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Publisher's Summary

Why has John Quincy Adams been largely written out of American history when he is, in fact, our lost Founding Father?

Overshadowed by both his brilliant father and the brash and bold Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams has long been dismissed as hyper-intellectual. Viciously assailed by Jackson and his populist mobs for being both slippery and effete, Adams nevertheless recovered from the malodorous 1828 presidential election to lead the nation as a lonely Massachusetts congressman in the fight against slavery. Now, award-winning historian William J. Cooper insightfully demonstrates that Adams should be considered our lost Founding Father, his moral and political vision the final link to the great visionaries who created our nation.

With his heroic arguments in the Amistad trial forever memorialized, a fearless Adams stood strong against the Jacksonian tide, the Gag Rule, and the expansion of slavery that would send the nation hurtling into war. This game-changing biography reveals Adams to be one of the most battered but courageous and inspirational politicians in American history.

©2017 William J. Cooper (P)2017 Recorded Books

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  • Jean
  • 15-01-2018


The book begins when ten-year-old John Quincy joins his father on assignment to France and then covers his entire life in some areas with either more or less detail. Cooper covers in-depth the period when John Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under President James Monroe. He details Adams’ authorship of the Monroe Doctrine and also his key role in the 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty in which the U.S. gained Florida as well as territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Cooper analyzes the growing populism and political polarization that presaged Adams’ defeat by Andrew Jackson in the 1828 presidential election. Cooper then covers Adams’ distinguished career in Congress and his Supreme Court argument in the Amistad case.

The book is well written and researched. Cooper wrote a balanced, well-sourced and highly readable book. The book does not break new ground but concentrates on Adams’ work prior to becoming president. Cooper also covers the Antimasons and the Whigs. He places Adams primarily in the time frame of the founding fathers and flows into the Antebellum period. Cooper provides insights into John Quincy’s strengths and weakness.

Cooper wrote the award- winning biography of Jefferson Davis. The book is just over sixteen and a half hours. Richard Poe does a good job narrating the book. Poe is an actor and a prolific audiobook narrator.

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  • Jared L.
  • 20-05-2019

A Great Tribute to an Under-rated President

The story of JQA fascinated me beginning with the glimpses into his life as told by David McCollough's Adams. An extremely intelligent person who lived at the end of the founding era and at the precipice of the Jacksonian era, he made his mark as a statesman and a Congressman much more so than his lackluster Presidency. An academic with high ideals, the story of his life is one that takes you on a journey from pre-revolutionary France to the growth of America as a strong independent nation. His public service stretches so long, it provides wonderful insight into decades of early American History. A great biography more than worth the cost. Highly Recommend.

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