John Adams and the Reformation of Male Manners

in Abigail and John Adams

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226037431
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226037448 | DOI:
John Adams and the Reformation of Male Manners

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This chapter examines John Adams' thoughts about the reformation of male manners. It discusses Adams' selection of the “Choice of Hercules” as the basis of the disciplinary program he applied to himself and attempted to apply to the popular male culture focused on the tavern. The chapter also considers how Harvard reinforced John's self-improvement in the direction of showing greater sensibility and how he was able to incorporate an agreeable public/private variety into his Herculean ambition.

Keywords: John Adams; male manners; Choice of Hercules; disciplinary program; popular male culture; self-improvement; sensibility

Chapter.  12011 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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