Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Abigail Adams: A Life by Woody Holton


Abigail Adams.
Doctor, therapist, teacher, entrepreneur, politician, mother, and wife, in no particular order at any particular time.
She was everything.
She was nothing.
And she knew it.

And it made me a bit sad for one main reason: in this age of the crappily short emails, texts, whatever, I thought of the lost art of letter writing. I learned an immense amount of really interesting, meaty stuff about the revolution and the people in it, specifically the women and their take on this war that affected them profoundly, because Abigail Adams was a fantastic, carefully opinionated letter writer.

If she hadn't been married to that great politician John Adams, if he hadn't been away from home as much as he was (and that was a lot, up to five years at a time - like half their married life), we wouldn't have this treasure trove of information. And it was really, really cool.

This is a good book, especially the second half when the war really picks up, how she deals with her children and family life, the rivalry between Adams and Jefferson, presidential life for wife and husband. Speaking of Mr. Adams, she rarely agreed with him. She was so feisty and opinionated for her time. An American Revolutionary heroine, a rambunctious feminist icon. The bread and butter of women's history.
4 stars

3 comments:

Julie said...

This book does sound really, really cool! Abigail Adams truly sounds like a fascinating woman. I also wonder about the lost art of letter writing and how carefully crafted communications like letters used to be so invaluable. I like learning really interesting things.
Thanks for sharing your review! I always look forward to hearing about what you are reading.

Lula O said...

Thanks Julie! This book will get your patriotic juices flowing! I seem to be on a bit of a non-fiction kick lately...I should get help for it..

Julie said...

Nothing like feelin' those patriotic juices flowin'! July is right around the corner so now's the time! Plus, I thought non-fiction was good to be kickin' around so I wouldn't say you needed to get help but rather that you'll end up helping us with your vast knowledge. :D Keep it up!