I have not yet read this book, though I've read other things by Phillips. This was the book that indirectly lead to his death. The man who shot him thought that Phillips had based the character of Susan Lenox on his sister, and murdered Phillips with a pistol to 'avenge' the slight on his family's honor.
One of the great autobiographies, it's also one of the strangest: It's written in the third person, it's final chapters are an essay toward a theory of historical laws (to match the laws of the hard sciences), and it skips twenty years of the writer's life. This was due to the fact Adams wanted to avoid discussing his wife's suicide, an event not even his closest friends ever discussed with him. In fact, his wife is not even mentioned in the entire book. But all in all, these oddities are part of what make the book so appealing--as do such details as Adams describing his grandfather, John Quincy Adams, dragging him to school as a child. Worth the time to read.