Friday, January 3, 2020

Douglas R. Egerton

Douglas R. Egerton is a professor of history at Le Moyne College. The award-winning author's books include Thunder at the Gates and The Wars of Reconstruction.

Egerton's new book is Heirs of an Honored Name: The Decline of the Adams Family and the Rise of Modern America.

From his Q&A with  Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to focus on the descendants of John Quincy Adams in your new book?

A: Although I never planned it this way, each of my books seems to lead to the next.

My Wars of Reconstruction opened with the formation of the first black regiments in the Civil War, since so many black veterans went into politics after completing their service.

Then, since there was no modern study of those three pioneering black Massachusetts regiments, I wrote Thunder At the Gates, which chronicled the lives and service of 14 of those soldiers. Ten of them were black enlisted men, and four were white officers, one of whom was Charles Francis Adams Jr.

While reading Adams's wartime correspondence with his father and brothers, I realized there was much more to tell about this important, complicated family.

John and John Quincy, of course, are remembered today because they both became presidents, but the third and fourth generations of the Adams family, I believe, were equally important, yet...[read on]
Learn more about Heirs of an Honored Name at the Basic Books website.

The Page 99 Test: Heirs of an Honored Name.

--Marshal Zeringue