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Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary American Woman

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This lively biography of Adams details the life of a revolutionary, mother, activist and wife who engaged in the building of the America nation. Abigail Adams campaigned for the education of women and pioneered the role women were to play in the American Revolution and the new Republic. The life of this one woman forms a large window on society during the 75 years that saw This lively biography of Adams details the life of a revolutionary, mother, activist and wife who engaged in the building of the America nation. Abigail Adams campaigned for the education of women and pioneered the role women were to play in the American Revolution and the new Republic. The life of this one woman forms a large window on society during the 75 years that saw the birth and cultural maturation of the United States. The titles in the "Library of American Biography Series" make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretative biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. At the same time, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.


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This lively biography of Adams details the life of a revolutionary, mother, activist and wife who engaged in the building of the America nation. Abigail Adams campaigned for the education of women and pioneered the role women were to play in the American Revolution and the new Republic. The life of this one woman forms a large window on society during the 75 years that saw This lively biography of Adams details the life of a revolutionary, mother, activist and wife who engaged in the building of the America nation. Abigail Adams campaigned for the education of women and pioneered the role women were to play in the American Revolution and the new Republic. The life of this one woman forms a large window on society during the 75 years that saw the birth and cultural maturation of the United States. The titles in the "Library of American Biography Series" make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretative biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. At the same time, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.

30 review for Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary American Woman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818) was the wife of the First Vice President and Second President of the United States, John Adams (1735 -1826), and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the Sixth President of the United States (though she did not live to see him attain that position). This biography of her shows how she was an influential woman of her time, as an intelligent woman who respected her spouse and who conceived her main duty as that of supporting her husband in his work and raising their childre Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818) was the wife of the First Vice President and Second President of the United States, John Adams (1735 -1826), and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the Sixth President of the United States (though she did not live to see him attain that position). This biography of her shows how she was an influential woman of her time, as an intelligent woman who respected her spouse and who conceived her main duty as that of supporting her husband in his work and raising their children to be virtuous, moral, and worthy sons and daughter of the new country. Born as Abigail Smith, the second daughter in a family of three daughters and one son (her mother had been a Quincy), she lived the typical life of a daughter in a well-to-do Boston-area family, in that the boys were tutored and eventually sent to Harvard, while the girls were not so educated. However, Abigail and her sisters made good use of all of the books in the family library, and were also interested in the political doings of New England. At the age of 20 she married John Adams, who was some nine years older than her; he was an up-and-coming lawyer with a deep sense of civic responsibility to Massachusetts. (He was the lawyer who defended the British soldiers accused in the 1770 Boston Massacre.) One of the Founding Fathers, he spent much time away from home while Abigail raised their children and ran all the household affairs. Their marriage was very much a meeting of the minds; he valued her intelligence and opinions, and she welcomed that he did respect her intelligence and opinions. Abigail had never traveled more than some 50 miles from the Boston area before 1784, when she and her daughter joined her husband and her eldest son, John Quincy, at her husband’s diplomatic post in Paris. After 1785 she filled the role of wife of the first U.S. minister to the Court of St. James (Britain). The family returned to Massachusetts in 1788, but the election of John Adams to the Vice-Presidency made their rented house in Philadelphia (then the seat of the government) a center of entertaining. This pattern continued with Adams’ election to the Presidency in 1796. While she did hang laundry in the unfinished East Room of the White House in Washington when the government moved to that location in 1800, they only lived in the White House for three months before the election of Thomas Jefferson as the third President, at which point the Adams family gratefully returned to retirement in Massachusetts. Abigail was a proponent of women’s rights, primarily in the area of education. She averred that it was not fair to not educate girls, who would then grow up to be mothers who were expected to educate their sons in early childhood. She was also a very prolific letter writer; besides the hundreds of letters written to her sisters and other correspondents, there are some twelve hundred letters of the correspondence between Abigail and John Adams, revealing both her deference to her husband and her penetrating intelligence and grasp of political realities. I loved reading this short book; Abigail Adams was indeed a product of her time and place, but she made the most of what her opportunities were, and is a worthy Founding Mother of this nation of ours.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ilon

