The Plank

Is Barack Obama The New John Adams? You Decide!

Did this week's episode of HBO's John Adams leave you hankering for more French harlots and playboy diplomats? Then be sure to check out our debate between Steve Waldman and Jack Diggins on Sunday's episode of the miniseries. And this week, series writer Kirk Ellis joins the fray, addressing some of harsher critiques from our two scholars and explaining why he made certain questionable decisions in the final script.

Also, in this climate of presidential politics, we can't help but launch a new reader's contest: Which of today's politicians most resembles John Adams? Who is today's "man of law and order who fears the mob," as Diggins describes him? Or some of our favorite racists, echoing Adams's descriptions of revolutionary rabbles as "a motley rabble of saucy boys, Negroes and mulattoes, Irish teagues [pigs], and outlandish Jack Tars"? Anybody out there still hating on Catholics, who Adams describes as "poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood"? Or some of today's evangelicals, who "pray for guidance in all our endeavors," as Adams tells his wife? Cast your vote in the comments section!

--The Editors

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