I read the Pullitzer Prize winning book, John Adams, by David McCullough, not realizing it had been made into a mini-series. The book was excellent. Despite being a 700+ page historical biography, it actually held my attention, kept me up late and night and reduced me to tears in places, especially when it recounts how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
I thought the mini-series was also very well done. The acting was great, the way it brought the events to life was breathtaking. I loved the portrayal of Abigail Adams by Laura Linney. This mini-series is definitely worth watching and will have a proud place in my collection.
I have a few little points of contention when it comes to the portrayal of various characters. I thought, for example, the movie made John Adams out to be a little ridiculous at times, putting in words into his mouth in public settings which were actually said in private letters. The demise of his son Charles being a consequence of his lack of parental involvement was not as clear cut in the book as the movie made it seem, nor was John Quincy quite so bullied by his father. The book also makes much more of the duplicity of Thomas Jefferson, the indolence of Benjamin Franklin and the designs of Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson and Franklin still come out as heroes in the movie. Perhaps I bring up these points because the book makes you admire and love John Adams despite his weaknesses. If you enjoyed the mini-series, read the book too. It fills everything out, adds detail and insight, and gives a real appreciation for the Second US President who is so often overshadowed by Washington and Jefferson.