Friday, May 30, 2008

John Adams

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love history. I am fascinated by the past, I always have been. It was one of my favorite subjects in school and to this day nothing makes me happier than planting myself in front the TV to watch a well made historical documentary. Ancient history, Medieval history, American history, European history...name it I love it! I learned long ago that you cannot understand who you are unless you understand what you were. A few years back I purchased the DVD set of Ken Burn's PBS mini-series "The Civil War". It is in my humble opinion the gold-standard when it comes to historical documentary. With each viewing i come away with something new.

Naturally, when I learned that HBO would be creating a 7 part mini-series about John Adams based on the book "John Adams" by David McCullough, I was giddy with anticipation. Though met with mixed reviews by many different self-appointed entertainment 'experts', I feel the series was phenomenal and its creation could have only been accomplished by HBO. I enjoyed the series so thoroughly and my respect for Mr. Adams so much increased that I felt I had to add the book the series was based on to my reading list. Recently, I subscribed to audible.com a service that makes available audio versions of many printed works. This seemed a perfect idea as I spend 2 hours a weekday commuting to and from my place of employment. Rather than listen to horrid commercial radio I chose to use the time to 'feed my head' as it were. When I noted that audible.com had the unabridged version of "John Adams" I downloaded it immediately and put it on my ipod.

Admittedly, before my listening of "John Adams" I have been a disciple of Thomas Jefferson and thought him to be the superior of Adams in most ways. Today I can say quite confidently the Mr. John Adams is so greatly misunderstood and under-appreciated as to be crime of history. As the esteemed Dr. Benjamin Rush, noted contemporary and confidant of both Jefferson and Adams, so aptly put it the two men represent the two poles of the American experiment. Never before or since has there been a man so deserving of praise and adulation as this "colossus of independence" from Braintree, Massachusetts.

I highly recommend anyone who has the remotest interest in what it means to be American either read or listen to this wonderful account of the life and times of Mr. John Adams. I will be adding my voice to the growing call for a monument to John Adams somewhere in our nations capitol.

R.

2 comments:

1godsgal said...

So noted...I love history too....thank you for this! :)

Nessa said...

Great work.