e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Book Author - Adams Henry (Books)

  1-20 of 51 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Esther
2. The degradation of the democratic
3. The writings of Albert Gallatin
4. Biography - Adams, Henry (Brooks)
5. A bibliography of the works by
6. b:1838 The Education of Henry
7. The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes
8. Henry Adams
9. Both Sides of the Ocean: A Biography
10. The Education of Henry Adams:
11. Henry Adams and the Making of
12. The Education of Henry Adams (Cliffs
13. Democracy: An American Novel (Modern
14. New Essays on The Education of
15. Better in Darkness: A Biography
16. The Education of Henry Adams
17. Refinements of Love: A Novel About
18. Henry Adams: Selected Letters
19. The Correspondence of Henry James
20. The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes

1. Esther
by Henry, 1838-1918 Adams
Kindle Edition: Pages (2004-12-21)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000JMLKWG
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Faith and reason clash in this comic masterpiece
A neglected comic masterpiece that deserves to be rediscovered, "Esther" features an inspired premise as its plot: a young, free-thinking socialite falls desperately in love with an Episcopal minister. The result is a free-for-all clash of intellects, a confrontation between faith and reason, and the inevitable battle of the sexes.

The marvels of Adams's novel are his remarkably nuanced and fully realized characters. Esther, the free-thinker, wants to share her lover's faith and "is trying to get it by reason"--but doesn't initially understand that a person "can never reason yourself into it." Mr. Hazard, the minister, is confident that he will "succeed in drawing her into the fold, because his lifelong faith, that all human energies belonged to the church, was on trial, and, if it broke down in a test so supreme as that of marriage, the blow would go far to prostrate him forever." Esther's principles of independence and self-education collide with Hazard's desire to steer her into submission as his wife and fellow believer.

But my favorite character is relegated to a supporting role: Catherine, a recent transplant from the frontiers of Colorado, befriends Esther and dazzles New York society with her innocence, naivete, and sincerity. It's never really quite clear, however, whether her simplicity is the genuine article or just a show mocking the pretensions of her admirers. As one of the intellectuals who lightheartedly teases her wonders, there was "a little doubt whether she was making fun of him or he of her, and she never left him in perfect security on this point."

The novel sparkles with banter and quarrels, jokes and ripostes, but any attempt to reproduce the humor in a short review would fall flat: Adams's witticisms are dependent upon context and character. Still, I caught myself laughing out loud often at the book's cleverness and hilarity. ... Read more

2. The degradation of the democratic dogma, by Henry Adams; with an introduction by Brooks Adams
by Henry (1838-1918) Adams
 Hardcover: Pages (1919)

Asin: B000NKMUF0
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

3. The writings of Albert Gallatin - [Volumes 1 & 2]
by Albert (1761-1849). Adams, Henry (1838-1918) ed. Gallatin
 Hardcover: Pages (1960)

Asin: B000NX3B28
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

4. Biography - Adams, Henry (Brooks) (1838-1918): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 16 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007S9Q3C
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of Henry (Brooks) Adams, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thompson Gale. The length of the entry is 4800 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

5. A bibliography of the works by and about Henry Adams: (1838-1918)
by Harry N. M Winton
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1935)

Asin: B0008AS7SO
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

6. b:1838 The Education of Henry Adams and d:1918 The Education of Henry Adams (In two volumes)
by Henry Adams
 Paperback: Pages (1964)
-- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000LTL71G
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

7. The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes 4-6, 1892-1918
by Henry Adams
 Hardcover: 736 Pages (1989-01)
list price: US$273.00 -- used & new: US$148.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674526864
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Henry Adams' letters are among the best in the language. They are, in Alfred Kazin's words, "magnificent, his most spontaneous arid freest literary works." With the completion of this edition, they may well be judged his most significant achievement. "The letters are not a gloss on a life's work; in a real sense they are his life's work' the reviewer for American Literature stated.

We encounter Adams in 1892 at a turning point in his career, at the beginning of the period in which his leading ideas would he crystallized and his major literary works take shape. He had survived the shock of his wife's suicide and had completed his great History of the Jefferson era, and after his long journey in the South Seas his frustrated passion for Elizabeth Cameron had begun to calm. His wanderlust now took him to the Carolinas and the Rockies, to Mexico, Cuba, Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Italy, central Europe, Russia, and the North Cape. His interest came increasingly to center on the geopolitical present and the medieval past. Prompted by the Panic of 1893, he began an intensive study of the new finance capitalism and the imperial power it created; by the end of the decade he was beginning to foresee the shift of global dominance from Britain to the United States and Russia. Meanwhile a tour of the churches and abbeys of Normandy fired his imagination and led to the absorption in the art and culture 0f medieval France that would bear fruit in Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres

At his home on Lafayette Square, across from the White House, he became an informal adviser to statesmen, John Hay and Theodore Roosevelt among them. Out of his friendly association with scientists arid his own study of science came his conviction that the dynamo and radium were bringing a revolution in physics. His germinating ideas about science, technology, and economic power were conveyed in his letters over many years before they were formulated in The Education of Henry Adams, his "Study of Twentieth-Century Multiplicity."

The Adams who emerges from the letters is far more complex, contradictory, and human than the protagonist of the Education. He writes to women, Mrs. Cameron above all, about politics, economics, and science as well as social news and palace gossip, just as he writes to men about art as well as power. The multiplicity of his interests, his sharp perceptions, eye for telling detail, and passion for generalization, together with his irony and wit, make his letters the engrossing record of an extraordinary life-in-progress and an incomparable commentary upon his age.

... Read more

8. Henry Adams
by Ernest Samuels
Paperback: 612 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674387368
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Henry Adams sought, late in life, to thwart prospective biographers by writing his own biography. Published soon after his death in 1918, The Education of Henry Adams was rightly greeted as a masterpiece. Not until thirty years later, with the appearance of the first volume of Ernest Samuels's biography, did it become apparent how much the story had been colored by Adams's singular philosophy of history and how great was the disparity between the protagonist of the Education and Adams as he actually was. Upon its completion in 1964, Samuels's life of Henry Adams was hailed as "one of the great biographical achievements of our time"; its laurels included a Pulitzer Prize.

Ernest Samuels has now distilled his ample narrative into a single absorbing volume. We see Adams as a lively undergraduate, in contrast to the jaded young man of the Education; as budding writer, newspaper correspondent, eager participant in political maneuverings in Washington and at the American embassy in London; as teacher at Harvard and editor of the North American Review; settled in Washington, as scholar, biographer, historian, novelist; as insatiable traveler; as friend and adviser to statesmen; as elderly cosmopolite spending half of each year abroad; and always as witty chronicler of the social scene and trenchant commentator on the events of his time. We are drawn into the personal drama of Adams's middle years: his married life with Clover; the halcyon period in Washington in the early 1880s, catastrophically terminated by Clover's depression and suicide; his growing passion for Elizabeth Cameron; and his flight to the South Seas. Throughout the book we follow the genesis and progress of his writings, from his muckracking journalism in President Grant's Washington, through the social and political criticism of his novels, his biographies, and his great History, to the classic Mont Saint Michel and Chartres, the daring theories of the Education, and his last essays.

Few biographies have so broad a canvas--sixty years of American political, social, and intellectual life, from the pre-Civil War years to the First World War. And few offer so revealing a portrait of a complex human being and an extraordinary career.

... Read more

9. Both Sides of the Ocean: A Biography of Henry Adams, His First Life, 1838-1862 (Biography of Henry Adams)
by Edward Chalfant
 Hardcover: 475 Pages (1997-02)
list price: US$42.50 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0208019014
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A deep and penetrating work of art.
This book is not an ordinary biography. The author's extraordinary talent and insight bring forth the living principle that is Henry Adams. It will draw the attentive reader into Adams' world and one will come face to face with an original genius. And I would like to paraphrase Schopenhauer's definition that genius is the capacity to bring forth some light into this world of ignorance and darkness.

We experience the catastrophe of the American Civil War through the mind of Adams. We are given the usual dates and events, but at a deeper level we encounter "the inside narrative:" the petty bickering, plotting, blundering and revenge. On the other sidewe see skill and diplomacy; acts of kindness and compassion. It rises to the level of something Shakespearean, and leaves a strong impression of powerful collective forces to be reckoned with. So the book is not merely about individuals and events at a particular time in the past. It delves deeply into the great mystery of human nature.

Another thing I can say is that Dr. Chalfant's conversationalstyle is so pleasant to read that I frequently get pulled into it and have trouble putting the book down. Something someone once wrote about Robert Burton comes to mind. "While reading this book, one feels as if he is in the company of a good friend." ... Read more

10. The Education of Henry Adams: A Centennial Version (Massachusetts Historical Society)
by Henry Adams
Hardcover: 542 Pages (2007-01-19)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$22.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0934909911
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Both a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and at the head of the Modern Library's list of the one hundred best English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century, The Education of Henry Adams has long been revered as a great work of literature. Written by Adams in the third person, the book became known for founding a new genre best described as "an education" -- an account not of life, but of learning. A tireless historian, politician, and traveler, Adams was from first to last a dedicated learner capable of great originality. In this text, Adams uses his background information (such as place of birth, voyage destinations, and alma mater) but little else, placing his protagonist in front of life's various pitfalls with the object of providing those stepping out into the world with the tools they need to handle themselves in the face of adversity. By inventing his own fictional missteps, Adams allows readers to educate themselves on how to approach life's curveballs.

Although The Education of Henry Adams has long been considered a classic, until now the only editions available were those from 1907 and 1918. The former, which appeared in Adams's lifetime, was a private printing of only one hundred copies, containing hundreds of printer's errors and editorial inconsistencies. The latter, printed by the Massachusetts Historical Society and Houghton Mifflin Company after Adams's death in March of 1918, amounted to a wholesale modernization of Adams's work, leaving telling defects, including stylistic inconsistencies and incomplete sentences. With The Education of Henry Adams: A Centennial Version, editors Edward Chalfant and Conrad Edick Wright have at long last returned this celebrated book to the author's vision. Combining close attention to the private printing's typesetting and editorial shortcomings with valuable insights into the history of the book and Adams's reasons for writing it, they have also inserted marginal corrections by Adams in his working copies of the 1907 printing. With an introductory note, an invitation to readers, and a postscript, they have both traced the text's own story and offered a compelling interpretation of the author's motives. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Standard
I have just had a chance to look at this book.It is obviously a labor of love.

Long one of my favorites, this edition is the new standard.

It should be read by all lovers/students of American literature/culture.

3-0 out of 5 stars best of available
If you have any interest in this subject, then this version is the best available. It has been carefully edited to reflect the original version and has an excellent introduction. ... Read more

11. Henry Adams and the Making of America
by Garry Wills
Paperback: 480 Pages (2007-08-02)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618872663
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Pulitzer Prize-winner Garry Wills makes a compelling argument for a reassessment of Henry Adams as our nations greatest historian and his History as the "nonfiction prose masterpiece of the nineteenth century in America." Adams drew on his own southern fixations, his extensive foreign travel, his political service in the Lincoln administration, and much more to invent the study of history as we know it.His nine-volume chronicle of America from 1800 to 1816 established new standards for employing archival sources, firsthand reportage, eyewitness accounts, and other techniques that have become the essence of modern history. Ambitious in scope, nuanced in detail, Henry Adams and the Making of America throws brilliant light on the historian and the making of history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at 3rd and 4th presidencies (4.2 *s)
This book examines the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison as seen through the eyes of Henry Adams and his nine volume history written in the later nineteenth century. It is an attempt to rescue Adams' history from the dust bin, claiming that it has been misinterpreted by even academics who have failed to appreciate its uniqueness and incisiveness. The author makes much of the fact that Adams was one of the first historians to base his work on archived material. The fact that he was from the prominent Adams family and had posted to England during the Civil War as a deputy to his father facilitated his access to materials as well as an interest in history.

Foreign relations dominated the early nineteenth century with the US being forced to deal with European hostilities, especially the impact of Napoleon. Also, the expansionistic tendencies of Americans butted up against the North American presence of Spain, France, and England at various times. Adams was mindful of personalities, ineptitude, and miscommunications both with foreign offices and within US government circles, especially the cabinets. Jefferson was in a fairly constant tiff with Chief Justice Marshall over such issues as John Adams packing the federal judiciary with Federalist judges, impeachments, and the trial of Aaron Burr for treason. The War of 1812 was the single most important event of the era beginning with the antagonisms engendered by Jefferson's and Madison's Embargo Act of 1807.

Both Wills and Adams remark on the irony of small government Republicans accruing sufficient national government powers to survive against European powers. They find the pragmatism of Jefferson to exceed any ties to ideology.

A mild criticism of the book is that it attempts to be both a work of history itself as well as commentary about a book concerning the same period. The narrative gets a little bumpy at times. There does seem to be a shortage of good histories of this particular period, unlike the last twenty-five years of the previous century. So it is a welcome book. It's doubtful that it would inspire many to pick up Adams' original work, however.

