John Quincy and Louisa Adams,
the War of 1812 and the Exile that Saved American Independence
authored by Jane Hampton Cook
I am not a history buff by nature, so in order to help educate my children, I have to educate myself. American Phoenix has helped me to do just that. Written by historian Jane Hampton Cook, this book is a very interesting peek into the past.
There is definitely more to this book than meets the eye. American Phoenix isn't just "a book about the War of 1812" as the title might have you believe. Yes, there are politics and war, but there is also the story of the travels, trials and separation of John Quincy Adams and wife Louisa Adams. Cook uses personal diaries and correspondences, along with meticulous research to bring a lesser-known story from history to life.
While it is a biography of sorts, it is written in a narrative style, making it more enjoyable than a history text. The elements of love, sacrifice, and conflict make it read like a novel, and the use of the personal diaries allowed Cook to use real thoughts and raw emotions to draw you in and make you feel like a personal acquaintance, while still educating you at the same time.
The book is detailed, running 450 pages, but do not let that put you off. If you enjoy presidential history, war history, or American history, you will likely find interest in this book.
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