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John Quincy Adams

The American Presidents Series: The 6th President, 1825-1829

The American Presidents

Robert V. Remini; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

Times Books

Noted presidential scholar Remini offers a fascinating portrait of a brilliant and complex man, and of a truly influential American life. Heavy were the burdens of John Quincy Adams' upbringing. Son of the forbidding John Adams and the domineering Abigail, puritanical New Englanders both, he was driven from the earliest age to a life of faith, observance, and public distinction—a life that was considered to be his birthright, and his obligation. While his natural tendencies were toward a contemplative life filled with art and literature, his path was pre-destined—the law, and then public service. It is no wonder that later, as a grown man, accomplished and admired, he was spoken of as cold and austere, even misanthropic.

Adams' career suffered little from his demeanor. A learned and well-traveled intellectual as well as a shrewd negotiator, Adams rose through the diplomatic ranks, eventually serving as a dynamic and influential secretary of state under President James Monroe. In this role, he helped solidify many basic cornerstones of American foreign policy, including the Monroe Doctrine. The greatest triumph of this period was undoubtedly his negotiation of the Transcontinental Treaty, through which Spain acknowledged Florida to be a part of the United States.

Eventually, Adams arrived in the White House, chosen by the House of Representatives after an inconclusive election against Andrew Jackson. His administration, however, had less of a long-term impact than much of Adams pre- and post-presidential endeavors. He often failed to mesh with the ethos of his times, pushing unsuccessfully, for example, for a strong, consolidated national government. After leaving office, Adams served nine consecutive terms in the House, earning the nickname "Old Man Eloquent" for his passionate anti-slavery oratory.

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  • John Quincy Adams by Robert V. Remini--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Robert V. Remini's biography John Quincy Adams, part of The American Presidents Series. Chosen by the House of Representatives after an inconclusive election against Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams often failed to mesh with the ethos of his era, pushing unsuccessfully for a strong, consolidated national government. Historian Robert V.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robert V. Remini; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

  • Robert V. Remini is Professor Emeritus of History and the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Called the foremost Jacksonian scholar of our time by The New York Times, he is the recipient of a National Book Award. His most recent book is Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars.

    Series editor, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is the preeminent historian of our time. For more than half a century, he has been a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He served as a special assistant to John F. Kennedy; won two Pulitzer Prizes for The Age of Jackson and A Thousand Days; and in 1998 received the National Humanities Medal. he published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.
  • Robert V. Remini
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Dominique Nabokov
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John Quincy Adams

The American Presidents Series: The 6th President, 1825-1829

The American Presidents

Robert V. Remini; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

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Times Books

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