2-0 out of 5 stars Thankfully I never read Adams'History
Garry Wills has relieved me of any possible guilt for never having read Henry Adams' History of the United States.It appears to be a boring piece of work.The attempt to show how events in Adams' life led him to take certain positions about events in the period 1800-1816 only creates difficulty in reading and makes the whole enterprise very unpleasant.I did enjoy Adams' comments on the two Adams presidents, both of whom were martinets.But my biggest reaction is to the incompetence of both Jefferson and Madison, even though they did accomplish many things despite their intentions.When we today see the inability of our leaders to do any good or avoid evil we often think back to the wonderful presidents we had in the beginning.Well, they weren't so wonderful after all.Jefferson was an accomplished intellectual but a pretty mediocre president.The foreign policies of Jefferson and Madison demonstrate childishness and arrogance in the face of European sophistication and experience.It is perhaps a miracle this country ever survived in such hands.

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry Adams: Who Knew?
I was one of those who had only read "The Education" and found Adams a bit gloomy -- though his chapter "The Dynamo and The Virgin" I've found endlessly fascinating (see below). So, when I heard an NPR interview with Wills I bought the book. This is the point of the book: that historians and readers totally misinterpret Adams' view of America. He was a major and optimistic proponent of a United (!) States -- not a bunch of disparate states. So, another excellent book by Wills. Very good summary of the revolutionary period and especially the military problems (read Ellis' "His Excellency" on Washington soon after -- good combination).

As a side note, what's always fascinated me about Adams is here's a guy born into a 19th century life of letters (dark wood paneled libraries, quill pens, science only just separating from philosophy); heir to some serious 18th century heavy hitters, who lives to see Einstein's papers on light and relativity published. I think Adams might qualify as the last true American man of letters; someone whose mind could encompass (almost, but maybe not quite) all of science, literature and philosophy. When science took off at the revolution in physics, I don't think such a broad understanding of intellectual life was possible anymore.

Anyway, highly recommended.


5-0 out of 5 stars Great book even for a casual history reader
You've read what the academic types think of this book.Now for the opinion of someone who has never used "polymath" or historiographical" in a sentence.

I loved this book!I read The Education of Henry Adams in college and am an avid reader of US history as an adult.I have been reading biographies of each president in order, having recently completed John Tyler.So I have read a lot about the period covered in Adams' history of the Jefferson and Madison Administrations, but I am certainly no expert.And I still loved the book.It will definitely whet your appetite for reading the real thing.

As another reviewer said, it was really interesting to read a book about a book.It was like having an art historian explain a famous painting to you.You have your own ideas about it and don't necessarily agree with everything they say, but it brings you new perspective, understanding and background you would not have otherwise had.

Wills' work was lively, interesting and well-written.If you are not up to tackling the history, you learn a lot of history of the period vicariously by reading Wills' work.

This is an accessible work that rightly brings back into consciousness one of the all-time great pieces of American scholarship and literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gloss it is not!
This is an extraordinary book.Ignore the condescending New Yorker review.Methinks, like Wills' "ill-read" historians who never actually read Adams' Histories, the reviewer never finished reading the book he or she reviewed.

Wills does a great job illuminating the preciousness with which many historians dismiss the work of their earlier peers.He also highlights the significant role Adams played in extending the use of original source materials in writing history.In this case Adams' connections played a huge role in gaining access to documents that would have been unavailable to many others.

I particularly enjoyed Wills' exposition of Adams's treatment of the 1812 Naval War, where he traces the similarities and differences among Cooper, Mahan and Roosevelt's histories of the same engagements.

Finally, Wills highlights Adams' interest and understanding of Government Finance which led him to emphasize the naivete of Jefferson's anti-Hamilton financial policies which in turn both helped trigger the War of 1812 and then brought it to an end.

The book is a great read.The only down-side is that it is so good that readers may have an almost legitimate excuse for not finishing Adams' original Histories. ... Read more

12. The Education of Henry Adams (Cliffs Notes)
by Stanley P. Baldwin
Paperback: 121 Pages (2001-01-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$1.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764586483
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer a look into critical elements and ideas within classic works of literature. The latest generation of titles in this series also features glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.

CliffsNotes on The Education of Henry Adams explores the focal character’s boyhood world through the voice of Henry Adams as a man in his late 60s. Speaking in third person, the narrator treats the younger Henry objectively, which establishes the style of the book.

Following Henry’s lifelong protests of the limitations of formal education, this study guide provides summaries and commentaries for each of 35 chapters within what has been termed “experimental literature” and an outstanding work of nonfiction. Other features that help you figure out this important work include

  • A look at the author’s personal background, selected writings, and reputation
  • Introduction to the work, with a synopsis and character map
  • Character analyses and critical essays
  • Review questions, suggested essay topics, and practice projects
  • Resource Center with books, articles, and Web sites that can help round out your knowledge

Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.Download Description
This concise supplement to Adams' The Education of Henry Adams helps students understand the overall structure of the work, actions and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural perspectives of the author. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A guide to all the obscure references in Adams's masterpiece
In "New Essays on The Education of Henry Adams" (a collection published by Cambridge UP), literary scholar John Carlos Rowe admits that "The baffling multitude of historical characters, significant events, and political currents has generally been the first obstacle to the reader's involvement in this narrative.... it still amazes me that readers helped turn a book of such difficult historical references into a classic."

And so I was about two-thirds of the way through "The Education of Henry Adams" when I threw in the towel and admitted that, if I hoped to finish the work, I too needed a guide to all the obscure events and even more obscure personalities referred to by Adams in his otherwise remarkable book. This purchase was actually my first-ever exposure to the CliffsNotes series--and I was pleasantly surprised.

Written by Stanley Baldwin, this short handbook offers a chapter-by-chapter overview of the "Education," delivers the necessary historical and biographical background, and highlights the work's important themes. This is no condensed version, however; you won't feel like you've read "The Education of Henry Adams" after you're gone through this booklet. Instead, Baldwin gives the reader just enough information to understand Adams's work, and he wisely leaves many of the most interesting episodes and all of Adams's clever observations and witty quips for readers to discover on their own.

Although some of the presentation is a bit repetitive for a 100-page booklet (and this approach, I gather, is emblematic for the titles in this series), this is a solid, useful, and inexpensive introduction for readers like myself who might otherwise enjoy the "Education" if they weren't constantly flummoxed by the insider references and historical arcana Adams tosses along the way. ... Read more

13. Democracy: An American Novel (Modern Library Classics)
by Henry Adams
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-07-08)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037576058X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

First published anonymously in 1880, the mother of all (American) political novels is the story of Madeleine Lee, a young widow who comes to Washington, DC, to understand the workings of government. "What she wanted was POWER." During the course of the novel, she sees enough of power and its corruptions to last her a lifetime.Book Description
An immediate bestseller upon its publication in 1880, the anonymously penned Democracy prompted widespread speculation and guessing games as to its author’s identity. It is the story of Mrs. Lightfoot Lee, a society widow, and Silas Ratcliffe, the most influential member of the Senate, who, throughout the novel, pursues Mrs. Lee while at the same time battling her for power. Set in Washington in the 1870s, Democracy presents a scathing and incisive look at the intricate inner workings of politics and corruption that remains relevant today.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the 1880 first edition and includes a contemporary review from The Atlantic Monthly.Download Description
FOR reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington. She was in excellent health, but she said that the climate would do her good. In New York she had troops of friends, but she suddenly became eager to see again the very small number of those who lived on the Potomac. It was only to her closest intimates that she honestly acknowledged herself to be tortured by ennui. Since her husband's death, five years before, she had lost her taste for New York society; she had felt no interest in the price of stocks, and very little in the men who dealt in them; she had become serious. What was it all worth, this wilderness of men and women as monotonous as the brown stone houses they lived in? In her despair she had resorted to desperate measures. She had read philosophy in the original German, and the more she read, the more she was disheartened that so much culture should lead to nothing - nothing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Anyone Who is Rabid for Politics and American History!
Excellent.Simply excellent!

4-0 out of 5 stars "I must know whether America is right or wrong."
Henry Adams, the direct descendent of two presidents, published his novel, Democracy, anonymously in 1880.About one hundred years had passed since the launching of the great American political experiment and through his novel Adams takes stock of its results.

The novel also seems to be a catharsis for Adams, an internal monologue explaining to himself why, burdened by society's considerable expectations and helped by powerful family connections, he eschews a career in elective politics.

Adams speaks through the novel's protagonist, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee, and sometimes through Mr. Nathan Gore, a literary man.Other personages are caricatures, representing types of people, such as the obvious Mr. Hartbeest Schneidekoupon, a rich, amateur politician, whose German last name means "coupon clipper," a nineteenth-century term for the idle rich.Old World diplomats, duty-bound officials, skirt chasers, sanctimonious reformers and down-in-the-dirt politicians are Mrs. Lee's and Mr. Gore's foils as they visit Washington to examine the engine room of democracy.

Corruption, the role of money in politics and the ignorance of powerful politicians give Adams concern for the health of the American political system.These concerns are woven throughout the novel's action."Surely something can be done to check corruption.Are we for ever to be at the mercy of thieves and ruffians?Is respectable government impossible in a democracy?" asks Adams through Mrs. Lee.In light of these obvious defects, Adams wonders if America's great experiment is right or wrong.

Adams' picture of 1880 Washington politics contrasts starkly with the noble principles debated by the country's founders and enshrined in its founding documents.Today's politicians, according to Adams, only give lip service to principles.Lofty ideas are only useful when they help you get what you want.Politics has become a bazaar, where money reigns.As Senator Ratcliffe, a corrupt Washington power broker, states:"Public men ... cannot be dressing themselves to-day in Washington's old clothes. If Washington were President now, he would have to learn our ways or lose his next election."

While a foreign diplomat who claims intimate knowledge with world corruption predicts that Washington will in one-hundred years become the world's most corrupt city, Adams doesn't despair for democracy.As Nathan Gore states: "I grant it is an experiment, but it is the only direction society can take that is worth its taking; .... Every other possible step is backward, and I do not care to repeat the past."Adams concludes, however, that as a man for whom principles are important, he's not suited for a career in elective politics.

While Adams' novel was written about one hundred years after the United States' founding, another hundred years has passed. Adams was a knowledgeable and perceptive political observer of his time. A reader might pause to ask:What's changed?Are Adams' observations still relevant?Is his somewhat subdued enthusiasm for democracy still grounds for optimism?Is every other possible step backward?

4-0 out of 5 stars Political satire that is still relevant today
"Democracy" is what "Primary Colors" would have been if the latter had been well-written. Like Joe Klein, Adams published his book anonymously and skewered a number of contemporary politicians (including President Rutherford B. Hayes). But Adams goes two steps further: his novel is a scathing commentary more on the American political system in general than on one administration in particular, and his characters are iconic and recognizable in any era.

In "Democracy," the nation's capital "swarms with simple-minded exhibitions of human nature; men and women curiously out of place, whom it would be cruel to ridicule and ridiculous to weep over." But Adams is not hesitant about being cruel in his portrayal of Washington's residents, and he saves his weeping for the true victims in his novel: the American people. The typical American senator combines "the utmost pragmatical self-assuranceand overbearing temper with the narrowest education and meanest personal experience that ever existed in any considerable government." (Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!)

The story concerns Madeleine Lee, an intelligent and well-meaning (if somewhat naive) New York widow, who, bored with her cosmopolitan lifestyle, travels to Washington to learn what makes the nation tick. She and her sister are quickly surrounded by a diverse group of politicians, lobbyists, and foreign diplomats, and she finds herself courted by Silas Ratcliffe, a senator with presidential aspirations whose talent "consisted in the skill with which he evaded questions of principle." During one heated (and humorous) argument about George Washington's merits, Ratcliffe sums up his view of politics: "If virtue won't answer our purpose, then we must use vice, or our opponents will put us out of office."

Adams's prose is almost Jamesian in its measured pacing (and this may simply bore some readers); the initial chapters are unhurried as he weaves the web of the plot and sketches his all-too-believable characters. Along the way he tosses barbed zingers at every target. The climactic passages are among the most comically riveting, emotionally intense, and morally satisfying finales I've read in a satire: as you might expect, nobody gets exactly what they want, but everyone gets what they deserve.

2-0 out of 5 stars An epitaph: It Had Good Intentions...
...Which pave the road to mediocrity, a writer's hell. Though it isn't terrible, "Democracy" is little more than a could-have-been in all respects. It has interesting ideas and competent writing, so the potential was there. The problem, as is so often the case, is in the novel's execution.

The idea that power corrupts is an old one, and it is obviously the main point of Henry Adams' novel. His intention seems to be to portray the lengths to which those in power will go to acquire more power, and how the lust for power is certain to deaden one's sense of morality. Unfortunately, Adams would have done better to write an essay on the subject rather than attempt to weave it into a fictional novel, for the author waxes too moralistic on his theme, rather than stepping back and allowing the characters to make his point for him. This does more harm than simply annoying the reader with value judgments; the story itself becomes so transparent and predictable, that it seems a mere vehicle for what soon becomes a tiresome refrain.

