First Family: Abigail and John Adams

Written by Joseph J. Ellis
Review by John R. Vallely

First Family was originally published in 2010, and the reception was overwhelmingly positive. I read the book then and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to become reacquainted with both Abigail and John Adams and the brilliant historian and author Joseph Ellis. Many have written about this captivating colonial American couple who played such important parts as revolutionaries and founders of not only a new nation but of a new and enduring governmental philosophy. The husband-and-wife team from Braintree, Massachusetts, also provide 21st century readers with the chance to examine their 1,200 letters dealing with a range of subjects as mundane as New England weather to the fascinating people and politics of a turbulent era. Joseph Ellis has written six books on the young republic and some of its major leader and has never disappointed his readers. He emphatically does not here.