/* Am I A Pundit Now?: A Founding Mother Writes

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Founding Mother Writes

I am reading David McCullough's biography of John Adams, for which McCullough received the Pulitzer Prize. Indeed, it is a riveting read, and really captures the harrowing desperation and inspiring philosophies of the age.

The letters written by the important players of that age are truly amazing documents. Folks then were so well-educated and literate, and letter writing was such a respected art form, that writers today seem like hacks by comparison. Well, today's writers are hacks compared to them. Here is a quote from the book:

These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman."
Wow. That was not written by the great John Adams, it was written by his wife Abigail in 1777, trying to convince her son to accompany John to France.

Truly, a lost art.

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