Perhaps this is why the characters are so lamentably flat. The descriptions Adams writes for each character seem to foreshadow complexity and development, but this soon is proven to be a false impression. Interesting as the characters might have been from their descriptions, when push comes to shove and the story continues, they remain utterly devoid of personality. Ironically, the main characters, Madeleine and Ratcliffe, are probably the most thinly developed of the entire bunch; the supporting cast is slightly more interesting, but not by much.

Another annoyance is the implausible thinking and actions of so many of the characters; for Madeleine to contemplate marrying Ratcliffe for her sister's sake is simply ridiculous.The fact that she considers her life at an end at age thirty is equally implausible, as is Sybil's attitude of careless youth at age twenty-five: in the nineteenth century, any woman of that age who was yet unmarried would have been considered an old maid, yet that is never even hinted at.

Perhaps the worst of it all was the pacing: this 300+ page book could have EASILY been half its size. It drags along without character development and without even any plot development. Worse yet, the book is centered entirely around politics, yet Adams seems hazy as to the details of those politics. Perhaps Madeleine learned a lot about American politics from her stay in Washington, but very little of this is shared with the reader. As such, the book does not even have an interesting setting to recommend itself.

In the end, it is obvious what Adams was trying to say, but by making Madeleine so careless with regard to Ratcliffe, the author fails utterly. With no temptation, there can be no sacrifice. It is unclear why the reader is expected to admire Madeleine, yet this expectation is clear enough.

To sum up...for a book about government corruption, look elsewhere. There must be something out there better than this. Anything.

4-0 out of 5 stars an amusing take on politics
To act with entire honesty and self-respect, one should always live in a pure atmosphere, and the atmosphere of politics is impure.-Senator Silas Ratcliffe, Democracy

In his own lifetime, Henry Adams was famous first for being the grandson of John Quincy Adams,thus the great grandson of John Adams; second for his epic History of the United States During theJefferson and Madison Administrations. It was only upon his death, in 1918, that his third personautobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, was published and that his publisher revealed thatAdams had written the previously anonymous novel Democracy.It is The Education which hassustained his reputation, having been named the number one book on the Modern Library list of theTop 100 Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century, but Democracy is still considered one of the betternovels of American politics, though surprisingly it is currently out of print.

The novel is both a fairly typical 19th Century comedy of manners--with the widow Madeleine Leedecamping from New York to Washington DC, where she instantly becomes one of the Capital's most desirable catches--and a more serious meditation on the nature and pursuit of power in the Americandemocracy.The widow Lee is specifically interested in Washington because it is the seat of power :

...she was bent upon getting to the heart of the great American mystery of democracy and government.

. . .

What she wished to see, she thought, was the clash of interests, the interests of forty millions of people and a whole continent, centering at Washington; guided, restrained, controlled, or unrestrained and uncontrollable, by men of ordinary mould; the tremendous forces of government, and the machinery of society at work. What she wanted was POWER.

Mrs. Lee's most likely pursuer is Senator Silas Ratcliffe of Illinois, widely considered a likely future President : he sees her as a perfect First Lady and she sees him as her path to power.Through anelaborate courtship ritual and several set piece scenes (in the Senate, at the White House, at MountVernon, at Arlington Cemetery and at a dress ball) Adams puts his characters through their paces andaffords the reader an intimate look at the rather tawdry political milieu of the 1870's.The theme thatruns throughout the story is that access to power comes only through compromising one's principles,but Adams is sufficiently ambivalent about the point that we're uncertain whether he's morecontemptuous of those who make the necessary deals or those who, by staying "pure," sacrifice theopportunity to influence affairs of state.Suffice it to say that the novel ends with Mrs. Lee, assumedby most criticsto represent Adams himself, fleeing to Egypt, telling her sister : "Democracy hasshaken my nerves to pieces."

Like his presidential forebears, Henry Adams had a realistic and therefore jaundiced view of politics,even as practiced in a democracy.The Adams's did not subscribe to the starry eyed idealism of theJeffersonians.But they were all drawn to politics, even realizing that it was a moral quagmire.This isthe fundamental dilemma of the conservative democrat, we recognize that we have to govern ourselvesbecause we know we can't trust unelected rulers, but we also understand that our electedrepresentatives are unlikely to be any more honest than the tyrants we threw out.This attitude isfamously captured in Winston Churchill's (alleged) aphorism : "Democracy: the worst of all possiblesystems, but there is no other which would be better."And the unfortunate corollary is that unlessrelatively honorable men like the Adamses and the Churchills pursue careers in politics, the field willbe left to the real scoundrels. Henry Adams doesn't offer any solutions to the dilemma, but he offersan amusing take on it.

GRADE : B ... Read more

14. New Essays on The Education of Henry Adams (The American Novel)
by John Carlos Rowe
 Hardcover: 176 Pages (1996-06-28)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$49.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521445515
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
This volume addresses the established reputation of the Education of Henry Adams as a classic work of American autobiography and a canonical work of American literature. Examining the Education in terms of early twentieth-century American attitudes toward education, gender, U.S. foreign policy, and historiography, these essays add considerably to our understanding of the Education as an expression of its time.This is a remarkably coherent volume that explains in original ways the continuing importance of the Education of Henry Adams as literature and history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly essays explaining and interpreting Adams's work
The five essays in this volume provide solid scholarly appreciations, as well as some much-needed background, for the rich confusion of "The Education of Henry Adams." (That this volume is part of the Cambridge University Press's "American Novel" series reinforces the view that Adams's masterpiece employs a fictional framework and contains undeniably ahistorical elements.)

Opening the volume, John Carlos Rowe's introduction is an astute commentary in its own right, offering indispensable context and reassessing Adams's work in light of Ernest Samuels's biographical research and Sacvan Bercovitch's scholarship on American puritanism. He also includes interpretative summaries of the four main entries.

Brook Thomas's "The Education of an American Classic: The Survival of Failure" uses the Harvard Classics (compiled by Charles W. Eliot, who hired Adams as a professor) as a means to assess the place in the canon of both Adams's work and his "rhetoric of failure." Framing this discussion within the academic dispute over content versus method, Thomas argues, "The importance of the 'Education' is not merely its capacity to raise questions but its challenge to face questions that we--like Adams before us--have inherited from the past."

