Conservatives who are gratified at the success of David McCullough's wonderful new biography of John Adams will find even more of the real Adams—Adams unplugged, one might say in "The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams."
—Michael Potemra, National Review/July 23, 2001
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams presents the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States. Though one of the principal framers of the American republic and the successor to Washington as president, John Adams receives remarkably little attention among many students of the early national period. This is especially true in the case of the periods before and after the Revolution, in which the intellectual rationale for independence and republican government was given the fullest expression.
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams illustrates that it was Adams, for example, who before the Revolution wrote some of the most important documents on the nature of the British Constitution and the meaning of rights, sovereignty, representation, and obligation. And it was Adams who, once the colonies had declared independence, wrote equally important works on possible forms of government in a quest to develop a science of politics for the construction of a constitution for the proposed republic.
C. Bradley Thompson is an Associate Professor of History and Political Science at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, and the author of John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty.