About the Author(s)
R. B. Bernstein is Lecturer in Law and Politics, City College of New York, where he has taught since 2011; he is also a distinguished adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, where he has taught since 1991. An expert on the American Revolution, the Constitution's origins, and the early republic, he has written, edited, or coedited more than twenty-five books on these subjects. He is a graduate of Amherst College and the Harvard Law School and did his graduate work in history at New York University. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
"This brilliant book is exactly what all who are interested in the history of the early American Republic could want. Bernstein's cogent presentation gives us a much-needed fresh look at John Adams, the man most responsible for constitutional independence." -- Annette Gordon-Reed , Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard Law School, and Professor of History, Harvard University
"In many ways, John Adams is the Rodney Dangerfield of America's Founders: underestimated, underplayed, and never getting enough respect. This book offers much, much more. One of the nation's leading scholars of the Founders and their influence, Bernstein masterfully captures Adams in all his complexity. Far more than a rehearsal of the facts and accomplishments of Adams's life, this book reveals a real person: a man of tremendous intellectual curiosity and occasionally dogmatic politics who struggled to chart his path, fretted with insecurities, and wrestled with his place in history. Anyone seeking to understand the politics and passions of America's founding will be well served by reading this admirably concise and balanced book." -- Joanne B. Freeman , Professor of
History and American Studies, Yale University
"What did the law mean to a revolutionary like John Adams? With a keen eye on his public and private lives, R. B. Bernstein traces Adams's reinterpretation of political frameworks such as monarchy and constitutionalism. Readers will savor this vivid portrait of the candid lawyer, diplomat, and president. It is always a delightful task for us to think alongside Adams, and Bernstein's Education is exceptionally lucid and enjoyable in contextualizing his legacy." -- Sara Georgini , author of Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family
"A thoughtful account of John Adams' ideas and life, warts and all." -- Kirkus Reviews
"This work sets itself apart from other Adams biographies in its detailing of its subject's vision of governance, as well as his role as a legal and constitutional scholar, compared to other Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, Samuel Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and, notably, Thomas Jefferson. Abigail Adams, John's wife, is also given consideration as an intellectual equal...An accessible and highly recommended biography." -- Library Journal