This book here is a personal favorite. It’s rich with profound statements. David McCullough has some good books. Although this title is nearly 656 pages, it took me eighteen days to read and complete. I read it way back in September 2013.
I can take the rest of this week just posting quotes from this book (I won’t). This book was very worthwhile and enriching to me. John Adams, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy. These are all notable presidents to me. And I’ll add Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Rosevelt. Any other president, I’m not too fond of—at all.
John Adams was the second known president of the United States. He doesn’t get much recognition at all because he seems to me as the least liked by both his contemporaries and prominent men. He was a man of faith, so he was excluded from the secret societies that his contemporaries (the founding fathers) were members. He was a pariah, being forsaken due to his uprightness of character. He is a US president most notably and respectfully recognized for wisely avoiding war during his term in office.
Here are a couple of excerpts from this book:
“Government is nothing more than the combined force of society, or the united power of the multitude, for the peace, order, safety, good and happiness of the people. . . . There is no king or queen bee distinguished from all others, by size or figure or beauty and variety of colors, in the human hive. No man has yet produced any revelation from heaven in his favor, any divine communication to govern his fellow men. Nature throws us all into the world equal and alike. . . .
The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved. . . .
Ambition is one of the more ungovernable passions of the human heart. The love of power is insatiable and uncontrollable. . . .
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
- Words from his journal on government and freedom, “notes for an oration at Braintree,” as he labeled the observations.
In a letter written to his wife Abigail Adams on May 12th, 1780, from Paris, he wrote the following excerpt as its closing:
“I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c. – if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty. The science of Government is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have the liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Archectecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
Original sin has messed up things—completely. And this world won’t ever be straight. It’s gone take the Lord and Savior to return and set up his kingdom on earth before this world ever gets in order. However, much understanding and insight into politics and the nature of man are disclosed entirely throughout this book. If one would love to get a copy, get yours here: https://bookshop.org/a/56410/9780743223133