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John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit
by James Traub
640 pages
Basic Books
Published: March 2016

John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit” was published in 2016, about three years after I read four other biographies of the sixth president. Traub is a journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, The New York Post and Saturday Review. He is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at New York University.

Most readers will find this widely admired 537-page biography well-organized, engaging and uncommonly thoughtful. Traub’s writing is refreshingly straightforward with just enough erudition and depth to appeal to scholars – but without discouraging a wider audience. And while it does not quite rank among the most colorful or poetic of the presidential biographies I’ve read, it is not far off the mark…

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