Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends. As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation. Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents Washington and Jefferson, who bracketed his tenure in office, Adams emerges from McCullough's brilliant biography as a truly heroic figure--not only for his significant role in the American Revolution but also for maintaining his personal integrity in its strife-filled aftermath. McCullough spends much of his narrative examining the troubled friendship between Adams and Jefferson, who had in common a love for books and ideas but differed on almost every other imaginable point. Reading his pages, it is easy to imagine the two as alter egos. (Strangely, both died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.) But McCullough also considers Adams in his own light, and the portrait that emerges is altogether fascinating. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Liberty's Kids 6 DVD Set: 40 Episodes. (From PBS Video.) Embark on a historical journey through America's founding days and acquaint students with the famous faces and explosive events of the Revolutionary War era. Documenting the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's midnight ride, and the grueling war winter at Valley Forge and including portraits of George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and Benjamin Franklin, this animated and informative series will teach students the fundamentals of early American history and expose them to the impact of democracy on the founding of the nation.
Longtime Village Voice cartoonist Mack has taken his talent for rendering the frenzied variety of life in New York City and produced a cheerful and informative history of the American Revolution. Delightfully illustrated in his distinctive minimalist cartoon style, Mack's first original book-length effort puts the "real life" back into our revolutionary roots, providing capsule portraits of the prominent activists of the time, along with their many idiosyncracies, comic flaws and strategic bungling. He provides amusing sketches of early anti-British activists like James Otis and Sam Adams, notes the nature of the Enlightenment and New England Puritanism and outlines the many hated tax laws that preceded the Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War. Just as important, he depicts the ongoing clashes between the colonial aristocracy, new merchant classes, urban laborers and farmers over the country's developing economy. He also profiles the important but restricted roles of African slaves and freemen and women in the war, as well as the formidable presence of Native American nations. Ending with the ratification of the Constitution, Mack celebrates the document while pointing to its flaws-the continuance of slavery, destruction of native cultures and lack of rights for women and whites without property.
Chester Comix are written and drawn by Bentley Boyd, a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in History and Literature. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, and has been a professional cartoonist for 15 years. Boyd is a passionate advocate for using the graphic novel format to teach non-fiction material to today's visual learners.
Dover Coloring Books That Complement All Things John Adams
A tech teacher's attempt to gather and share multimedia and graphically appealing resources to complement the subject of John Adams and his times. The John Adams' HBO special will certainly provide new content. I'll also post other materials I've created and posted on other sites that may still be relevant. This may include linked slide shows, primary sources, lesson templates, graphic organizers, maps, music and book recommendations.
The long-awaited "John Adams" miniseries has a premiere date at HBO. The seven-part miniseries will debut Sunday, March 16, a week after the series finale of "The Wire." Parts one and two will air back-to-back, with subsequent installments debuting on each of the next five Sundays. Based on David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, the miniseries stars Paul Giamatti ("Sideways," "Cinderella Man") as the second president of the United States and Laura Linney ("The Savages," "The Squid and the Whale") as his wife, Abigail. It follows Adams' life for 50 years, from his leadership in the independence movement through the early days of the republic and his time as president. "This miniseries will bring to life that crucial founding time for our country in a way nothing else ever has," McCullough says. "It isn't a lesson, it's a powerful human drama -- one of the most important in all history. The audience will feel the human reality of what happened and all that those caught up in the struggle went through." "John Adams" also stars Stephen Dillane ("The Hours") as Thomas Jefferson, Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton") as Benjamin Franklin, Danny Huston ("Children of Men") as Samuel Adams, David Morse ("House," "Disturbia") as George Washington, Sarah Polley ("Away From Her") as Nabby Adams and Rufus Sewell ("The Illusionist") as Alexander Hamilton. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, executive producers of "Band of Brothers," perform the same duties on "John Adams." Kirk Ellis ("Into the West") wrote the teleplay, and Tom Hooper ("Elizabeth I," "Longford") directs.
Relying heavily on the extraordinary correspondence between the second president and his wife, this joint biography sheds light not only on the characters of two remarkable people, but also on the tumultuous times through which they lived. John and Abigail Adams played a critical role in many of the pivotal events of their era: he was a vociferous participant at the Continental Congress; she was an important eye-witness reporter during the Siege of Boston; he was an important war-time emissary to France. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE reminds us that the Founding Fathers - and Mothers - were not men and women of marble following a script that made independence and American national success a pre-ordained conclusion, but rather real, flawed, multi-dimensional people, who had no idea how things would turn out.