John Adams, by David McCullough


I have just finished watching the mini series ‘John Adams,’ starring Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. I found the mini series to be difficult to watch, as it was hardly brilliant drama despite the rhetoric on the DVD case. Not being American was perhaps a reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the mini series. I found it to be a disappointment as a viewing spectacle. But how true to the man and to history was the mini series? This is a question that now has my attention – for the portrayal of John Adams in the production was hardly that of a man to be admired.

Adams comes across as a self-centred, vain glorious man, with poor people skills and a terrible father and husband. He appears to seek his own advancement to the expense of those about him and also to be full of envy and petty jealousy. He also appears to be a somewhat poor diplomat and politician overall – even though he held the greatest office in the United States, as second president following that of George Washington.

So now I come to the book on which this mini series was based, ‘John Adams,’ by David McCullough. I am now going to read this book and see just how true to the book and actual events the mini series achieved. I find it difficult to believe that Adams could have been the way he was protrayed in the film – now I will seek out the truth for myself.

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Changing the World: November 29 – Supporting Palestine


I never expected to agree with everything that ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton, suggested. So it comes as no surprise to me to find a suggestion with which I have an issue – so to speak.

The suggestion for today is about buying Palestinian olive oil as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their plight. However, I am loathe to do this.

Why? Is it because I support the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians? No, I do not support the oppression of the Palestinian people. But neither do I support the anti-Israel rhetoric that seems to be continually doing the rounds.

I would love to see an end to the occupation of lands captured during the 1967 war and do not support Israeli settlements in these areas. However, one does need to remember the fact that Israel did not start that 1967 war and the surrounding nations have largely set an agenda since the birth of the modern Israeli state to crush it. There has also been an unending campaign of terror against the Israeli state and Israel has a right to defend itself.

It would be great to see lasting peace in Palestine and for that to happen both sides need to address the important issues I have mentioned here and others. But it is both sides that need to do it – not just Israel and not just the Palestinian people. It is both sides. That is what I support here.

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton