Friday, June 25, 2010

Abigail Adams, One of My Heroes

Abigail Adams: A Life Abigail Adams: A Life by Woody Holton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Biographer Woody Holton is definitely an Abigail Adams fan. This is a good thing, because if he were not a fan, he never would have waded through the Massachusetts Historical Society archives to prepare this book. He also did a very good job of bringing the second First Lady to life. Unfortunately, being a fan also means that some of his writing was very close to fawning over Mrs. Adams. I do understand this as I have long been an admirer of her myself. Still, the writing did drag at times and there were many chapters that could have used more work. Historical works do not need to be constantly thrilling, but they can be consistently engaging. If you don't believe me, please read Cokie Roberts' book Founding Mothers or 1776 by David McCullough). Holton isn't in their league, but he does show promise.

I learned much about Mrs. Adams that I did not previously know. Now I have to come to terms with my own biases since I have learned that she was, after all, human. I am still very impressed with all that she was able to accomplish and grateful that Woody Holton reintroduced me to a true Founding Mother.

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