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Founding Fathers' biographies

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Ds and I are really enjoying our trip through U.S. History and U.S. Government. Currently we are watching the John Adams mini series, which I know is not terribly accurate in places.


Can anyone recommend some high quality biographies of the Founding Fathers?  I am not looking for "George Washington was perfect" types of biographies, but in those that are solidly researched and that reflect the real person, as best as we can know this far removed. We are curious about Abigail Adams too.



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It's not a biography per se, but I highly recommend The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams. It's a fascinating read and provides so many interesting details of their lives and insights into their thoughts and feelings, all in their own words. It really gives you the sense of 'getting inside their heads," iykwim, compared to reading a biography where the details have been selected and filtered by someone writing 200+ years later. We loved it!

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I thought Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution was fantastic, though she's not a founding father.


I listened to Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow to prepare for history last year. It is well done. Chernow does not gloss over Washington's blemishes of character. I would also say that much of the information is presented in such a way that it sparks debate about Washington's decisions instead of telling the reader what to think. DH and I discussed Washington's actions towards his slaves and towards Lafayette quite a bit while listening to this book. It's also touching. I cried through a couple of spots and remember being completely sick to my stomach listening to one section about Washington in Philadelphia. I recommend it!

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