John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit

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$22.99  $21.38
Basic Books
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5.9 X 1.8 X 8.9 inches | 1.41 pounds
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About the Author
James Traub has spent the last forty years as a journalist for American's leading publications, including the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine. He now teaches foreign policy and intellectual history at New York University and at NYU Abu Dhabi, and is a columnist and contributor at Foreign Policy. He is the author of six previous books on foreign and domestic affairs. His most recent work is John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit. He lives in New York City.
"By rights, John Quincy Adams should be one of America's most famous presidents. His life story is remarkable, the son of one of the nation's founding presidents, the only one to serve in an elected office after leaving the White House, and a man of vast intelligence and political courage who died while debating in the House of Representatives. Yet he's an obscure figure. James Traub has rectified this in a book worthy of its subject."--Fareed Zakaria, Fareed Zakaria GPS
"Traub's work is a reminder to Americans that politicians can be devoted to national issues, promote their principles, and still maintain their integrity."--Choice
"Well-written and highly readable biography...highly accessible work."--Chronicles
"[An] excellent biography.... [John Quincy Adams'] life is worth meditating on, and Traub's biography is an indispensable resource for doing so."--Washington Free Beacon
"James Traub has admirably captured the man inside the public figure, giving us a view of a typical New England grandee, puritanical at his core, molded as a traditionalist republican with no love for pure democracy, convinced that governing was intended for the class born and bred for it."--The Arts Fuse
"Traub thoroughly, even quite engagingly, follows Adams through the years during which he served in the diplomatic corps, building up the reputation as the new republic's best representative abroad."--Booklist, starred review
"[An] essential biography of a complex man.... Traub shows that without imperiling national unity, Adams's persistent, perspicacious opposition to slavery 'shattered the overweening confidence of the South' and confirmed his place in America's history."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Traub depicts a fully fleshed character, an extraordinary man driven by his birthright principles, a voluminous diarist, scholar, poet, polymath, eccentric, and iconoclast. The author also offers a masterly portrait of Adams' wife, Louisa. An impassioned biography of 'a coherent and consistent thinker who adhered to his core political convictions across his decades of public service.'"--Kirkus
"James Traub's new biography of John Quincy Adams is exceptionally strong. Adams was a complicated hero, a patrician visionary but also, as Traub puts it, a militant spirit, one of the most important diplomats in all of American history and, finally, slavery's greatest enemy in American politics."--Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
"John Quincy Adams was a great statesman and a heroic crusader for freedom, whose finest hours, ironically, came both before and after his time as president. James Traub does us a service by bringing him to life again for a new generation. With a journalist's touch, Traub paints a vivid portrait of the man in all his complexity."--Robert Kagan, author of Of Paradise and Power
"In lucid prose and with canny insight, James Traub illuminates the life and political career of John Quincy Adams. Driven by grim purpose and consistent values, Adams was hard to love but demanded respect as he matured into a champion of liberty for all. Traub admires Adams [and is] tinged with sadness for the absence of his type in our own times."--Alan Taylor, author of The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832
"A splendid new biography.... Reliably thorough, blissfully bereft of jargon, and nicely paced."--Joseph J. Ellis, New York Times Book Review
"James Traub does justice to both the man and his times, with a historian's sense of complexity and a writer's eye for drama and detail."--Sean Wilentz