Abigail Adams May Not Have Been Mother Of The Year
John Ellis has a new book out on his beloved topics of the Founders. By all accounts this latest offering is as rich in detail and punchy writing as his previous must reads. James Traub wrote a review of John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit which included this portion about Abigail Adams.
The mature Adams, with all his sharp edges and impossible standards of perfection, was very much a product of the parenting practices of Abigail and John. Many American boys — now also girls — are raised to believe that they can grow up to become president of the United States. John Quincy was raised to believe that anything less rendered him an abject failure. Abigail was actually tougher on him than John, and one can only wince at her admonition, written after her 10-year-old son had completed a risky voyage across the Atlantic with his father: “For dear as you are to me, I had much rather you should have found your grave in the ocean you have crossed . . . rather than see you an immoral profligate or a graceless child.” John Quincy never had a childhood, nor was he raised to be a happy man. He was instead fashioned like a hardened steel projectile, aimed at the center of American history.
Without doubt this book will be making its way to our home.