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About the Book
American Phoenix tells the gripping story of John Quincy Adams’s “honorable exile” during the War of 1812 and the harrowing journey of his wife, Louisa, to be reunited with her family.
American diplomat John Quincy Adams and his wife, Louisa, had two things in common with the audacious Napoleon Bonaparte—speaking perfect French and living in exile. American Phoenix reveals the untold true story of Quincy’s unexpected nomination as the top US envoy to Russia in 1809, and Louisa’s agony at being forced to leave their six- and eight-year old boys behind in Boston. Believing that ambition can never repay such sacrifice, she clings to the hope of reuniting with her sons in a year. Pretention, royal dissipation, extreme weather, covert political maneuvers, French interference, private tragedy, and two great wars trap them in St. Petersburg longer than their worst fears. Their personal story is soon swept into the public drama of Napoleon’s war with Russia and America’s war with Great Britain, which ultimately force John Quincy and Louisa to live apart. When Napoleon escapes his exile, his march to reclaim Paris threatens to forever separate John Quincy and Louisa from each other and their children back home.
American Phoenix uncovers the challenges, fears, sorrows, joys, triumphs, and faith that come when life—no matter the era—takes an unexpected journey.
My Take on the Book
As a person that has read many of the Presidential Biographies (including one on John Quincy Adams), I have been intrigued by this President, his beliefs and what he did for our nation during its' formative years for some time. This book goes in depth into the lives of the President and his wife and turn bland data into a story with substance that makes you want to continue reading. There was so much in this book that was not brought forward in the biography that I read previously which made this invaluable to my overall understanding of him as a President, man and husband. On top of this though the author uses actual letters and other writing from the two of them to create a book that will bring you into a world much different than our own. Whether you know a little or a lot about this President, this book will offer even more to you and you will leave the reading of this book so much more informed than you will be at the beginning. An amazing read that I recommend to all!
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