Quick! Name one thing you know about John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States and son of the 2nd President of the United States…
Hum, I couldn’t either until I read Marie Hecht’s bio of him.
I learned that he was very important in the early diplomatic work of our nation and spent his teenage and early adult years primarily in Europe and Russia. I learned that as Secretary of State under James Monroe he was constantly trying to develop a list of standard procedures for US ministers (ambassadors) to help them improve their work and better represent the US.
Then, he did something that I do not recall no other President doing after being President… serving in the US House of Representatives until his death in 1844.
Adams, from my view, was a bridge between the revolutionary era and the mid-century era that was overshadowed by the issue of slavery. (Adams would become a vocal opponent of slavery.)
I am glad that I read this book and that I now have an appreciation for our 6th President.
Btw, friend and fellow blogger Julia Rocchi, has a great duo of posts on JQA’s father over at her blog. You can click on this link http://www.juliarocchi.com/2009/06/short-not-sweet-leadership-lessons-from.html for the first of the two.
(Postscript: I read this book as part of an ongoing reading project that I revived in earnest last year after President Obama was elected: to read a bio/autobio of every US President. JQA is, I believe number 23 or 24.)