John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life



John Quincy Adams Was Raised, Educated, And Groomed To Be President, Following In The Footsteps Of His Father, John At Fourteen He Was Secretary To The Minister To Russia And, Later, Was Himself Minister To The Netherlands And Prussia He Was US Senator, Secretary Of State, And Then President For One Ill Fated Term His Private Life Showed A Parallel Descent He Was A Poet, Writer, Critic, And Professor Of Oratory At Harvard He Married A Talented And Engaging Southerner, But Two Of His Three Sons Were Disappointments This Polymath And Troubled Man, Caught Up In Both A Democratic Age Not To His Understanding And The Furies Of Passion, Was An American Lion In WinterJohn Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life book, this is one of the most wanted Paul C. Nagel author readers around the world.

[Epub] ↠ John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life Author Paul C. Nagel – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 466 pages
  • John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life
  • Paul C. Nagel
  • English
  • 12 April 2019
  • 0674479408

10 thoughts on “John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life

  1. says:

    If I were John Quincy Adams oft referred to as JQA , much of this review would likely consist of chastising myself for not having the discipline or talent to write a better review I mean, this was a guy who wasseriously full of self reproach If he didn t have an internal proclivity for finding fault in himself, it s likely that growing up the first born son of John and Abigail Adams would have steered him in that direction.The elder John Adams brought JQA who was only 14 or so at the time If I were John Quincy Adams oft referred to as JQA , much of this review would likely consist of chastising myself for not having the discipline or talent to write a better review I mean, this was a guy who wasseriously full of self reproach If he didn t have an internal proclivity for finding fault in himself, it s likely that growing up the first born son of John and Abigail Adams would have steered him in that direction.The elder John Adams brought JQA who was only 14 or so at the time across the pond with him when he had to attend to his diplomatic duties While Paul Nagel may have been a bit harsh when it came to laying blame on Abigail for JQA s tortured soul, having read this as well as First Family Abigail and John Adams both of which contain numerous letters between family members , it s clear that John became a bit of a go between in thedifficult days of the Adams Family marriage In all fairness, Abigail was a bit of a nag, and had a propensity for passive aggressive guilt tripping Nevertheless, JQA survived his bumpy road, winding through European schools, Harvard, a law practice for which he found himself ill suited Like his father, he had his own diplomatic missions and was brought back stateside to become Secretary of State to James Monroe and duh , ultimately, president Nagel points out that some might find it odd that only a single chapter in the biography was dedicated to Adams presidency, but it really was a bit of a stalemate.JQA set out to write a great diary noting that the post stroke sections should be counted as an Afterword , and Nagel makes good use of the excellent material at hand Adams can be a remarkably frustrating guy Even in his twilight years, on what should have been his victory tour, he criticizes himself for perhaps basking in the glory of it all too much He was never one to take a rest There s some comfort in the knowledge that he was, undoubtedly, his own worst enemy Here s hoping he s not lying in his coffin wishing he could find a way to decomposeefficiently.Three and a half stars that I will willingly round up to four because, seriously, someone needs to give the guy a break

  2. says:

    Absolutely loved, loved, loved this book As far as JQA s term as president to me that was rather bland The story of his life and his success as a human being against numerous odds is what just blew me away Definitely a must read for anyone

  3. says:

    Excellent biography based on JQA s diaries of nearly seventy years , focusedon his private than public life Such an amazing man well traveled by his teen years, brilliant diplomat, Harvard graduate 2nd in his class , struggled with depression, perfectionism and trying to meet the high standards of his parents Would have preferred to be a man of letters was a professor of Oratory at Harvard and had a passion for science and technology He was a lawyer, U.S Senator, Secretary of Sta Excellent biography based on JQA s diaries of nearly seventy years , focusedon his private than public life Such an amazing man well traveled by his teen years, brilliant diplomat, Harvard graduate 2nd in his class , struggled with depression, perfectionism and trying to meet the high standards of his parents Would have preferred to be a man of letters was a professor of Oratory at Harvard and had a passion for science and technology He was a lawyer, U.S Senator, Secretary of State and President for one term He was the prime mover behind the Monroe Doctrine which ended the War of 1812, and was an opponent of slavery, defender of slaves on the Amistad I felt that Nagel made Abigail Adams out to be an obnoxious nag He was a remarkable individual

