Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Friends Divided
Cover of Friends Divided
Friends Divided
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Borrow Borrow Borrow
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017
From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties. It was a bitter breach, lasting through the presidential administrations of both men, and beyond.
But late in life, something remarkable happened: these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a grudging trickle of correspondence became a great flood, and a friendship was rekindled, over the course of hundreds of letters. In their final years they were the last surviving founding fathers and cherished their role in this mighty young republic as it approached the half century mark in 1826. At last, on the afternoon of July 4th, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration, Adams let out a sigh and said, "At least Jefferson still lives." He died soon thereafter. In fact, a few hours earlier on that same day, far to the south in his home in Monticello, Jefferson died as well.
Arguably no relationship in this country's history carries as much freight as that of John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Gordon Wood has more than done justice to these entwined lives and their meaning; he has written a magnificent new addition to America's collective story.
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017
From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties. It was a bitter breach, lasting through the presidential administrations of both men, and beyond.
But late in life, something remarkable happened: these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a grudging trickle of correspondence became a great flood, and a friendship was rekindled, over the course of hundreds of letters. In their final years they were the last surviving founding fathers and cherished their role in this mighty young republic as it approached the half century mark in 1826. At last, on the afternoon of July 4th, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration, Adams let out a sigh and said, "At least Jefferson still lives." He died soon thereafter. In fact, a few hours earlier on that same day, far to the south in his home in Monticello, Jefferson died as well.
Arguably no relationship in this country's history carries as much freight as that of John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Gordon Wood has more than done justice to these entwined lives and their meaning; he has written a magnificent new addition to America's collective story.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 21, 2017
    Wood (The Idea of America), a Pulitzer and Bancroft prize–winning professor of history at Brown, harnesses a career’s worth of historical knowledge to produce an artful tale of two of the most accomplished founding fathers. “The ironies and paradoxes expressed in the lives of these two Founders epitomize the strange and wondrous experience of the nation itself,” Wood explains. Though the U.S. emerged as a sovereign nation, its people remained divided by conflicting political philosophies. Adams and Jefferson often ended up on opposite sides, with political differences driving an almost irrevocable wedge between them. Tracing the trajectory of this fragile friendship, Wood reveals how and why Jefferson rather than Adams has endured as the embodiment of the nation’s heritage. Through the first two chapters, Wood introduces Adams and Jefferson by comparing and contrasting their backgrounds and characters. The two men became acquainted during meetings of the Second Continental Congress, where they agreed on the divisive question of independence. Later, political differences surfaced over the new U.S. Constitution, the French Revolution, and American party politics, all of which strained their friendship. Wood glides through the political intricacies and intrigues of the times, offering incisive analyses, especially of the ongoing debate over slavery, finely illuminating the minds of Adams and Jefferson.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 1, 2017
    The acclaimed historian engages in a compelling examination of the complex relationship of the Founding Fathers who eventually served as the second and third presidents of the United States.It is well-known that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson lived long lives and famously died on the same day, July 4, 1826. But what might be lesser known is that these two men of vastly different personalities and political views went from close allies to enemies to late-in-life friends. Adams was a self-made man who could seem abrupt and did not win admirers easily. Jefferson, on the other hand, was born to a life of privilege and honor, and he acted diplomatically almost without fail. Northerner Adams felt certain that humans could never achieve full equality, but he opposed slavery. Southerner Jefferson seemed to believe in the possibility of equality yet owned slaves. A leading historian of the Revolution and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes, Wood (History/Brown Univ.; The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States, 2011, etc.) traces how these two remarkable yet flawed men viewed each other through the decades and how the changing nature of their relationship influenced the public policy of their fledgling nation, at home and overseas. The author is especially adroit at explaining how Adams' ambassadorship to England and Jefferson's ambassadorship to France altered their views of the world and to some extent accelerated the conflicts between them. Wood also clearly explains Jefferson's popularity among nonhistorians, while Adams often seems overlooked in lay discussions of early American history. Among the other well-known personages in the narrative are Abigail Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Rush, all portrayed vividly by the author, whose approachable writing style is equal to his impressive archival research. An illuminating history of early Americans that is especially timely in the ugly, partisan-filled age of Trump.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    Both John Adams (1735-1826) and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) died on the golden jubilee of America's founding, within hours of each other. This well-known story opens Wood's (history, Brown Univ.; The Idea of America) biography of an unlikely friendship that had the power to bring the nation together; yet, one also fraught with an ideological divide that threatened the strength of their relationship. Adams, a middle-class pessimist, was known for telling hard truths that he believed the American people needed to hear. Jefferson, in contrast, was a slave-holding aristocrat who espoused the exceptional nature of Americans and told people what they wanted to hear. Wood's outstanding scholarship and beautiful, masterly prose tells each man's experience, and he's unafraid to discuss hard facts, such as Jefferson's blind spot on slavery or Adams's reverence for the British monarchy. More importantly, their friendship reveals why Americans remember the words of Jefferson over those of Adams. Jefferson's charm and optimistic view of the American experiment better fit Abraham Lincoln's unification narrative as the Union started to crumble. VERDICT Essential reading from a Pulitzer Prize-winning giant of early American history for both casual history readers and historians.--Jessica Holland, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Publishing Group
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 5 titles every 7 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Friends Divided
Friends Divided
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Gordon S. Wood
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel