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"Believers, Jews, Christians and Sabaeans - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right -- shall be rewarded by their Lord"

...[John] Adams’s Koran [Qur'an] had a strong New England pedigree. The first Koran published in the United States, it was printed in Springfield in 1806.
posted by orthogonality on Sep 22, 2010 - 22 comments

Nixon in China, Houston Grand Opera, 1987

We've had excerpts before, but this is the full performance. Nixon in China, with music by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman and choreography by Mark Morris. Directed by Peter Sellars, conducted by John DeMain, and presented by Walter Chronkite. Houston Grand Opera, 1987. Parts 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
posted by Navelgazer on Jun 7, 2010 - 17 comments

Run! Run away from the new music!

The “LSER” is a response to longstanding requests from subscription holders for a faster mode of self-ejection from the concert hall...The LSER will be a particularly comforting addition to the concert-going experience for patrons anxious about contemporary music, as in the case next month when music director Alan Gilbert will present “Le Grand Macabre” by the twentieth century master György Ligeti.

NY Philharmonic to install new Speedy Exit Ramp. via Hell Mouth, the blog of John Adams. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on May 13, 2010 - 22 comments

Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan

There was a rivalry between the parties, of course, but in Potter's account, it was more like the rivalry between Cal and Stanford than that between today's Republicans and Democrats. The parties had somewhat different constituencies and pledged fealty to a different set of men, but each attempted to encompass as much of the political spectrum as possible rather than merely half of it. The story of the 1850s, by these lights, is about how this changed.
With reference to David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, Adam Cadre surveys the four antebellum presidents. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 22, 2009 - 23 comments

"I have a great Deal of Leisure, which I chiefly employ in Scribbling, that my Mind may not stand still or run back like my Fortune."

"John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career. These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area." The Adams Electronic Archive has transcripts [example] as well as high-resolution scans [example] of the letters. You may be familiar with some snippets of their correspondence from the movie musical "1776" ("Til Then" and "Yours, Yours, Yours" scenes on YouTube).
posted by amyms on Sep 30, 2007 - 17 comments

Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular

Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular Some people today assert that the United States government came from Christian foundations. They argue that our political system represents a Christian ideal form of government and that Jefferson, Madison, et al, had simply expressed Christian values while framing the Constitution. If this proved true, then we should have a wealth of evidence to support it, yet just the opposite proves the case. Although, indeed, many of America's colonial statesmen practiced Christianity, our most influential Founding Fathers broke away from traditional religious thinking. The ideas of the Great Enlightenment that began in Europe had begun to sever the chains of monarchical theocracy. These heretical European ideas spread throughout early America. Instead of relying on faith, people began to use reason and science as their guide. The humanistic philosophical writers of the Enlightenment, such as Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire, had greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and Isaac Newton's mechanical and mathematical foundations served as a grounding post for their scientific reasoning.
posted by Postroad on Jan 27, 2005 - 49 comments

Founder's Chic

Historian H.W. Brands argues in this month's Atlantic that we over-venerate our Founding Fathers. John Adams and co., he surmises, were no wiser or more virtuous than our current crop of politicians, but their numerous flaws have been rendered invisible through the rosy glasses of time. What today's politicians could learn from their predecessors, he says, is bravado, the courage to take risks. Why not call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the rules every so often?, he asks.
posted by grrarrgh00 on Aug 7, 2003 - 40 comments

Library of Congress celebrates its 202nd birthday

Library of Congress celebrates its 202nd birthday. Today, the Library of Congress celebrates its 202nd birthday. On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of "such books as may be necessary for the use of congress."
The books, the first purchased for the Library of Congress, were ordered from London and arrived in 1801. The collection of 740 volumes and three maps was stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library's first home. President Thomas Jefferson approved the first legislation defining the role and functions of the new institution on January 26, 1802.
Check out, Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress and a Concordance of Images for more.
posted by Blake on Apr 24, 2003 - 12 comments

Sneering at President John Adams as "querulous, Bald, blind, crippled, Toothless Adams"

Sneering at President John Adams as "querulous, Bald, blind, crippled, Toothless Adams" got Ben Franklin's grandson arrested under the Sedition Act of 1798. Federalists like Adams and Alexander Hamilton used the Sedition Act to muzzle highly aggressive elements of the press. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison fought back -- and won. Understanding this early power grab by the U.S. executive branch helps put recent events into historical context. The struggle itself has been part of the United States of America since the beginning, and anyone working to fight Cheney and Ashcroft's unconstitutional assault happens to be in pretty good company. Happy Fourth of July.
posted by mediareport on Jul 3, 2002 - 13 comments

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