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Canto 64 focuses on John Adams’s early professional life, before he dedicated himself to politics full time. Relying on his personal diary and an autobiographical fragment, Pound traces the major events of Adams’s life between 1765 and 1773, following the general political situation, Adams’s cases in court, as well as his social network, observations, and own habits of relaxation and play. While revealing Adams’s perceptions and opinions on the world and people around him, the canto hovers on the two important historical events that impacted his life: The Stamp Act of 1765 and the so-called “Boston Massacre” of 1770. The canto shows that opinions Adams formed and articulated during the first event shaped his actions during the second. Pound also follows Adams’s efforts to be a moral person: be true to his political opinions, avoid the pitfalls of ambition and greed, get control over his own passions and violent temper.
CANTO XXXII – [the revolution was in the minds of the people]
CANTO XXXIII – Adams’s political principles
CANTO LXII – Adams’s youth: The Stamp Act and The Boston Massacre