Martha Banta's essay, "Being a 'Begonia' in a Man's World," looks at Adams's life and work from a feminist perspective. She tackles this neglected aspect from two fronts, looking at Adams's often sexist yet primitively empathetic views of women and analyzing his defensiveness of his own manliness (or, more accurately, his lack thereof). As a self-described "butterfly" and "dilettante" and as a blueblood member of the leisure class, Adams is excluded from the company of "real" men--those in the "process of gaining money rather than having it. Adams knew what money meant in defining American manhood." Banta sometimes lapses into the literally obvious ("Because Adams was genetically a male, with a male's rights in society") or the metaphorically ridiculous ("By means of 'internalization' and 'appropriation' of the kind that suggest the tribal ritual of cannibalism"), but her essay is the most original and provocative (and surprisingly witty) of the bunch.

The volume concludes with two essays that I'd wished I had before I read "The Education." Rowe's "Henry Adams's Education in the Age of Imperialism" dissects the complexities of Adams' friendship with Secretary of State John Hay and of the "decidedly neoimperialist" policies Hay advanced during the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations. He argues that, far from being a simple observer, "Adams was an active participant in the crucial diplomatic negotiations . . . from the end of the Spanish-American War and the annexation of the Philippines to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905."

In what is arguably the collection's best essay ("The Education and the Salvation of History"), Howard Horwitz examines Adams's work in light of contemporary intellectual debates--from New History to social Darwinism--and describes it as a meditation "on the nature of history and the office of the historian." For instance, Adams's autobiography "secures the benefits of the great-man theory of history even as it eschews the benefits of the great-man theory of history." Horwitz is especially adept at tackling and resolving the many perplexing contradictions Adams serves up to his readers.

Although written by literary critics, these essays wallow comfortably and competently in the historical foundations of "The Education of Henry Adams." (Only a thorough examination of Civil War diplomacy is missing.) Overall, the collection serves as both background for readers baffled by Adams's work and as a supplement for those looking for additional insights. ... Read more

15. Better in Darkness: A Biography of Henry Adams : His Second Life, 1862-1891 (Biography of Henry Adams)
by Edward Chalfant
Hardcover: 929 Pages (1997-02)
list price: US$52.50 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0208020411
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly interpetative but amazing
This is, quite simply, one of those amazing biographies (George Painter's Marcel Proust in the '50s comes to mind) where the intrinsic interest of the subject and the searching intelligence of the author combine to make a great achievement. One could simply say, If you feel an affinity for Henry Adams, read this book, and one would be right.But it goes beyond Adams as an object of study and engages in -- highly interesting and never tendentious -- speculation; but the speculation is always interesting and to a sophisticated reader, identifiable as such.I hope this book, along with the companion volumes, reaches more readers -- any one interested in American history or letters, or for that matter the human soul, should read it. ... Read more

16. The Education of Henry Adams
by Henry Adams
Kindle Edition: 560 Pages (2003-09-25)
list price: US$2.99 -- used & new: US$2.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000FBJ9K6
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Many great artists have had at least intermittent doubts abouttheir own abilities. But The Education of Henry Adams is surely one of thefew masterpieces to issue directly from a raging inferiority complex. The author, to be sure, had bigger shoes to fill than most of us. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were U.S. presidents. His father, a relative underachiever, scraped by as a member of Congress andambassador to the Court of St. James. But young Henry, born in Bostonin 1838, was destined for a walk-on role in his nation's history--and seemedalarmingly aware of the fact from the time he was an adolescent.

It gets worse. For the author could neither match his exalted ancestorsnor dismiss them as dusty relics--he was an Adams, after all, formed fromthe same 18th-century clay. "The atmosphere of education in which he livedwas colonial," we are told,

revolutionary, almost Cromwellian, as though he were steeped, from his greatest grandmother's birth, in the odor of political crime. Resistance to something was the law of New Englandnature; the boy looked out on the world with the instinct of resistance; for numberless generations his predecessors had viewed the world chiefly asa thing to be reformed, filled with evil forces to be abolished, and theysaw no reason to suppose that they had wholly succeeded in the abolition;the duty was unchanged.
Here, as always, Adams tells his story in a third-person voice that can seem almost extraplanetary in its detachment. Yetthere's also an undercurrent of melancholy and amusement--and wonder at the specific details of what was already a lost world.

Continuing his uphill conquest of the learning curve, Adams attended Harvard, which didn't do much for him. ("The chief wonder of educationis that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.") Then, after a beer-and-sausage-scented spell as a graduate student in Berlin, he followed his father to Washington, D.C., in 1860. There hemight have remained--bogged down in "the same rude colony ... camped in thesame forest, with the same unfinished Greek temples for workrooms, andsloughs for roads"--had not the Civil War sent Adams père et filsto London. Henry sat on the sidelines throughout the conflict, serving as his father's private secretary and anxiously negotiating the minefields of English society. He then returned home and commenced a long career as a journalist, historian,novelist, and peripheral participant in the political process--a kind of mouthpiece for what remained of the New England conscience.

He was not, by any measure but his own, a failure. And the proof of the pudding is The Education of Henry Adams itself, which remainsamong the oddest and most enlightening books in American literature. Itcontains thousands of memorable one-liners about politics, morality, culture,and transatlantic relations: "The American mind exasperated the European asa buzz-saw might exasperate a pine forest." There are astonishingglimpses of the high and mighty: "He saw a long, awkward figure; a plain, ploughed face; a mind, absent in part, and in part evidently worried by whitekid gloves; features that expressed neither self-satisfaction nor any other familiar Americanism..." (That would be Abraham Lincoln; the "melancholy function" his Inaugural Ball.) But most of all, Adams's book is a brilliant account of how his own sensibility came to be. A literary landmark from the moment it first appeared, the Autobiography confers upon its author precisely that prize hefelt had always eluded him: success. --James MarcusBook Description
As a journalist, historian, and novelist born into a distinguished family thatincluded two past presidents of the United States, Henry Adams was inescapably apart of the American experience. The Education of Henry Adams recounts his ownand the country's development from 1838, the year of his birth, to 1905, andbecame an immediate bestseller, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1919. The CivilWar, economic expansion, and the growth of the United States are among itssubjects, as well as his own 'dynamic theory of history.'Download Description
A story of education -- seventy years of it -- the practical value remains to the end in doubt, like other values about which men have disputed since the birth of Cain and Abel; but the practical value of the universe has never been stated in dollars. Although every one cannot be a Gargantua-Napoleon-Bismarck and walk off with the great bells of Notre Dame, every one must bear his own universe, and most persons are moderately interested in learning how their neighbors have managed to carry theirs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars Is the emperor wearing any clothes?
It took me a few months to grind my way through this, and I must conclude that unless you are a serious student of history--a professor or grad student, or highly-motivated undergrad--you are not going to get much out of this book.

