Sunday, April 13, 2008

Poor John!

That's the chorus I sing several times when I happen to have the chance to give a lecture on Adams' thought. A brilliant thinker, constantly out of synch with his times; a true man of virtue who showed how much more to life there is than virtue; outshone as the champion of independence by Paine, whom he despised, and Jefferson, whom he promoted; horribly miscast as ambassador to France; an anachronistic Presidency; etc. Deeply admirable and all wrong all at the same time.

I haven't been able to watch much of the HBO series, but the early part of tonight's episode, with Adams excluded from Cabinet and the Senate alike, inescapably brough "Poor John!" to my lips a good five or six times.