[bksvol-discuss] OT: John Adams bio

  • From: Grandma Cindy <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 17:56:26 -0800 (PST)

This probably belongs more on the bookshare list,

E, if you mean the Adams bio by McCullogh, I'm going
to add my unasked-for opinion here. The book, I think,
got a Pulitzer--whatever, it was highly preaised by
critics et al, but I'm afraid I found it not that
interesting. I was able to read only a quarter or a
third when I decided not to force myself to finish. 

One thing about it was very interesting, though. When
Adams was in  Philadelphia working on the Declaration,
there was a smallpox epidemic in Massachusetts.
Abigail took the kids to Boston for vaccinations.
Adams had been innoculated many years eariler. My
husband didn't believe I had the dates correct and he
lost his bet. That piece of info and the bet led me to
the book The Speckled Monster, by Jennifer Lee
Carrell--a non-fiction book also by a woman with a
"Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Harvard
University, as well as other degrees in English from
Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Universities. She is a
regular contributor to Smithsonian Magazine; past
articles have covered the training of firefighters,
the popularity of Shakespeare among cowboys and
mountain men in the wild West, Isaac Newton?s
fascination with alchemy ? and its contribution to his
scientific discoveries, and the secret use of optical
tools by Renaissance artists."

The book, not in the collection, was fascinating--very
well written--so much so that I even read all the
chapter notes at the end. Anyone interested in the
history of medicine--even just the history of early
Boston and England in the 1720's, and how difficult it
was to fight the establishment to get something new
tried (politics, as ever) will enjoy this book. It is
long, 474 pages plus 17 of introductory material, but
I see on Amazon there are paperback versions out,
though the hardback probably would be easier to scan.

Dr. Cross, does that interest you? Does it interest
anyone? Perhaps it's of too limited interest to add to
the collection, but if the history of medieval Italy
from 400-1000, and The Archaeology of the Lands of the
Bible, have readers, perhaps this book would, too.



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