John Quincy Adams was a central figure in early U.S. foreign policy. He served as a diplomat to major European powers like Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars. As Secretary of State he was responsible for the creation of the Monroe Doctrine and the U.S. acquisition of Florida and a border on the Pacific Ocean. After his presidency he served in Congress, where he fought the expansion of slavery and its influence on U.S. society and international affairs.

He remains famous today, especially for his warning that American foreign policy must not go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” But why did Adams make that warning – and how did he think about the world and America’s role in it?

In less than 100 pages, Freedom, Independence, Peace: John Quincy Adams and American Foreign Policy takes readers through the main themes of Adams’ views on foreign affairs. The book offers a vision of Adams that contrasts with both current U.S. foreign policy debates and modern international relations paradigms.

Author David C. Hendrickson (professor emeritus at Colorado College and author of several studies of early U.S. foreign policy) ably illustrates Adams’ thought, its impact in his day, and the challenge it offers to the present.

Freedom, Independence, Peace is available as a free digital edition (below) or in hard copy at Barnes and Noble.

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