I've got undergraduate and masters degrees (in computer science), am fairly widely read, and have a pretty good knowledge of history. Nevertheless, I usually could not figure out what Adams was getting at in his overly poetic abstractions. As other reviewers have pointed out, Adams can never simply describe concretely what he sees, but instead has to formulate some sort of generalization, as when the "dynamo"--a machine he sees at a World's Fair--becomes a symbol for the sweeping forces of mechanization and industrialization. That sounds insightful, but did he really need an entire chapter to describe how it upheaved his soul?

Adams wrote this book for his close circle of friends, not the general public. This manifests when he casually tosses around the names of obscure people without explaining who they are, as if we are just supposed to know. I often kept Wikipedia open as I read.

Unless you are already an expert on 19th-century U.S. history, be prepared for a hard slog and, I regret to predict, a lack of fulfillment.

3-0 out of 5 stars A complex first-person history of America as it became a super power
"The Education of Henry Adams" is a difficult book to review.But be forewarned: "The Education" will not appeal to many readers.It is hardly a book you'd bring to the beach or try to read for leisure.I first came across the book in a foreign policy seminar I took in college.While my professor took great pains to tell us how important "The Education" was -- it was named by Modern Library as the greatest non-fiction book written in the 20th Century -- the book was just boring to a 19-year, and almost certainly beyond my limited means and interest.Recently inspired by a blog series on the New York Times web site about "The Education", I decided to dust off my old copy, hoping that a few years wiser, I would be able to get through the whole thing, and even more importantly, have a better appreciation for Adams' book.After finally finishing it -- including the many detailed footnotes in the Samuel' edition -- I can safely say that while several parts of the book were very interesting, I would not recommend "The Education" to everyone.

"The Education of Henry Adams" is for all intents and purposes, a very unusual autobiography of Adams -- though I am sure Adams would disagree with that label -- told in the third person, chronicling the interesting life of a man born into an extraordinary family history, who led a fascinating life, but who never quite fit into the changing America as the 20th Century began to dawn.Henry Adams was a historian and one-time professor of history at Harvard.Born in 1838, Adams was the great-grandson of John Adams, the grandson of John Quincy Adams, and the son of Charles Francis Adams, the esteemed Minster to England during the Civil War.The book is written in such a manner that each chapter covers a year or series of years in Adams' life, beginning in 1838 and ending in 1905 (though Adams himself died in 1918, he ended the book in 1905; further, the book does not cover the 20-year period of his marriage to Marion "Clover" Hooper, who tragically killed herself in 1885 following a long depression).

Part of what makes "The Education" so compelling -- at least to me, is that the book serves as an eyewitness account of some of the most important events and periods of American history between 1840 and 1900.Adams offers very insightful and sharp observations of many of the great events of his time; though, it is important to note that Adams was in Britain for the entire Civil War, serving as a private secretary to his father, so Adams does not offer great analysis of what was going on in America during the Civil War.Perhaps not coincidentally, some of the most boring chapters in "The Education" are those covering the years 1860 to 1870.

More than anything else, however, "The Education" is a story of a man who felt out of place in the fast-changing America of the late-19th and early 20th Century.From Adams' perspective, the book is a tale of his pursuit of an "education" in life that would help him adapt to, understand, and live in the new America.Throughout the book, Adams laments his abject failure in accomplishing this objective, and generally considered himself a failure unable to live in the United States as it entered onto the world stage as a super power.Reading the book, it was very interesting to me how Adams conceived himself as a man of the 18th Century, and I think his inability to live up to the political successes of his ancestors -- who could?! -- was hugely depressing to him as he went through life.

"The Education" has several chapters on numerous recurring themes which Adams well examines and often lampoons, such as American politics and the U.S. Senate (his chapters on the pitiful Grant Administration and the state of U.S. politics are extremely funny and pretty much on-the-mark, even 130 years later), the conduct of diplomacy (given Adams' family history and his own interests, he had a tremendous background in diplomatic issues, and was best friends with Secretary of State John Hay), and the rise of technology and its affect on the United States (his chapters on the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the 1900 Paris Exposition are two of the best chapters in the book).Regarding the latter area, Adams was both intrigued by and terrified of emerging technologies like the faster locomotives, cars, and other devices, which he called the "dynamo".In several passages, he predicted that while new technologies would advance civilization and America's standing, they would also reap devastating results for the world.Given the birth of the Atomic Age and what has happened since, one could argue that Adams was incredibly prescient.

Despite the book's many pluses, it is not without its considerable flaws.Perhaps I am just not educated enough myself, but the book is extremely hard to read today.First written by Adams around 1903, "The Education" does not all translate well to 2008, and I had to read many of the passages and pages multiple times to understand what Adams was trying to say.Further, while Adams' wit and self-deprecating humor are amusing at first, it becomes very grating as Adams seems to refer to himself as a failure on every single page.Finally, there are certain periods of Adams' life -- particularly his lack of service during the Civil War and his marriage (which he does not mention once in the book) -- which he disappointingly did not discuss much at all.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, "The Education" is not a book for everyone.It takes a good deal of time to fully read and digest, and its themes are fairly nuanced and not always terribly exciting.That being said, if you're a student of history and interested in learning about American development between 1840 and 1900 from one of the 19th Century's great historians (Adams wrote a nine-volume history of the U.S. during the Jefferson and Madison Administrations, which, to this day are considered the gold standard in early American history books), you should consider checking the book out.If you do want to read "The Education", I strongly recommend that you purchase Ernest Samuel's edition.Samuels wrote a three-volume biography of Adams, and knew more about Henry Adams than anybody else.Samuels also included a wealth of detailed footnotes throughout the pages; while many people like to avoid footnotes, they are quite valuable with a book like this where Adams is constantly referencing old German words and 15th Century French figures as if his readers were all supposed to know them!So, the Samuels edition (the one with the green cover and published by Riverside Editions) is the edition you want.

I liked "The Education" and I would like very much to read his forgotten histories of the Jefferson and Madison years, but I have to admit that I don't know if I could ever make it through them considering Adams' writing style!

Three stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
This book wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, but I had huge expectations for it because the only reason I read it was because the "Modern Library" list ranked it #1, but I still thought the book was very good.I wasn't familiar with Henry Adams and didn't know why I should care what he did during his life, but the further I got into the book the more interesting it became.I've been traveling through Europe for a year and thought that Adams and I shared similar opinions about traveling and other things about Europe, so that was interesting due to the large time gap.But I enjoyed the story because I thought it was an interesting depiction of America, Europe and how one has difficulty understanding the world and the challenges one experiences during life.A book worth reading.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped for...
I had heard of the importance, and significance of "The Education of Henry Adams" for a long time. I finally determined I needed to read it.

