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The Cover of John Adams
|Subject||History, U.S. history, American Revolution|
|Published||May 22, 2001|
Simon & Schuster
|ISBN||978-1-4165-7588-7 (paperback) 0684813637 (hardcover)|
John Adams is a 2001 biography of the Founding Father and second U.S. President John Adams, written by the popular American historian David McCullough, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. It has been made into a TV miniseries with the same name by HBO Films. Since the TV miniseries debuted, an alternative cover has been added to the book showing Paul Giamatti as John Adams. The book is available as both hardcover and paperback.
Although the book was originally intended to be a dual biography of Adams and Jefferson, McCullough was increasingly drawn to Adams and away from Jefferson. The author spent six years studying Adams, reading the same books he had read and visiting the places he had lived.
Perhaps the greatest treasure trove was the enormous amount of correspondence between John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams, a marriage McCullough calls "one of the great love stories of American history." Also invaluable was his long correspondence with his successor as President, Thomas Jefferson, which McCullough calls "one of the most extraordinary correspondences in the English language."
In 2009, McCullough acknowledged that he misquoted Thomas Jefferson in John Adams. He was criticized in a Harper's Magazine review of the book, which claimed that McCullough had mistakenly attributed Jefferson as having referred to the second president as a "colossus of independence." Upon being confronted with the accusation, McCullough admitted that he had, in fact, "erred". "It's hard work; you're trying to get the truth about distant times," he told The Associated Press. "When you make the mistakes, it's very painful, but you will make mistakes. We're imperfect, in an imperfect world."