Book Review: American Phoenix

American Phoenix
John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812 and the Exile that Saved American Independence
By Jane Hampton Cook

John Quincy and Louisa Adams's unexpected journey that changed everything. American Phoenix is the sweeping riveting tale of a grand historic adventure across forbidding oceans and frozen tundra. From the bustling ports and towering birches of Boston to the remote reaches of pre-Soviet Russia, from an exile in arctic St. Petersburg to resurrection and reunion among the gardens of Paris. Upon these varied landscapes this Adams and his Eve must find a way to transform their banishment into America's salvation.

Author historian, and national media commentator Jane Hampton Cook breathes life into once obscure history weaving a meticulously researched biographical tapestry that reads like a gripping novel. With the arc and intrigue of Shakespearean drama in a Jane Austen era, American Phoenix is a timely yet timeless addition to the recent renaissance of works on the founding Adams Family.

Cook has crafted not only a riveting narrative but also an easy to understand history filled with fly on the wall vignettes from 1812 and its hardscrabble freedom hungry people. While unveiling vivid portrayals of each character a colorful assortment of heroes and villains patriots and pirates rogues and rabble-rousers she paints equally fresh intimate portraits of both John Quincy and Louisa Adams. Cook's close up perspective shows how this American couple's Russian destination changed US destiny.

Those crucial years surrounding the United States' lesser known War of 1812 with England and the far flung menace of France's Napoleon Bonaparte fram American Phoenix the engrossing saga of John Quincy and his wife's sacrifices for their nation.

Maybe I'm a little more into history than a lot of my readers, but I think this book is fantastic. It offers a whole new insight into one of the most influential shapers of the United States John Quincy Adams. Often times he is thought of as a cold intellect I myself have read at least three history books describing him as such. A great book for any one wanting to know more about history.

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