Oct. 25, 2010
-- Not being a US citizen, John Adams was not a President I had heard of before. However, I found the subject matter to be absolutely fascinating. Tensions between France and the US ran high throughout Adams’ presidency (1797-1801). France at this time was ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte whose Napoleonic Wars involved every major European nation. Napoleon seems to have seen the US as still under British control and early in the second President’s term of office the American Ambassador to France was threatened with arrest if he remained in Paris. Subsequent attempts at negotiations were unsuccessful and American ships were attacked. John Adams (with the backing of the Senate and Congress) sought to build up both the army (reinstating a now retired Washington) and the navy, fearing war with France.
In learning and understanding the past, nothing beats the original sources and hence I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in American history.
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