  4. says:

    I was familiar with the Adams Family having read several books on JQA s famous parents I was interested in learning what type of man JQA was in his private life as well as his professional career This book did not disappoint in terms of bringing out JQA s genius, personality, talents and struggles He unquestionably blessed the United States of America with his diplomatic skills with various important treaties and his life long service All the while struggling with bouts crippling depression I was familiar with the Adams Family having read several books on JQA s famous parents I was interested in learning what type of man JQA was in his private life as well as his professional career This book did not disappoint in terms of bringing out JQA s genius, personality, talents and struggles He unquestionably blessed the United States of America with his diplomatic skills with various important treaties and his life long service All the while struggling with bouts crippling depression.It was apparent to me that author, Paul C Nagel had an extreme dislike for JQA s mother, Abigail In fact, I found it quite distracting that every time her name was mentioned, the author had a negative adjective or impression about her While I agree that she was a formidable woman, I don t think we can judge her by our standards today For example, Mr Nagel thought her to be an inappropriately over bearing mother to JQA While I agree that she had perhaps too much to say about her son s life, I keep in mind the terrible consequences of having a grown child unable to have a profession to keep him and his family in 18th 19th century There was no welfare or unemployment back then The implications were huge for ruin not only for a grown child of a family, but also for the entire extended family Also, I personally think she was right about her counsel to her son about the importance of choosing a wife that would be a valuable partner through life Even today, there is not many decisions that willdirectly affect the quality of life than one s chosen spouse.I was also disappointed at the end of the book when the author described JQA s grandson, George s experience of opening his coffin to view his corpse after being moved from the family vault to the inside of the Adams Temple Sharing what George saw of his grandfather s decomposing corpse bothered me I thought it was completely disrespectful and unnecessary to finish JQA s life story with that image

  5. says:

    This is one of those rare and wonderful biographies of a public figure that gives you deep insight into the person behind the historical personage I had always bought into the commonly held idea that JQA was a curmudgeon who didn t live up to his father s heroic example I came away from this book appreciating both his accomplishments and the emotional difficulties he faced as he lived a life where the best of the 18th and early 19th century cultural values warred within him The political hist This is one of those rare and wonderful biographies of a public figure that gives you deep insight into the person behind the historical personage I had always bought into the commonly held idea that JQA was a curmudgeon who didn t live up to his father s heroic example I came away from this book appreciating both his accomplishments and the emotional difficulties he faced as he lived a life where the best of the 18th and early 19th century cultural values warred within him The political history is covered but in the context of what it meant to Adams, which is where I like it to be.I also found it fascinating the extent to which so many of the ideas that he espoused which got him labeled crank by his own generation came to fruition in the 20th century everything from his belief that adopting the metric system world wide would simplify trade to his conviction that the role of the Federal government should include financing interstate roads and scientific research.My only dissappointment with this volume, which I m certain was due to the publisher not the author, was that nothing is footnoted This makes it impossible to learn where the new and at times surprising facts come from and to get a sense of when the author is drawing on primary sources and when he is relying on the research of others.Highly recommended to anyone interested in early 19th century life and to fans of David McCullough s presidential biographies

  6. says:

    I did it Finally finished this one The first president with clinical depression although undiagnosed they had no idea in those times and I d jump to say ADHD He could never get anywhere on time, missed the vote for the Louisiana Purchase He was very disorganized and unable to generally get things done, studying, reading, writing I didint realize he was a congressman after his presidency His term in office was a stalemate due to a congress who wanted nothing to do with his highfalooting I did it Finally finished this one The first president with clinical depression although undiagnosed they had no idea in those times and I d jump to say ADHD He could never get anywhere on time, missed the vote for the Louisiana Purchase He was very disorganized and unable to generally get things done, studying, reading, writing I didint realize he was a congressman after his presidency His term in office was a stalemate due to a congress who wanted nothing to do with his highfalooting european ideas like federalizing highways and aqueducts His time in Congress was by farfruitful Arguing against the Mexican war and against slavery He was ahead of his time and therefore couldnt get all he wanted done I cant say I enjoyed reading this one but im glad to be onto the next Jackson it is

