The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics
by William J. Cooper
A fine, thorough political biography. John Quincy Adams started out as the diplomatic assistant of his prominent father. He then became a dissident Federalist senator in a time when New England had no power in the senate; he handled the situation with grace and gravitas. He was elected to the presidency as an alternative to Andrew Jackson, departing four years later when the Jacksonian wave could not be denied; shortly thereafter, he returned to the House where he served until his death as an exemplary and persistent critic of slavery.