Jeanne Abrams, PhD

A View from Abroad: The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe

Jeanne Abrams, PhD, will discuss her new book, A View from Abroad: The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe, which examines the travels of John and Abigail Adams in Europe while John was serving as a diplomat. Their experiences had a strong impact on their loyalty to America and their desire to shape the new nation with a distinct American identity.

[Publisher’s excerpt.]

“Reveals how the European travels of John and Abigail Adams helped define what it meant to be an American”

From 1778 to 1788, the Founding Father and later President John Adams lived in Europe as a diplomat. Joined by his wife, Abigail, in 1784, the two shared rich encounters with famous heads of the European royal courts, including the ill-fated King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette, and the staid British Monarchs King George III and Queen Charlotte.

In this engaging narrative, A View from Abroad takes us on the first full exploration of the Adams’s lives abroad. Jeanne E. Abrams reveals how the journeys of John and Abigail Adams not only changed the course of their intellectual, political, and cultural development-transforming the couple from provincials to sophisticated world travelers-but most importantly served to strengthen their loyalty to America.

Abrams shines a new light on how the Adamses and their American contemporaries set about supplanting their British origins with a new American identity. They and their fellow Americans grappled with how to reorder their society as the new nation took its place in the international transatlantic world. After just a short time abroad, Abigail maintained that, “My Heart and Soul is more American than ever. We are a family by ourselves.” The Adamses’ quest to define what it means to be an American, and the answers they discovered in their time abroad, still resonate with us to this day.”

[Recorded January 13, 2022.]

Link to Book at Bookstore

History Camp Authors

    America's Summer Roadtrip 2020

      Jeanne Abrams

      Jeanne Abrams, PhD, received her PhD in American History from the University of Colorado and she is a professor at the University of Denver. Her newest book, A View From Abroad: The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe was published in 2021 by New York University Press.

      Abrams is the author of five books including First Ladies of the Republic: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison, was published by NYU in 2018 and Revolutionary Medicine: America’s Founding Mothers and Fathers in Sickness and Health (New York University Press 2013), which was named one of the “Top Books for Docs” by Medscape for 2013. She is also the author of numerous articles in both scholarly and popular journals and magazines, and her essays have appeared in The Washington Post and Time.

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