Saturday, March 15, 2008

HBO: John Adams miniseries

John Adams by David McCullough - In a testament to the extraordinary confluence of men of reason and events as well as to the writing style of Mr. McCullough, I read toward the American Revolution as if I couldn’t wait to find out if the good guys win! Spoiler: they do. McCullough then delves more deeply into John Adams’ psychology and his obsession with ambition after the war. Ben Franklin is portrayed in his later years as a saucy old hedonist, much to Adams' dismay. In the relationship between Adams and Jefferson, it is clear which is the more principled man, but again, I couldn’t wait to find out it they managed to mend their relationship. Spoiler: they do.

The miniseries is based on the book by McCullough. I read it many years ago (hardcover), but I remember racing up to the Revolution, hardly being able to withstand the suspense! That's how exciting it all still is!

There was an
excellent review of the series in the Wall Street Journal this week.

It starts tomorrow night! Now if I only had HBO.


Jenn Casey said...

Man! I wish I had HBO, too! Guess we'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD.

I've been enjoying your blog, btw!

Lynne said...

I was sure that someone with HBO was going to invite me over to watch it knowing how much I love JA, but it seems that everyone up here has the flu too! (Not us...yet.) Next weekend is free HBO weekend, so I'll get to see some of it, then it goes away until it comes out on DVD.


Monica said...

Interesting! We were in Costco yesterday and I wanted to buy this book. Have you read the book?

Lynne said...

Oh yes - I read it when it first came out. It was informative, well-written, and just downright thrilling to read about such great men! I recommend it highly with the caveat that I'm no great John Adams scholar. In fact, I've just always liked him since I saw William Daniels play him in 1776 (the musical) when I was in 4th grade. Sure, he was "obnoxious and disliked", but good and right. How can you not appreciate that?

Jenn Casey said...

I read the book, too, years ago, and I enjoyed it very much. Adams was one of those semi-unknown Founders for me. I had him only associated with the Alien & Sedition Acts (big mistake, yes) and didn't realize the courageous and important role he played in bringing the idea of Revolution to the table. I have a lot of respect for him.

I studied the letters he and Abigail wrote to each other in college--they are highly recommended. Abigail was amazing and so was their relationship.

Monica said...

Totally. I love that musical!! One of my favorite movies of all time.

Lynne said...

I read Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams, but other than the actual letters, I found the writing pretty boring. Do you have a recommendation on the letters with interesting commentary?

Unknown said...

I was watching the HBO series John Adams tonight and there was a nod at George Washington's false teeth. It made me laugh because I remembered that those teeth are on display in Baltimore at The National Museum of Dentistry. Not only that, the map that the American delegation in France used to identify the United States of America at the Treaty of Paris, the actual map from George III’s library, is on display at the Maps exhibitions running at The Walters Art Museum. Check it out

Lynne said...

Thinking about GW's teeth just makes me sad. I read the children's book "George Washington's Teeth" with my daughter and I was stunned by how heroic he was even with such incredible pain.

Makes you wonder what how his iconic imagery might have changed given modern dentistry.

Sadly, I have to wait for the rest of the series to come out on DVD, but I loved the first three I was able to see.

And I love Baltimore - check out my picture of Camden Yards (on the March Madness post)!