Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family
Sara Georgini (Author)
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DescriptionReflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family's fortunes and young America's future. For the nineteenth century's first family, the Adamses of Massachusetts, the history of how they lived religion was dynamic and well-documented. Christianity supplied the language that Abigail used to interpret husband John's political setbacks. Scripture armed their son John Quincy to act as father, statesman, and antislavery advocate. Unitarianism gave Abigail's Victorian grandson, Charles Francis, the religious confidence to persevere in political battles on the Civil War homefront. By contrast, his son Henry found religion hollow and repellent compared to the purity of modern science. A renewal of faith led Abigail's great-grandson Brooks, a Gilded Age critic of capitalism, to prophesy two world wars. Globetrotters who chronicled their religious journeys extensively, the Adamses ultimately developed a cosmopolitan Christianity that blended discovery and criticism, faith and doubt. Drawing from their rich archive, Sara Georgini, series editor for The Papers of John Adams, demonstrates how pivotal Christianity--as the different generations understood it--was in shaping the family's decisions, great and small. Spanning three centuries of faith from Puritan New England to the Jazz Age, Household Gods tells a new story of American religion, as the Adams family lived it.
Oxford University Press, USA
February 13, 2019
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.41 pounds
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About the Author
Sara Georgini, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., earned her doctorate in history from Boston University. She is series editor for The Papers of John Adams, part of the Adams Papers editorial project based at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.
"Sara Georgini has the knack of making dry history as interesting as a novel can be... It is a must-read for everybody who is interested in American history." -- Washington Book Review
"This concise, well-written history helps address the role that Protestant Christianity played in guiding and shaping the Adams family and the country they served." - Library Journal
"The changing nature of American Protestant belief is skillfully illustrated in Georgini's close study of the religious evolution of the well-educated, well-traveled Adams family . . . the subject is fascinating."- Publishers Weekly
"Household Gods is a necessary and important addition to the existing scholarly literature on how Unitarianism shaped the Adamses and, through them, the United States." -The Washington Review