Three Sides of John Adams
by findingDulcinea Staff
A seven-part miniseries on John Adams, based on the biography by David McCullough, airs on HBO Sunday, March 16 through April 20. Find out more about the man, the book, and the miniseries in this article.
A Founding Father and America’s second president, John Adams is nonetheless an overlooked figure in American history. There are no monuments or currency dedicated to him and, before David McCullough’s bestseller “John Adams” was published in 2001, little mainstream coverage of his life.
On July 4, 1826, fifty years after the birth of the country he worked so hard to build, John Adams passed away. Even in death he was overshadowed by a fellow Founding Father—Thomas Jefferson—who had died just hours before. Adams accomplished much in his life, yet his legacy is defined more by his disappointing one-term presidency than his work during the Revolution and thus pales in comparison to that of men like Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. To learn more about the times in which Adams lived, see the findingDulcinea U.S. History Web Guide, specifically the sections on the American Revolution and the early years of the United States.
For a deeper look into Adams’ writings (and readings), a few archives are particularly useful:
McCullough originally intended to write a dual biography of Adams and Jefferson, but found his research on Adams to be so rich and fascinating that he soon dropped Jefferson from the book. The end result, “John Adams,” was published in 2001 by Simon & Shuster.
HBO’s seven-part adaptation stars Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as Abigail. Like the previous HBO historical dramas “Deadwood” and “Band of Brothers,” the series has received critical acclaim. This section shows you where to find information about the film and its actors, as well as critical reviews. The series airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m., with a two-part premier on March 16. HBO.com has the full television schedule.