The following is a list and discussion of important scholarly resources relating to John Adams.
1st Vice President of the United States
2nd President of the United States
State of the Union Address
Vice Presidential and Presidential elections
|Booknotes interview with Joseph Ellis on Passionate Sage, September 5, 1993, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by McCullough on John Adams at the Library of Congress, April 24, 2001, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by McCullough on John Adams at the National Book Festival, September 8, 2001, C-SPAN|
Adams' grandson Charles Francis Adams Sr. edited the first two volumes of The Works of John Adams, Esq., Second President of the United States. These were published between 1850 and 1856 by Charles C. Little and James Brown in Boston. The first seven chapters were produced by John Quincy Adams.
The premier modern biography was Honest John Adams, a 1933 biography by the noted French specialist in American history Gilbert Chinard, who came to Adams after writing his acclaimed 1929 biography of Jefferson. For a generation, Chinard's work was regarded as the best life of Adams, and it is still an important text in illustrating the themes of Adams' biographical and historical scholarship. Following the opening of the Adams family papers in the 1950s, Page Smith published the first major biography to use these previously inaccessible primary sources; his biography won a 1962 Bancroft Prize but was criticized for its scanting of Adams' intellectual life and its diffuseness. In 1975, Peter Shaw published The Character of John Adams, a thematic biography noted for its psychological insight into Adams' life. The 1992 character study by Joseph Ellis, Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, was Ellis's first major publishing success and remains one of the most useful and insightful studies of Adams' personality. In 1992, the Revolutionary War historian and biographer John E. Ferling published his acclaimed John Adams: A Life, also noted for its psychological sensitivity. David McCullough authored the 2001 biography John Adams, which won various awards and was the basis for a 2008 TV miniseries.