  7. says:

    Paul C Nagel s John Quincy Adams A Public Life, A Private Life falls short of the expectations of what I have for a book from the Harvard University Press The work is thoroughly researched and the author is a legitimate academic expert in the field The problem lies with Nagel s decision to present a record of how John Quincy Adams viewed the events in his life rather than an analysis of his role in American history By focussing on Adam s psychological make up, Nagel is able to make a compel Paul C Nagel s John Quincy Adams A Public Life, A Private Life falls short of the expectations of what I have for a book from the Harvard University Press The work is thoroughly researched and the author is a legitimate academic expert in the field The problem lies with Nagel s decision to present a record of how John Quincy Adams viewed the events in his life rather than an analysis of his role in American history By focussing on Adam s psychological make up, Nagel is able to make a compelling case that John Quincy Adams was totally unfit for the highest office in the land What Nagel neglects to do is give the reader any indication what the requirements of the presidency were at the time Adams held the position.Nagel always tells you how Adams felt about what was happening but he makes no effort to create the context for the reader Nagel does not introduce the players that Adams worked for and against The reader needs to know from previous reading what the strategies and objectives of Monroe, Madison, Van Buren and Jackson at the various occasions when Adams was confronted by them Nagel explains neither the values of the other politicians nor their legislative agendas He simply describes how Adams felt about the their actions.One suspects that part of the problem is with Adams himself who was guided only by the very high esteem in which he regarded himself and not by any short or long term program Adams in fact managed to get elected president without revealing to any of his supporters what he intended to do once in office As it turned out his legislative agenda was high minded by loopy in the extreme His proposal to create a National Astronomical Observatory was the one that was most jeered, but the others were equally far removed from the concerns of the common man His presidency failed irretrievably within weeks of his inauguration and none of his lofty ideas came to fruition.Adams proved to be such a horrible president that Nagel can only bring himself to write a single chapter about it In the opening paragraph, Nagel explains It may confound some readers that a biography of any American president should devote only a single chapter to his administration Nevertheless, such brevity seems appropriate for John Quincy Adams His four years in the White House were misery for him and for his wife His administration was a hapless failure and best forgotten After his president ended John Quincy Adams did much to redeem himself He returned to Congress where he vigorously defended the anti slavery cause He was also one of the lawyers who defended the slaves who mutinied on the Amistad We also have to Adams to thank for the Smithsonian Museum as it was his diligence in Congress that prevented the funds in the bequest from being diverted for other purposes Adams was certainly principled and right minded His problem was simply that he lacked the vision and leadership qualities required for the Presidency.Paul C Nagel s John Quincy Adams A Public Life, A Private Life provides an excellent tale of the life of a profound second rater Unfortunately, he manages to do so without telling the reader anything about either the politics or the society that John Quincy Adams lived it This book is for those who already know the era and simply wish to know the man Do not bother with this book unless you feel you already possess a strong knowledge American history during the period between the War of Independence and the Civil War

  8. says:

