Portrait of a President and the Birth of the United States

When a friend of my husband’s recommended he see the HBO miniseries “John Adams“, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. A seven part miniseries? About a President I didn’t know too much about (let’s face it Washington and Jefferson get all the publicity!)? Regardless, I borrowed the mini-series from the Fountaindale Library. “John Adams” is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning  book of the same name by David McCullough, about one of our founding fathers and 2nd president,  and stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams.

I was intrigued from the start. When I was younger, I was really interested in the American Revolution so it was neat to see the stories I had read unfold before my eyes… the Boston Massacre… Crispus Attucks… I found myself really getting drawn into it. I was so thrilled to see Benjamin Franklin, played to perfection by Tom Wilkinson, over the top but shrewd. George Washington, played by David Morse, stoic, calm and overwhelmed in his role as president. And finally Thomas Jefferson, played by Stephen Dillane, a man who is described as soft spoken but with a gift of writing that was unsurpassed. Then there are, John Adams, and his beloved wife and partner, Abigail Adams.  Both actors were so good in their roles. Adams is portrayed as both a leader, sometimes the coolest head in the room, but still with much to learn as he goes along.  He isn’t perfect, he makes mistakes, but he stands for what he believes in.  Abigail is shown for the strong  and devoted woman she was.  The two have a real partnership. Adams often consults with her and she is not afraid to give  her opinion.

 Along the way, I discovered that I never gave it a thought that the 13 colonies were essentially 13 “countries”…. what guts and bravado it took for these men to get passed their differences, joing together, to rebel against the Crown and establish a new country. It was really moving. The DVD also has a feature where you can get an onscreen historical guide for each episode as they unfold.


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