My second Joseph Ellis, I’ve come to enjoy his ‘to the point’, ‘no frills’ style of writing. Though McCullough’s “John Adams”, which is cited by Ellis, provides a more in depth and detailed version of much of the same material, Ellis tells it in fewer words, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

First Family: Abigail and John AdamsFirst Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is amazing that the correspondence between husband and wife has turned into such a valuable national treasure. Obviously, John Adams was aware of the fact, and who knows how much he tailored his letters for the sake of posterity, nevertheless, it is mind-boggling how the 2 maintained their unconditional love for each other from opposite sides of the globe for so long. In this day and age, with your partner merely a speed-dial away no matter how physically far apart you may be, it would be challenging to keep a relationship intact for so long at such a distance.

My second Ellis read, I appreciate his ‘no nonsense’ style of writing. He doesn’t fluff up the account merely to fill pages, he seems to be a true scholar. After reading McCullough’s rendition of John Adams, I assumed that it would be a tough act to follow, though I enjoyed Ellis’s account for the very reason stated above.

Perhaps, John and Abigail are finally getting the credit they so anticipated and truly deserve.

View all my reviews

Steve D.