Books: Irascible Patrician

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, JR. by Edward Chase Kirkland. 256 pages. Harvard University. $5.95.

Owing to some genetic magic, the Adamses never produced black sheep, though there were times when the family anxiously expected Charles Francis Jr. to baa. Instead of settling down to the law after he left Harvard, 26-year-old Charles went dashing off to the Civil War, rose to the rank of brevet brigadier general. Since no other Adams had ever been a soldier, Charles Francis Sr., Lincoln's Minister to the Court of St. James's, concluded that there was a defect in his son's character. More over, on his return from...

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