Magnificent Catastrophe

Topics: John Adams, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States Pages: 3 (1053 words) Published: February 17, 2014


Critical Book Review #1

In the book “A Magnificent Catastrophe” the author, Edward J. Larson, writes about all of the little details that has occurred in the First Presidential Campaign in the 1800s. He begins his book with how the two parties, the Republicans (Jefferson) and Federalists (Adams), were going to compete in who will govern the United States now that it is a free country and no longer under Britain’s rule. Although they had at first been friends they soon became enemies because of how they believed the government should be. Jefferson believed that the government should be a populist government that trusted popular rule. While Adams believed that America should have a strong government and that al the power rested in the president. When Adams was president he brought fear when he was engaged in the XYZ Affair which is when he bribed the French to comply with their negotiations. The people in America feared that they would be ruled by a foreign power. Adams used his presidential power to threaten people or bribe them into doing whatever he wanted. When Jefferson won the election of the 1800s he fixed all the wrongs that Adams had done. Larson’s book has many positive aspects that have taught me more about the election of the 1800s than any classroom would have.

The positive aspects that I found from the book was that I learned more than I would have inside of a class because there was more of the little details that happened in the election of the 1800s. The book provided all the background details that would not have been provided in a classroom. Providing these details helped me understand the election of the 1800s and make sense of it all. Before this book I would have never known that Adams and Jefferson were close friends. At once Adams family gladly took in Jefferson and his two sons into their family because they had nowhere else to live. The Adams had considered Jefferson’s sons as their own sons and looked...

Cited: Stuart Shiffman. (2011, January 5). Book Review. http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/a-magnificent-catastrophe-the-tumultuous-election-of-1800-americas-first-presidential-campai.
Thom Hartmann. (2007, October 7). Buzz Flash.com. http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/3233-edward-j-larsons-a-magnificent-catastrophe-thom-hartmanns-independent-thinker-book-of-the-month-review.
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