March 23, 2008

Riveting History

Hatched by Dave Ross

Two Sundays ago I started watching a series so good, so compelling, so necessary, that if I didn’t already have HBO I would be forced to buy it just to watch this series.

The series is John Adams, and no, it’s not about the beer -- That’s Samuel Adams, anyway. But it is about his cousin, America’s second president, and one of the few people in history about whom it can be said that if he had not lived the United States might not have been born.
The series is in seven parts, and the first two parts were shown on Sunday. Don’t worry, HBO will show them again endlessly. If you want to see this series, you will be able to see it. And I urge you to do so.

It is based on David McCullough’s remarkable book of the same name, for which he won a Pulitzer in 2002. McCullough is probably our greatest living historian. He has certainly done more to popularize history than many historians, and he is particularly great at bringing alive the era of the birth of our nation, a time that many of us are rediscovering to our great delight and profit.

The series stars Paul Giamatti, one of America’s most talented actors, as Adams, and Laura Linney, equally talented, as his devoted wife, partner and confidant, Abigail Adams. It brings to life a Founding Father who, unlike Washington, wasn’t a god, who, unlike Jefferson, wasn’t a stone sphinx, and unlike Benjamin Franklin, wasn’t a walking book of aphorisms. He was completely lovable, completely irascible, and for a time, completely indispensable. We owe our freedom to him. Watch the series.

Hatched by Dave Ross on this day, March 23, 2008, at the time of 11:58 PM

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The following hissed in response by: TerryeL

I have a long commute to my job, so I got the book on audio CD. It is great. Yes, we owe John Adams more than most people will ever know.

The above hissed in response by: TerryeL [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2008 2:55 PM

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