Saturday, November 07, 2009

Book Recommendation: "Abigail Adams"

As I wrote earlier in the week, I've been completely enjoying Woody Holton's Abigail Adams. I finished it this morning, and can only reiterate my earlier comments. It's one of the best biographies I've ever had the privilege to read, being at once pleasantly readable and also carefully researched. It breaks much new ground in pointing out the important role Abigail's financial prowess played in creating the family's fiscal stability: "it may be that if [John Adams'] financial records had survived the ravages of time as well as his correspondence did," Holton writes on p. 277, "they would show his wife making a larger contribution to the family's wealth than he did." A remarkable statement, perhaps, but not if you know Abigail as Holton reveals her.

A fine book, which I heartily recommend to all.