by Marie B. Hecht

ISBN 978-0-945707-12-7     $35.00

682 pages including notes, bibliography index and illustrations

    Originally published in 1972 by the Macmillan Company, Marie B. Hecht's biography of John Quincy Adams is by consensus the definitive portrait of John Quincy Adams' personal life.
   "My son! No man except your Father was ever placed in more delicate or dangerous situations than you are!"  John Adams to John Quincy Adams.
   Among American Presidents, John Quincy Adams holds the record of having been both the youngest and oldest servant of the republic.  From age 14, when the precocious boy became secretary to the American minister to Russia, to age 80, when "Old Man Eloquent" collapsed on the floor of the House of Representatives, nearly all of Adams' long life was devoted to the service of his country.  Yet, despite the voluminous diaries and records he kept from his childhood during the Revolution to his final days in Congress on the eve of the Civil War, Adams remains perhaps the least known and understood of all the Presidents.  With John Quincy Adams, Marie B. Hecht has rectified this situation.
   Not only has Mrs. Hecht given a full account of Adams' public life as foreign diplomat during the Washington and Adams administrations, Secretary of State under Monroe, partyless President (Adams considered himself "a man of my whole country"), and Massachusetts Congressman, she has thoroughly reviewed his personal life as well - - thereby humanizing the sixth President and dispelling the myth that he was simply "a chip off the old iceberg."  She describes his relationships with his father, the fervid patriot and second President, his charming and witty mother, with his brothers and sister, with his wife, Louisa Catherine Johnson, and their four children (three of whom tragically died), and with his numerous friends and often more numerous enemies.  Adams emerges as a vastly complicated man: enormously learned, independent, incorruptible, austere, crusty yet highly sensitive.

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