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John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

A Public Life, a Private Life

Paul C. Nagel

ISBN 9780674479401

Publication date: 04/15/1999

John Quincy Adams was raised, educated, and groomed to be President, following in the footsteps of his father, John. At fourteen he was secretary to the Minister to Russia and, later, was himself Minister to the Netherlands and Prussia. He was U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and then President for one ill-fated term. His private life showed a parallel descent. He was a poet, writer, critic, and Professor of Oratory at Harvard. He married a talented and engaging Southerner, but two of his three sons were disappointments. This polymath and troubled man, caught up in both a democratic age not to his understanding and the furies of passion, was an American lion in winter.


  • Nagel has set out to explore his hero's inner life...It is a story told largely from the vantage point of the subject.

    —Wall Street Journal


  • Paul C. Nagel is former Director of the Virginia Historical Society, a trustee of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, a cultural laureate of Virginia, and a contributing editor of American Heritage.

Book Details

  • 466 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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