John Quincy Adams (1767 -1848) was one of the most experienced and well-traveled American statesmen of his era. Before becoming the sixth president of the United States in 1825, he had served as a diplomat in the Netherlands, Prussia, Russia, and England, led the American commission that negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, and served two terms as secretary of state. After his presidency, Adams was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving for the remainder of his life, until his fatal collapse at his Congressional desk. David Waldstreicher is Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and the author of Slavery's Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (2009); Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (2004); and In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776-1820 (1997). As editor, his books include A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams (2013).
"JQA is a masterly diarist. . . . [This] will be the standard reader's edition of this masterpiece, which gives an account of both a fascinating life and a thrilling, disastrous period of American history." --Richard Brookhiser, The Wall Street Journal "The latest entry in the prestigious Library of America collection is a distinct treat, something long overdue for an attractive, accessible edition. . . . Readers don't encounter mere bare memos of events -- they're again and again immersed in well-drawn scenes and vivid personalities. Adams displays a dramatist's ear not only for dialogue but also for pacing. . . . It's an astonishing sustained performance. . . . Reading these entries for hours on end is spellbinding." --The Christian Science Monitor "One of the greatest of American diaries by one of America's greatest statesmen." --Gordon S. Wood, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution "There is no figure in American history like John Quincy Adams, a lawyer, scholar, poet, and statesman of boundless energy and vision. And in the annals of American history there is nothing comparable to his diaries, both as the lifetime record of a turbulent era and its people, and as a revealing portrait of an extraordinary man and his famous family. Based upon the original manuscript volumes, and including scores of passages suppressed in earlier editions, this Library of America edition restores a national treasure in all its richness and surprising passion." --Edith B. Gelles, author of Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage "The candid diary of John Quincy Adams records the day-to-day insights, hopes, passions, and frustrations of one of America's wisest and most courageous patriots. Spanning almost seventy years, it addresses issues as varied as foreign policy, civil liberties, gender equality, and government aid for science, but especially the scourge of slavery, which Adams foresaw would rend the Union he worked so hard to build up. The Library of America here makes available an unparalleled resource for the study of our nation's politics, history, and enduring values." --Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848