In Search of John Quincy Adams

Charles N. Edel’s new book Nation Builder misreads the historical significance of America’s sixth president.

Issue: November-December 2014

Charles N. Edel, Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), 432 pp., $29.95.


THINK OF John Quincy Adams as the Elvis of American statecraft: creative genius, preeminent practitioner and enduring inspiration. Well, make that Elvis minus the charisma.

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