In 1820, John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary, "Literature has been the charm of my life and, could I have carved out my own fortunes, to literature would my whole life have been devoted."
Instead, the gifted writer and deep thinker continued the tradition set for him by his father and grandfather, and served as his country’s sixth president. And while he presided over a period of peace and prosperity, he is often criticized as a failed one-term chief executive.
Throughout his life, he kept a diary that Fred Kaplan, the biographer of Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, among others, calls “the most valuable firsthand account of an American life and events from the last decades of the 18th century to the threshold of the Civil War.”
Support the news