoLC)fst01075723
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
1775-1809
Genre Biographies. (OCoLC)fst01919896
Electronic books.
Addl. Author OverDrive, Inc., distributor.
Related To Print version: Bernstein, Richard B., 1956- The Education of John Adams New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2020. 9780199740239 (DLC) 2019042398
ISBN 9780197502716 electronic book
0197502717 electronic book
0197502725 electronic book
9780197502723 (electronic bk.)

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