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 22 – Thanks


The suggestion for today is to acknowledge and express thanks for those who have improved the human condition – for humanity in general and for myself in particular.

Today is known in the United States as ‘Thanksgiving Day.’ Here in Australia we know no such day – something which could be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, in that it is not another day commercialised and bad, in that there is no particular day for acknowledging our gratitude to those that have improved our lives, etc.

But why do we need a particular day for this – can we not be thankful and express our gratitude on a daily basis? I think we can. I am not calling for a false expression of gratitude and thankfulness, but that which is real and true – surely we can all find something to be thankful for? I know it isn’t hard for me to find plenty to be thankful for throughout each day.

 

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