Relying heavily on the extraordinary correspondence between the second president and his wife, this joint biography sheds light not only on the characters of two remarkable people, but also on the tumultuous times through ... more »which they lived. John and Abigail Adams played a critical role in many of the pivotal events of their era: he was a vociferous participant at the Continental Congress; she was an important eye-witness reporter during the Siege of Boston; he was an important war-time emissary to France. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE reminds us that the Founding Fathers - and Mothers - were not men and women of marble following a script that made independence and American national success a pre-ordained conclusion, but rather real, flawed, multi-dimensional people, who had no idea how things would turn out.« less
Paul M. (BookMan49) from WHEATON, IL Reviewed on 9/20/2009...
A good recreation of a complex relationship...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
JOHN GODFREY | Milwaukee ,WI USA | 01/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a John Adams fan & know him as the most competant of the founding fathers. Until recently he hasn't received his due. This is the story of John & Abigail Adams, their life together & more often as not, their life apart. He was pretty much disliked by his contemporaries. He was respected for his abilities & resented because he told the truth, no matter how painful. It bothered him all his life that he never got the adulation & celebrity of Washington, Jefferson & Franklin. However unlike many obnoxious people he knew his strengths & weaknesses. A fine orator he knew Washington was a better leader, Franklin a better diplomat & Thomas Jefferson, a better writer. It fell to Jefferson, with Adams & Franklin's help to author the Declaration of Independence. During his lenghty absences, Abigail kept the home fires burning, first, during his trips to to Philadelphia as a member of the Continential Congress & later as a diplomat to France & Holland. She managed their modest property as well as he could have. She was a community leader during British occupation & through the terrible small pox & typhoid epidemics that were so common in those days. She was first & always his most trusted confidant & political advisor, if not in person then in the long correspondences they kept up. Her love was unconditional & someone he could always count on. She made one trip overseas when he was Ambassador to England, which opened her eyes to the big world outside of her small one in Braintree, MA. Truly a woman of character, patriotism & a great American. The portrayals by the actors in this history were dead on as I imagined John & Abigail might have been. This dvd is an essential for high school American history classes. A real keeper & an example of television at it's best."
Interesting beyond belief
A. Taylor | Pittsburgh, Pa | 01/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary was extremely well done and had our whole family enthralled as the development of John and Abigail ensued. This is a very "real" portrayel of two incredibly strong and vivacious people that exhibited stamina far beyond what one can expect to endure today. Narrative interludes were appropriate and engaging. The acting was believable and well done with the dimention and deepness of the individuals clearly exhibited. THe connection between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was astonishing to say the least. I think most anyone would throughly enjoy all aspects of this production! I also recommend seeing the musical video 1776 to compare the portrayel of John Adams with this narrative. Enjoy!"
RaeAnne Forrest | Atlanta, GA USA | 05/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I caught this documentary on PBS tonight and immediately went online to see if it was available on DVD. The story of John and Abigail Adams is one of the most poignant in American history, and this film makes it accessible to even the most uninterested history-phobe. Interviews and cheesy re-enactments are cut to a minimum, and most of the story is told in voice-over and with quotes from letters written by John, Abigail, and their contemporaries, making it easy to watch as well as riveting. I was pleased with the portryal of John Adams here as well as Abigail; the insight into the founding of the US through their correspondence was eye-opening."
History brought to life
Bobby Newman | Long Beach, NY USA | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In American Experience: John and Abigail Adams, we have a masterful blending of drama and documentary. Fine actors portray the characters, while some of our generation's most popular historians (Freeman, McCullough, Ferling, Ellis, etc.) provide the commentary. It is a celebration of individuals who of late have finally been getting the credit that the U.S. public has never given. Both John and Abigail come across as passionate patriots who are utterly devoted to one another, the image one perceives if one reads their personal correspondence. Jefferson comes across in a less than complimentary manner, taking some well-deserved lumps for his behavior during Adams' presidency. Interestingly, Abigail is placed squarely within a discussion of the highly controversial Sedition Act, citing concern over John's safety and the security of the U.S. government. Another reviewer called this television at its best. Imagine the world if this sort of quality was what was featured nightly on television."
John and Abigail Adams
Pirate Girl | 09/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This historic piece was refreshingly well executed. From the casting to the cinematography, the romantic tale of John and Abigail Adams was well represented. It put forth the atmosphere of that period, as if you were actually living these times. The main three characters, were well cast, and did a wonderful job to bring forth the amicable, sometimes stressed, relationship between the Adams and Jefferson. A highly recommended historic piece to be included in high school and college American history classrooms."