Charles N. Edel: Nation Builder



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A strategy or how to make the United States into a great polity and that strategy eventually succeeded A good biography that understands Adams greatness in his moment I Lady Janes Nemesis found his personal lifeyoung adulthood to be super interesting But I kinda lostocus towards the second half of the book Charles Edel bring a singular passion and A Texas Rangers Family (The Stone Family focus to this project John uincy Adams was a politician who did not hide being an intellectual He was also arguably the most cosmopolitan American of his generation having traveled widely throughout Europe in his teens and twenties This perspective coupled withearsome intelligence made him uniuely ualified to serve as Secretary of State In an era when America s standing in the world is increasingly under threat Edel a master researcher and storyteller provides a much needed reexamination of our roots as a nation when we were an emerging rather than dominant power. Ding of how to counter the threats arrayed against them allowed him to craft a multitiered policy to insulate the nation Racialization, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Canada from European uarrels expand US territory harness natural resources develop domestic infrastructure education and commerce and transform the United States into a model of progress and liberty respected throughout the worldWhile Adams did not live to see all of his strategyulfilled his vision shaped the nation's agenda or decades afterward and continues to resonate as America pursues its place in the twenty irst century wor.

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Ay that Adams lacked a clear idea of America s interests and priorities or a guiding vision or both international action and internal development It s just that it doesn t offer us any advantages to speak of all this in terms of grand strategy an ambiguous term that muddles meaningful distinctions between concepts policy strategy plans aspirations and preferences and thereby allows Edel to suggest that Adams was a brilliant grand strategist who was totally incapable of implementing the vast majority of what he envisioned This seems to me a contradiction in termsThis isn t a terrible book not by any means But it s pretty thin stuff and it s hard A History of the Guyanese Working People, 1881-1905 for me to imagine that in the glut of recent writing about JA a better one hasn t been written This is a good book Its not neccesarily a breezy read its still scholarly and not neccesarilyor the layperson But Edel s thesis is that John uincy Adams had. Gues that he served as the central architect of a grand strategy that shaped America's rise Adams's particular combination of ideas and policies made him a critical link between the Blackfrost (Wytch Kings, founding generation and the Civil War era nation of LincolnExamining Adams's service as senator diplomat secretary of state president and congressman Edel's study of this extraordinaryigure reveals a brilliant but stubborn man who was both visionary prophet and hard nosed politician Adams's ambitions on behalf of America's interests combined with a shrewd understan.

Repetitive unevenly paced narrative No particularly novel analytic insights just well known Stupid men jokes factsrom publicly available sources viewed through the uestionable prism of grand strategy Edel was educated at Yale and it shows he hews to the grand strategy concept beloved of Walter Russell Mead John Lewis Gaddis and Paul Kennedy each of whom is prominently thanked in the acknowledgments It s not clear to me that this perspective has any real explanatory or analytic value uite often the scholars who look at things this way are simply using hindsight to ascribe Workbook for Emergency Care foresight and conceptual coherence to the thinking and actions of various historical leaders and polities I m looking at you LuttwakEspecially awkward are the parallels the author attempts to draw between Adams s grand strategyor his own personal development and career and the grand strategy he envisions The Benn Diaries Vol. 2 for the countryNone of which is to America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy John uincy Adams'samous words are often uoted to justify noninterference in other nations' affairs Yet when he spoke them Adams was not advocating neutrality or passivity but rather outlining a national policy that balanced democratic idealism with a pragmatic understanding of the young republic's capabilities and limitations America's rise rom a confederation of revolutionary colonies to a world power is often treated as inevitable but Charles N Edel's provocative biography of Adams ar.