Fred Kaplan Examines an Overlooked Visionary, President John Quincy Adams

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2014
Contact: Courtney Lewis
Fred Kaplan Examines an Overlooked Visionary, President John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, the first son of John and Abigail Adams, believed strongly in both individual liberty and the government's role as an engine of progress and prosperity. In that respect - and in his energy, empathy, sharp intellect, and way with the spoken and written word - he was a predecessor of Lincoln and, later, Franklin Roosevelt. And yet, our sixth U.S. president remains largely unnoticed and unsung.

Author and historian Fred Kaplan shines new light on Adams on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. He'll discuss his lively new biography, John Quincy Adams: American Visionary, which draws from a trove of unpublished archival material to trace Adams' journey from childhood during the Revolutionary War to his tenure as Secretary of State, his controversial election to the presidency in 1824, his one-term in the White House, and the remarkable final chapter of his public life when he served as an abolitionist congressman who became known as "Old Man Eloquent."

Kaplan - the award-winning author of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, and Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power - makes the case that Adams' forward-thinking values, definition of leadership, and vision for the nation's future speak as much to 21st-century America as they did to his own time.

Kaplan's talk is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series, co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute. The series is made possible by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at or call 816.701.3407.


Kansas City Public Library Beta