It’s Summer, Time to Catch Up on Your Reading — A Symposium

It’s Summer, Time to Catch Up on Your Reading — A Symposium

Postautor: Angel92 » 7 sie 2017, o 03:08

Suggestions for selecting that classic aestival staple, a good book Editor’s note: Summer is traditionally the season when we devote more time to books we’ve been meaning to read (or reread). Below, NRO friends and family offer their recommendations. Richard Brookhiser Here is the ultimate reading experience for political junkies who are sick of the politics of the age of Trump: the Library of America’s new two-volume set of The Diaries of John Quincy Adams, 1779–1848. I have reviewed them for the Wall Street Journal, but let me also bang the drum here.
Adams, son of the second president, and sixth president himself, was smart, omnivorous, observant, bitchy, and hilarious (though always unintentionally). His diplomatic career took him to Holland, Prussia, Russia, and England. His congressional career took him to the Senate and the House. He worked for George Washington, and he was introduced to Charles Dickens. We learn, in Ghent, how treaties get made. We study the original permanent campaign, the eight-year-long struggle to succeed James Monroe among three of his cabinet secretaries, the speaker of the House, and a populist general. We get high foreign policy, as the Monroe Doctrine is crafted, and grinding congressional detail, as Adams fights the House’s gag rule against anti-slavery petitions. This last effort shows Adams at his worst and his glorious best — acerbic, obnoxious, principled, heroic. He beats the shameless, spouting slaveholders like a drum. He reads three languages, he writes poems, he attends church twice on Sunday and notes the sermons, he watches eclipses, ignores his wife except when she is sick, grieves over the deaths of his children and his mother, and always always worries that he is not doing enough for his country.
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