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The book begins when ten-year-old John Quincy joins his father on assignment to France and then covers his entire life in some areas with either more or less detail. Cooper covers in-depth the period when John Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under President James Monroe. He details Adams’ authorship of the Monroe Doctrine and also his key role in the 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty in which the U.S. gained Florida as well as territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Cooper analyzes the growing populism and political polarization that presaged Adams’ defeat by Andrew Jackson in the 1828 presidential election. Cooper then covers Adams’ distinguished career in Congress and his Supreme Court argument in the Amistad case.
The book is well written and researched. Cooper wrote a balanced, well-sourced and highly readable book. The book does not break new ground but concentrates on Adams’ work prior to becoming president. Cooper also covers the Antimasons and the Whigs. He places Adams primarily in the time frame of the founding fathers and flows into the Antebellum period. Cooper provides insights into John Quincy’s strengths and weakness.
Cooper wrote the award- winning biography of Jefferson Davis. The book is just over sixteen and a half hours. Richard Poe does a good job narrating the book. Poe is an actor and a prolific audiobook narrator.
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