Having founded America's first political dynasty, John and Abigail Adams would not witness its calamitous fall from grace; when John Quincy Adams died in 1848, the clan's reputation began its slow decline. In this group portrait, the author of Thunder at the Gates depicts a family grown famous, wealthy, and aimless. After the Civil War, Republicans looked to the Adamses to steer their party back to its radical 1850s roots. Instead, Charles Francis Sr. and his children largely quit the political arena and found refuge in an imagined past, paving the way for a new breed of American statesmen.
"Deeply researched and brimming with anecdotes, from this narrative emerges not only the decline and fall of the Adams family but also … unavoidable parallels with our own time as a nation that finds itself increasingly divided."—Booklist