    Abigail Adams was the wife of 2nd President John Adams, and mother of the 6th President, John Quincy Adams. But, she was also much more. She lived through the American Revolution and also the political chaos of afterwards- the splitting of the politics between Federalists and Republicans. She had children and cared for them and an estate while her husband John was away- and she supported him wholeheartedly and gave him advise. All of this is through letters that were saved by the family- thousan Abigail Adams was the wife of 2nd President John Adams, and mother of the 6th President, John Quincy Adams. But, she was also much more. She lived through the American Revolution and also the political chaos of afterwards- the splitting of the politics between Federalists and Republicans. She had children and cared for them and an estate while her husband John was away- and she supported him wholeheartedly and gave him advise. All of this is through letters that were saved by the family- thousands and thousands of letters to friends and family that is used to paint the picture of the life of this extraordinary woman.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie Fritz

    Abigail Adams was a fascinating woman. I appreciate how Ackers tried to present Abigail in her own historical context, rather than superimposing a modern lens on her life and opinions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Young

    An indepth passage into republican womanhood and revolutionary America, Abigail Adams paradoxically represents or embodies a woman,or, more importantly, a person, who revolutionized and challenged the basic or fundamental purpose of women. As First Lady, she constantly became a beacon of comfort and knowledge for her husband John Adams and her eldest son John Quincy Adams as they progressed into the advent of Revolutionary America, into the politics of forming a new nation, and the challenging, An indepth passage into republican womanhood and revolutionary America, Abigail Adams paradoxically represents or embodies a woman,or, more importantly, a person, who revolutionized and challenged the basic or fundamental purpose of women. As First Lady, she constantly became a beacon of comfort and knowledge for her husband John Adams and her eldest son John Quincy Adams as they progressed into the advent of Revolutionary America, into the politics of forming a new nation, and the challenging, yet solemn years of the nation's existence as a seaparate entity or government. Maxine Hong Kingston would agree that Abigail constantly "crossed lines not delineated in space," while simultaneously involving herself and dedicating her time, energy, and resources towards the betterment of her husband and the growth of a nation. I find this source to be invaluable in its content and depiction of not only Abigail Adams, but also of a revolutionary woman. Akers describes Adams to be a woman who defied the natural tendencies of republican women, yet at the same time shows her to divulge in the intellectual conversations that are clearly honed or sharpened by the thinkers and innovaters of the Englightenment. I think everyone and anyone would benefit from this insightful work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Before reading this book, I knew almost nothing about Abigail Adams. I bought this at a library book sale because I wanted to learn more about the First Ladies. I was a little worried about my First Ladies project because I didn't know what to expect. I know a lot of first ladies accomplished a lot, but I wasn't sure how many sacrificed too much for their husband's careers, or just served only as support for the president. I am so glad I started with Adams's biography. She and John Adams were eq Before reading this book, I knew almost nothing about Abigail Adams. I bought this at a library book sale because I wanted to learn more about the First Ladies. I was a little worried about my First Ladies project because I didn't know what to expect. I know a lot of first ladies accomplished a lot, but I wasn't sure how many sacrificed too much for their husband's careers, or just served only as support for the president. I am so glad I started with Adams's biography. She and John Adams were equals in their marriage, and she argued how important it was for girls to be educated. She had her own opinions and was her husband's most important sounding board. I was surprised how much the couple was physically separated during their marriage, but it seemed like they were very happy together, overall. She was an avid reader and letter writer. The book included a lot of quotes from letters by Adams. I saw one or two episodes of the series John Adams before reading this. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of it. I would also like to find a more extensive biography of Adams, because I feel like there is probably a lot missing from this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    A terrific portrait of one of this nation’s “founding mothers,” a strong woman not afraid to share her own thoughts and opinions, but one who also stood by her husband and supported him throughout his long political career. The separations Abigail had to endure from John only made their marriage stronger and relationship sweeter. Though admittedly not as educated as she would like to be, Abigail nevertheless left behind a wonderfully rich written record, mostly through letters, of life at the be A terrific portrait of one of this nation’s “founding mothers,” a strong woman not afraid to share her own thoughts and opinions, but one who also stood by her husband and supported him throughout his long political career. The separations Abigail had to endure from John only made their marriage stronger and relationship sweeter. Though admittedly not as educated as she would like to be, Abigail nevertheless left behind a wonderfully rich written record, mostly through letters, of life at the beginnings of American independence. Her candor and wit are on full display throughout this biography. Favorite quotes: “Is it not better to die the last of British freemen than live the first of British slaves.” – Abigail Adams “When will Mankind be convinced that true Religion is from the Heart, between Man and his creator, and not the imposition of Man or creeds and tests?” – Abigail Adams

  7. 5 out of 5

    William

    Good introduction to Abigail's life. Like most books of this kind, its main purpose is to give you jumping off points for deeper reading elsewhere. Maybe it is unavoidable in biography this short, but Akers makes assertions which sound reasonable and might even be true, but are unsupported in the text. For example, he claims that Abigail and her sisters always maintained a close relationship based as much on a common feminine outlook as on blood ties. How does Akers know this? How does he assess Good introduction to Abigail's life. Like most books of this kind, its main purpose is to give you jumping off points for deeper reading elsewhere. Maybe it is unavoidable in biography this short, but Akers makes assertions which sound reasonable and might even be true, but are unsupported in the text. For example, he claims that Abigail and her sisters always maintained a close relationship based as much on a common feminine outlook as on blood ties. How does Akers know this? How does he assess how much of their closeness is based on commmon feminine outlook and how much is from blood ties? Akers doesn't say. Maybe a more in-depth biography of Abigail makes this clear. In Akers's book, we have to take his word for it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Akers did a great job depicting the details of Abigail Adams' life from childhood until her death. Sometimes the book seemed to be overly-elaborate on details that were irrelevant or repetitive, but that's probably because I'm not particularly a fan of colonial persons of a "high-power/influence" stature such as herself. Nevertheless, I read this book for my college history class and it provided me with a vast amount of information I was required to learn from her life and the time period. In su Akers did a great job depicting the details of Abigail Adams' life from childhood until her death. Sometimes the book seemed to be overly-elaborate on details that were irrelevant or repetitive, but that's probably because I'm not particularly a fan of colonial persons of a "high-power/influence" stature such as herself. Nevertheless, I read this book for my college history class and it provided me with a vast amount of information I was required to learn from her life and the time period. In sum, the book does a good job expressing great deal, it just might get boring from time to time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    As a book it was very broad. This was a short biography that (I think) is really only meant to give the reader a taste of what Abigail Adams was like. The book was fairly dry and read more like a timeline than a narrative but gives the reader enough to formulate a picture of the woman. I wonder how another biography would compare to this one. As for the subject matter, I feel that I should write a paper on it to truly convey my opinions. I need to read a bit more about her, but I definitely made As a book it was very broad. This was a short biography that (I think) is really only meant to give the reader a taste of what Abigail Adams was like. The book was fairly dry and read more like a timeline than a narrative but gives the reader enough to formulate a picture of the woman. I wonder how another biography would compare to this one. As for the subject matter, I feel that I should write a paper on it to truly convey my opinions. I need to read a bit more about her, but I definitely made some judgments on Abigail Adams.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I've always loved Abigail Adams--what an amazing woman! She's my favorite First Lady! Akers has a very readable style, but sometimes adds his opinion a little too freely. I liked how he separated her (as much as is possible) from her husband and told her story. Abigail's life leaves a wonderful legacy of what it means to be an American woman (despite not being perfect! :) )! I've always loved Abigail Adams--what an amazing woman! She's my favorite First Lady! Akers has a very readable style, but sometimes adds his opinion a little too freely. I liked how he separated her (as much as is possible) from her husband and told her story. Abigail's life leaves a wonderful legacy of what it means to be an American woman (despite not being perfect! :) )!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Wonderful book that explores not only Abagail's life, but life for women in colonial America. Wonderful book that explores not only Abagail's life, but life for women in colonial America.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barb Bailey

    I had a hard time getting into this book...but it had alot of history and ended up being pretty good.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Piper

    Pretty good introduction to the life of Abigail Adams.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    Good book regarding Abigail Adam's life and her contributions to the American republic- specifically in the progress and ideals regarding females Good book regarding Abigail Adam's life and her contributions to the American republic- specifically in the progress and ideals regarding females

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    A biography of the wife of the second President, John Adams, and mother of John Quincy Adams, with information taken from letters written by her.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Petersen

    A biography of John Adams must include quite a bit about Abigail, but she surely deserves her own volume. Akers does it very well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mikayla

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Hayes

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kalina Densmore

  22. 5 out of 5

    Colette

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Davenport

  24. 5 out of 5

    D B

  25. 5 out of 5

    FlavorfulSage

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becca Shoup

  27. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  28. 5 out of 5

    Harry Taylor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Sutherlin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

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