Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book: John Adams

This is, and has been for a while now, my non-fiction reading. I'm only on page 180 and it's a 651 page book. It's going so slowly because I really only get a chance to read it first thing in the morning, and so...slowness.

But so far, it's a very, very interesting book. It briefly covers John Adams' family background, childhood, education, courtship and marriage, and then gets into the beginnings of the Revolution and all the contributions that Adams made to America's birth.

It's laced with sections of the letters between Adams and his wife Abigail, which I really enjoy. It's very, very nice to see into the relationship between the two of them, which covered a very difficult period of time in history, with them being separated for years at a time, really, and the love and respect that they seem to have had for each other really shows through. You can tell that Adams respected his wife, and her intelligence, and that, more than that, they loved each other.

Anyway, in one letter he bemoans the state of the army (Washington was getting his butt kicked at the time), and Congress (with Adams as the head of the Board of War) was making many adjustments to the 'army' - their pay being increased and the punishments being increased as well. He wonders whether or not the state of the men was the fault of the times:

'Unfaithfulness in public stations is deeply criminal. But there is no encouragement to be faithful. Neither profit, nor honor, nor applause is acquired by faithfulness...There is too much corruption, even in this infant age of our Republic. Virtue is not in fashion. Vice is not infamous.'

Heh. Proof that nothing ever really changes. All those people who complain that our forefathers were more honest, etc., etc. - humanity never changes. They had the same moral issues 'back then' that we do now. The difference is in how well known they've become. Due to modern technology and media, it's hard to hide things that wouldn't have become widely known in the past.


  1. Very true! What's the old saying "there's nothing new under the sun"? I do think in some instances there was more shame attached to certain things (e.g. out-of-wedlock births) in the past. But then there are other things (slavery, for instance) that seems much more shameful now. Human nature is prone to sin and that's not something new. I can read the Bible and see plenty of examples of that. Helloooooooo Sodom and Gomorrah and the need for the ark if God truly destroyed the earth with water due to wicked people.

    Thanks for sharing this post. I like historical things. Please share more if the mood strikes again in your "slowness" reading. :)

  2. The...societal morals shift from age to age - what we count as being the worse crime/sin. But the fact that humanity is corrupt? Not so much.


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