Long time readers know my serious geek crush on Mr. McCullough, American historian. I am not the only one, given how please Tom Hanks and Paul Giamatti seem to be in his presence.
I keep looking for a McCullough is my Homeboy tee on the internet, but think I will have to settle for simply continuing to read the McCullough canon.
My latest has been his biography of John Adams.
I know, I am late the to the party, both in terms of the book and the wonderful 2008 HBO miniseries starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, which I plan to watch this August.
I am now down to two books by Mr. McCullough yet unread and had been "saving" the John Adams biography for several months, since, well, Mr. McCullough is now in his eighties and at best, he has one or two more masterpieces up his sleeve.
The sign of a well written book is the emotions that it evokes in its faithful readers. A fiction writer has more to work with here in many ways, and can pull on our heartstrings with technique and abandon.
But an historian must bring the past alive for us. She or he must paint a portrait of the times in such a way that we are caught up in the story, a willing participant in the ride through an event or life.
It is Mr. McCullough's gift/genius that he so ably (no doubt through grit, excellent staff and a natural storytelling ability) takes us with him on the journey. The last twenty pages of John Adams saw me blubbering like a fool. I was crying about the death of a man who had died nearly 200 years ago!
But for me, John Adams died last night. And I felt as bereft as those good souls who would have mourned him in 1726. I forced Barry to listen ad nauseum as I retold major events of Adams' life, but of course, I could do it no justice, since I am not, sadly, of the caliber of Mr. McCullough.
Mr. McCullough is a genius and I, his besotted reader, am now forced to decide when I am going to fall in love with Harry Truman. Because I know I will. It is just a matter of time.
Last year I had to visit statues in NYC because of Mr. McCullough, now I think I am going to Braintree Massachusetts sooner rather than later, as well as
And yes, I am a Canadian, true north strong and free, but many of my ancestors were American and I am proud of them and my connection to the Boston states, so have got to go pay my respects to Mr. Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams.
Anyone else being sucked into history like this lately?
Have a great day and stay safe out there!
oh and Benjamin Franklin - your biography is eyeing me at the local bookshop... It's only a matter of time, dear sir..