Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution
Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution
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Annotation: Documentary portrait of the wife of President John Adams as a woman of the 18th century.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #4521020
Format: Paperback
No other formats available
Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition Date: 1998
Pages: xvii, 248 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-689-81916-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-689-81916-2
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 94019259
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
By interweaving excerpts from Adams's correspondence into a coherent biography, Bober creates a vibrant, three-dimensional portrait of a fascinating person whose comments on women's place have reverberated throughout history. This scholarly, thoroughly documented study will appeal to more mature readers, but it is more formidable in appearance than in presentation. Black-and-white reproductions are included. Bib., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran biographer (Thomas Jefferson, 1988, etc.) has another winner in this accessible and touching portrait of a strong and resilient ``founding mother.'' Many know the textbook version of the life of Abigail Smith Adams—wife of one president, mother of another, the first ``First Lady'' to live in the White House. Bober succeeds in going beyond timeworn facts and into the rich interior life of an accomplished woman, mining the rich lodes of Adams's extensive diaries and voluminous correspondence. Readers meet a dutiful daughter, thrifty housekeeper, nurturing mother, supportive sister, self-educated reader, passionate wife, wise political strategist, loyal friend, and dedicated and self-sacrificing patriot. Throughout, the intimate dailiness of the account makes Adams real and alive; through her eyes, readers experience the engrossing Revolutionary and early Federal periods and learn of many fascinating personalities, most significantly Adams's husband and son. Impressive. (b&w reproductions, notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 10+)"
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 6 Up--This well-researched biography provides an intimate portrait of a unique individual while also reflecting the tenor and times of the 18th century. Long characterized mainly as the wife of one president and the mother of another, Abigail Adams emerges here as an individual rather than an adjunct personality. Drawing from the more than 2000 surviving pieces of her subject's personal correspondence, Bober creates a vehicle to transport readers to a turbulent era in our nation's past. The letters, as she aptly states, ``artlessly mingled the momentous with the mundane.'' Interspersing historically significant characters with family gossip lends an air of vibrancy and a sense of immediacy to dates, names, and events. What is revealed is Adams's deep love for her family, palpable loneliness due to long periods of separation from her husband, and a commitment to achieve more than the goals set for women by the era in which she lived. The author begins with a lengthy chronology that juxtaposes political and personal events, and includes a family tree and local maps. Reference notes and a bibliography indicating manuscript and secondary sources conclude the book. Excellent quality archival reproductions, all of which are clearly labeled, appear throughout. The intelligence, inner strength, and vitality of Abigail Adams emerges with the bold strokes of her pen, admirably reflecting the essence of an age for today's readers.--Joanne Kelleher, Commack Public Library, NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Think of this biography as a portrait. Not the smooth, impassive painting reproduced on the jacket, but an intricate mosaic made of colorful bits of fact, emotion, period detail, and letters, letters, letters. Bober nudges readers to look beyond their twentieth-century expectations and become absorbed in another age. She creates a detailed eighteenth-century background showing Adams as the product of her times: an educated, intelligent, and capable woman in an age when the expectations and challenges of a woman's role were different from what they are today, but no less complex. Often separated from her husband John, Abigail wrote letters to him and to others constantly. Throughout the text, Abigail's voice is heard through quotations from her letters. Thorough research of this first-person resource gives Bober a comfortable familiarity with Abigail's personality as well as her personal history, which is interwoven with the turbulent history of her times. As in Bober's Thomas Jefferson: Man on a Mountain (1988), meticulous research and documentation give the book authority, good writing gives it clarity, and sympathetic understanding gives it humanity. An excellent biography. (Reviewed Apr. 15, 1995)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 239-242) and index.
Word Count: 74,532
Reading Level: 8.4
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 8.4 / points: 14.0 / quiz: 16743 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:9.0 / points:18.0 / quiz:Q00060
Lexile: 1130L

The wife of one president and the mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman in her own right. She experienced the gathering storm of the Revolutionary War and saw the battle of Bunker Hill from a hilltop near her home. The letters written by Abigail Adams to her friends and family bring the Revolutionary period alive, mingling details of everyday life with the momentous events of her time. Abigail Adams is given her own place in history in this award-winning biography, which captures the personality of its subject and the time in which she lived.

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