Gleaves Whitney’s in-depth discussion will describe Adams as a man driven by ambition, although he often denied the charge. In Adams’ later years, he grew increasingly embittered by the public’s exaltation of America’s more charismatic founders: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. In his retirement, Adams resorted to the margins of his books to personally revise the written record of American history.
Whitney became director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies in 2003. During his tenure, he has been the architect of more than 275 public programs — including four national conferences covered by C-SPAN and three international webcast debates. In 2008, Gleaves and a Hauenstein Center team were awarded a Mawby fellowship to explore the connection between philanthropy and the American presidency.
Whitney has been appointed to Michigan’s Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee, a two-year effort charged with helping the state celebrate our 16th president’s contributions to the nation. He served on the Arthur Vandenberg Memorial Committee and is presently partnering with M.W. Grass Strategic Communications and Meijer Inc. President Hendrik Meijer to produce a documentary film on Michigan’s famous senator.
“The John Adams Unbound” traveling exhibit is on display at Loutit District Library through Aug. 5. The nine-panel exhibit is based on the personal library of John Adams willed by Adams to the people of Massachusetts and deposited in the Boston Public Library in 1894. This collection of books provides firsthand insight into how Adams shaped American history, and how he was shaped through his lifelong dedication to reading and books.
For more information, visit www.loutitlibrary.org; or call 842-5560, ext. 214.