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A View from Abroad - The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe - cover

A View from Abroad - The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe

Jeanne E. Abrams

Publisher: NYU Press

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Summary

Reveals how the European travels of John and Abigail Adams helped define what it meant to be an AmericanFrom 1778 to 1788, the Founding Father and later President John Adams lived in Europe as a diplomat. Joined by his wife, Abigail, in 1784, the two shared rich encounters with famous heads of the European royal courts, including the ill-fated King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette, and the staid British Monarchs King George III and Queen Charlotte. In this engaging narrative, A View from Abroad takes us on the first full exploration of the Adams’s lives abroad. Jeanne E. Abrams reveals how the journeys of John and Abigail Adams not only changed the course of their intellectual, political, and cultural development—transforming the couple from provincials to sophisticated world travelers—but most importantly served to strengthen their loyalty to America.Abrams shines a new light on how the Adamses and their American contemporaries set about supplanting their British origins with a new American identity. They and their fellow Americans grappled with how to reorder their society as the new nation took its place in the international transatlantic world. After just a short time abroad, Abigail maintained that, “My Heart and Soul is more American than ever. We are a family by ourselves.” The Adamses’ quest to define what it means to be an American, and the answers they discovered in their time abroad, still resonate with us to this day.

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