I was fortunate enought to have read this book just before reading the new John Adams book. It is a fascinating insight into the thinking and values systems that shaped our country in its early days. I don't think I ever really understood how the religious values of the early New Englanders led to many of the principles our country was built on. To those who have trouble understanding why the early leaders of our country were so compelled to sacrifice so much to create a new and independent country here in America, this is the answer. Why John and Abigail Adams were willing to sacrifice almost their entire married life and the rearing of their children for these principles, one can only understand upon reading this book. These were not men set upon a search for glory or power, but men with a vision that they believed in with all their souls. The unifying beliefs of the people led them to accomplish what the great minds of Europe felt was totally irrational and impossible. This book is an answer to a question many didn't know to ask.