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I've just finished watching the final part of the HBO Films production "John Adams". What a fantastic mini-series this has been.
Though I studied American History (I realize to many of you in Europe this would seem a fairly short course) in school, my understanding of the events immediately surrounding the American Revolution always felt very distant and out of touch. Since moving to New England - and particularly since joining the fire department here in Maine I've gotten to know the places where these events took place, and even many families who trace their places in these towns back nearly that far.
My daughter Aeriel and I once listed to David McCullough's "1776" a few years ago, and enjoyed its perspective very much. While listening to the descriptions of people, their letters home, and the things they did I was reminded of people I'd gotten to know in the small towns of Maine. It was amazing to me how much the character of so many people has held true in families.
This was even more the case while watching "John Adams". Paul Giamatti played a fully realized Adams, complete with all the foibles and failings while managing to bring out the hardness and resolve, the ethic and the nobility of the man. Even better was Laura Linney in portraying Abigail Adams. I've known several New England women who resemble the diamond hard strength around a core of depth very much like the Abigail in this series. David Morse also did an amazing job as George Washington -- a very difficult role from what I've read of the man.
The combination of the personal and political viewpoint of this film combined with the military perspective of David McCullough's 1776 makes a brilliant picture of this time in history. I recommend both very highly.
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