i'm a little surprised and ashamed at how little american history i remember. to that end, this book is full, full, full of rich details (how else does it get so long?) but some of them are more personal details (what someone looked like or was wearing) rather than details relevant to the time and the history. it would have helped me to see how meaningful certain events were if he had made other concurrent historical happenings more clear. yes, i'm saying that i would have liked this book more had it been a bit more dumbed down for us non-history buffs. also, it didn't take long for the historical account to sound quite biased in adams' favor. (and against benjamin franklin.) it was really interesting to note, though, how brutal politicians were to each other (accusations, manipulations, set ups, lies, slander, etc) even back then. an old american tradition, it turns out.