    Reading this book was a pleasant surprise I had anticipated another somewhat academic, scholarly biography of JQA Instead, Nagel was scrupulous in trying to balance the personal with the professional Adams The book does not get bogged down in Adams many foreign policy accomplishments That in and of itself is a feat as Adams was a great statesman in the diplomatic realm Minister today he would be called an Ambassador to The Netherlands, Minister to Germany, Minister to Russia, Minister to Reading this book was a pleasant surprise I had anticipated another somewhat academic, scholarly biography of JQA Instead, Nagel was scrupulous in trying to balance the personal with the professional Adams The book does not get bogged down in Adams many foreign policy accomplishments That in and of itself is a feat as Adams was a great statesman in the diplomatic realm Minister today he would be called an Ambassador to The Netherlands, Minister to Germany, Minister to Russia, Minister to Great Britain, part of the peace commission to end the War of 1812, U.S Secretary of State And then he was President One of Nagel s strengths here is that he writes at length of the extremely high expectations that Adams parents, John and Abigail, had of him from the moment he was born, and how these expectations weighed him down his entire life Basically, both parents told him that if he did not attain the pinnacle of being President or a position almost as important, he would be considered a failure Abigail Adams especially comes across here as a domineering, meddling, troublesome mother who micromanages his life So much so that Adams does not even attend her funeral Nagel also writes of Adams difficult relationship with his wife, Louisa, and with that of his children, in particular the failure of his first two sons to amount to anything Indeed, both die at early ages due to alcoholism Nagel makes extensive use of Adams voluminous diary and correspondence, so in many instances we read what Adams thought and wrote While only one chapter is devoted to his presidency, given the overwhelming success that Adams had in his many other important positions, this seems reasonable especially when one considers just how little Adams accomplished during his four years in the White House At times, I thought Nagel could have delved further into some matters The Corrupt Bargain between Adams and Henry Clay in 1825, leading to Adams selection as President by the House of Representatives, is given short shift Nagel writes that the offer to make Clay Secretary of State was made only after Clay gave his delegates to Adams I m not so sure about this At any rate, Nagel should have examined the situationas it had such a disastrous impact on Adams presidency Nagel also does not elaborate on why Adams never received a job offer from Thomas Jefferson Additionally, he does not write about Adams relationships with James Madison and James Monroe I would have liked to have knownabout them Nagel does cover Adams House career quite well, and details his physical decline in his final years Grade B

  9. says:

    A good biography must bethan a summary of dates and events the best would not only relate an individual s achievements, but also his motivating influences and internal conflicts Because John Quincy Adams kept a very detailed, and intimate, diary for 70 years of his life, the author had a wealth of information upon which to draw, the result being a dynamic exploration of the sixth president.Well traveled from a young age and educated in European schools, Adams found it difficult to later A good biography must bethan a summary of dates and events the best would not only relate an individual s achievements, but also his motivating influences and internal conflicts Because John Quincy Adams kept a very detailed, and intimate, diary for 70 years of his life, the author had a wealth of information upon which to draw, the result being a dynamic exploration of the sixth president.Well traveled from a young age and educated in European schools, Adams found it difficult to later settle into Harvard life and the tedium of a law practice His relationship with politics could be termed one of reluctant compulsion consistently disavowing any interest in public service, he nevertheless pursued it relentlessly, and with great skill His time as a US representative to Russia and England, two terms as Monroe s secretary of state, and a long stint in the House of Representatives during his later years were productive and earned him great respect His ineffective presidency seems like a brief dip in an otherwise successful career.Personally, he was plagued with issues of self esteem, never believing that his efforts were appreciated by the public, or that he even merited respect Despite going through periods in which he pared down his slumber to four hours a night, he was never satisfied with his level of productivity, and frequently berated himself for wasting time His greatest desire was to contribute in the areas of literature or science, a dream not realized despite his best efforts He suffered bouts of crippling depression, but managed to elude the familial curse of alcoholism, which claimed both of his brothers and two of his sons.His writings are inspiring though he was never fully satisfied with his achievements, his quest for self improvement, his driving ambition to have a positive impact on future generations, and the lengths to which he would go in an effort to meet his own expectations were impressive.This book captures the full essence of the man, his public persona and his private struggles Excellent, absorbing read

  10. says:

    I consider a great biography one that sketches out the subject s psyche to such an extent that the reader can project how he or she would react in another situation AND a work which gives the reader a detailed texture for his or her time.In this case, relying heavily on John Quincy Adams s detail and Decades Long journal, the author has his hands full with his subject s energetic and irascible temperament as it escapes from his pen As a reader, I could identify with the personality of John Quin I consider a great biography one that sketches out the subject s psyche to such an extent that the reader can project how he or she would react in another situation AND a work which gives the reader a detailed texture for his or her time.In this case, relying heavily on John Quincy Adams s detail and Decades Long journal, the author has his hands full with his subject s energetic and irascible temperament as it escapes from his pen As a reader, I could identify with the personality of John Quincy Adams and admire the way in which he continued to engage the disappointing world despite his STRONG preference for a light in the written word But, Adams s internal battles take up so much attention that we don t get to know much the outer world he inhabited from the time he was his father s secretary during the revolution to the beginning rumblings that led to the Civil War We know this treaty or that bill, but we don t we experience what life felt like in that era

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *