Mr. Adams's Last Crusade

Like his father before him, John Quincy Adams had a disappointing presidency. He was resoundingly defeated for reelection. Leaving office, an embittered Adams vowed to “bury myself in complete retirement as much as a nun taking the veil.” Instead, the 63-year-old was persuaded to run for Congress where he found his niche. Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade, Joseph Wheelan’s biography, concentrates on the amazing final 17 years in the life of this most principled American.

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