In Chelsea's ""American Women of Achievement"" series, a compilation of facts about the wife of our second President and the history of her time. Osborne supports her theme of Abigail Adams as an early supporter of women's rights with quotations from her voluminous correspondence; unfortunately, the quotes (revised, unnecessarily, for the sake of grammar and clarity) are too fragmentary to give the real flavor of her fascinating subject (to whom she refers as ""Adams,"" a modern convention that is confusing at best when applied to a member of this large family of eminent figures). Meanwhile, the many illustrations are of largely tangential interest, although some relate directly to the Adams family; some are contemporary, while others seem to be 19th-century depictions of Revolutionary scenes. Neither ""Adams"" nor anyone else comes to life here; nor are their characters or experiences made to shed light on history, past or present. Abigail Adams, a woman of unusual character and insight, deserves a biography to match her strengths. This is merely serviceable. Further reading; chronology; index.