American history has always been a popular category on national nonfiction bestseller lists, and now we have an extraordinary biography of one of the nation's founding fathers, John Adams, at the top of our chart. David McCullough, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his biography Truman and two National Book Awards for history and for biography, has garnered some of the best reviews of his distinguished career for this book. (PW's starred review begins: "Here a preeminent master of narrative history takes on the most fascinating of our founders to create a benchmark for all Adams biographers.") First printing was 265,000, and after five trips to press, the new total is 400,000. The author is in the midst of a 15-city tour, with stops in Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, L.A, Denver, Austin, Dallas, St. Louis and a few in New England. Attendance at all events so far has been, according to Simon & Schuster, "spectacular." McCullough will speak tomorrow at a congressional hearing for a bill sponsored by Tim Roemer (D., Ind.) to build a memorial to the Adams family (John, Abigail and John Quincy).

With reporting by Dick Donahue.