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

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Though a bit plodding at first, it’s well worth sticking with it.


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, from patriarchs John and Abigail to the second-generation of John Quincy and Louisa and beyond.

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 artfully reveals John Quincy’s devastation after losing the job of his dreams, battle for America’s need to thrive economically, and sojourn to secure his homeland’s survival as a sovereign nation. She reserves her most detailed brushstrokes for the inner struggles of Louisa, using this quietly inspirational woman’s own words to amplify her fears, faith, and fortitude along a deeply personal, often heart-rending journey. Cook’s close-up perspective shows how this American couple’s Russian destination changed US destiny.



About Jane Hampton Cook

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Jane Hampton Cook is the bestselling author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War, the author of The Faith of Americas First Ladies, and a highly respected columnist. She is the former webmaster for President George W. Bush (199803). She has appeared on Fox News, and spoken at the Pentagon and at the Heritage Foundation. Jane and her husband, Dr. John Kim Cook, live in Vienna, Virginia with their two preschool-age boys.
Published May 6, 2013 by Thomas Nelson. 498 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
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Above average
on Mar 24 2013

Though a bit plodding at first, it’s well worth sticking with it.

Read Full Review of American Phoenix: John Quincy... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Vic's Media Room

on Aug 03 2013

”American Phoenix” is the remarkable, true story of this couple and their mark on this country and the world. This is the book to read.

Read Full Review of American Phoenix: John Quincy...

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