I acutally read it twice, and found less in it the second time than the first.

I am sorryI missed the greatness of this book. I am sure there was something wrong with me, but I found it to be incredibly unimpressive.

Perhaps this came from the fact that Henry Adams was not a likeable man. He was famous for holding court in his home near the White House, and making caustic and negative comments about every President who lived there.

Granted, he lived in Washington at a time when there were plenty of second-rate occupants of the White House. But the thought of people wasting their time trying to pleasea blue-blooded snob like Adams depresses me. Why did anyone bother? He lived in an atmosphere of snobbery, sharp-tongues, clever remarks, and brilliant conversation. The world went on without him, truth be told, and he contributed less than the people who walked by his house each day.

He was a very good historian in his time. But who reads his books now? Not very many. In short, his own work was not as long-lasting as he would have wanted it to be. Maybe the influence of some of the Presidents he mocked lasted longer than the published and purchased work of Henry Adams.

"The Education of Henry Adams" does not have much real information. He got education in one place, none in others. Surely, the suicide of his wife provided some very painful education for Henry--but he wrote nothing about it in his book.

When Eric Sevareid wrote "Not So Wild a Dream," it was compared to "The Education of Henry Adams." That was meant as a compliment. Oddly, I think Sevareid's book is much, much better. Sevareid wrote of America, the common man, the war, and what it all meant to him. Adams needed to get out more. He did not see America--not the America built by the common citizen who put it all together, and defended it.I gained a trememdous amount from Sevareid. I cannot say the same for the work of Henry Adams.

Again, a lot of this might be me. Perhaps I read the book at a bad time. Maybe I needed to read it a third time. I do not know. I do know I do not think this is a great American classic. Forgive, please, my ignorance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anyone interested in American History will love this book!
In 1885, Adams wife Marion committed suicide.Upon her death, Adams took up a restless life in trotting around the globe and travelling extensively.For years, he spent summers in Paris and winters in Washington, DC.In 1907 he pubished this Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography.This work contains the birth of forces that Adams saw as replacing Chrisianity and has the reputation of being the the most important non-fiction work of the 20th century and I am hard pressed to disagree! ... Read more

17. Refinements of Love: A Novel About Clover and Henry Adams
by Sarah Booth Conroy
 Hardcover: 301 Pages (1993-02-09)
list price: US$57.00 -- used & new: US$16.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679420509
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

18. Henry Adams: Selected Letters
by Henry Adams
 Hardcover: 608 Pages (1992-02-01)
list price: US$51.50 -- used & new: US$51.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674387570
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Henry Adams has been called an indispensable figure in American thought. Although he famously "took his own life" in the autobiographical Education of Henry Adams, his letters--more intimate and unbuttoned, though hardly unselfconscious--are themselves indispensable for an understanding of the man and his times.

This selection, the first based on the authoritative six volume Letters, represents every major private and public event in Adams's life from 1858 to 1918 and confirms his reputation as one of the greatest letter writers of his time. Adams knew everyone who was anyone and went almost everywhere, and--true to the Adams family tradition--recorded it all. These letters to an array of correspondents from American presidents to Henry James to five-year-old honorary nieces reveal Adams's passion for politics and disdain for politicians, his snobbish delight in society and sincere affection for friends, his pose of dilettantism and his serious ambitions as writer and historian, his devastation at his wife's suicide and his acquiescence in the role of Elizabeth Cameron's "tame cat," his wicked humor at others' expense and his own reflexive self-depreciation.

This volume allows the reader to experience nineteenth-century America through the eyes of an observer on whom very little was lost, and to make the acquaintance of one of the more interesting personalities in American letters. As Ernest Samuels says in his introduction, "The letters lift the veil of old-age disenchantment that obscures the Education and exhibit Adams as perhaps the most brilliant letter writer of his time. What most engages one in the long course of his correspondence is the tireless range of his intellectual curiosity, his passionate effort to understand the politics, the science, and the human society of the world as it changed around him...It is as literature of a high order that his letters can finally be read."

... Read more

19. The Correspondence of Henry James and Henry Adams, 1877-1914
by Henry James
 Hardcover: 107 Pages (1992-06)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807117293
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

20. The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes 1-3, 1858-1892 (Volumes 1 Thru 3)
by Henry Adams
 Hardcover: 2016 Pages (1983-02)
list price: US$232.00 -- used & new: US$149.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674526856
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Henry Adams' letters are one of the vital chronicles of the life of the mind in America. A perceptive analyst of people, events, and ideas, Adams recorded, with brilliance and wit, sixty years of enormous change at home and abroad.

Volume 1 shows him growing from a high-spirited but self-conscious twenty-year-old to a selfassured man of the world. In Washington in the chaotic months before Lincoln's inauguration, then in London during the war years and beyond, he serves as secretary to his statesman father and is privy to the inner workings of politics and diplomacy. English social life proves as absorbing as affairs of state.

Volume 2 takes him from his years as a crusading journalist in Grant's Washington, through his marriage to Clover Hooper and his pioneer work as a history professor at Harvard and editor of the North American Review, to his settling in Washington as a professional historian. There he and his wife, described by Henry James as "one of the two most interesting women in America," establish the first intellectual salon of the capital. This halcyon period comes to a catastrophic close with Clover's suicide.

Volume 3 traces his gradual recovery from the shock of his wife's death as he seeks distraction in travel-to Japan, to Cuba, and in 1891-92 to the South Seas-a recovery complicated by his falling dangerously in love with Elizabeth Cameron, beautiful young wife of a leading senator. His South Seas letters to Mrs. Cameron are the most brilliant of all.

Fewer than half of Adams' letters have been published even in part, and earlier collections have been marred by expurgations, mistranscriptions, and editorial deletions. In the six volumes of this definitive edition, readers will have access to a major document of the American past.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Reading for those interested in Henry Adams
After years of grappling with Henry Adams I am convinced that one cannot really begin to understand him without having read his letters.And what letters they are! Adams as a correspondent is equalled only by Justice Holmes and Isaiah Berlin in my experience.These three volumes, covering 1858-1892, edited by the distinguished Adams scholars J.C. Levenson, Ernst Samuels and others, contain the most extensive collection of Adams letters ever published--some 1857 pages worth.Each letter has been skillfully annotated with useful information.A cast of characters familiar to students of Adams make their appearance--Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, Clarence King, Elizabeth Cameron, Clover Adams, George Bancroft, President Eliot of Harvard, and Charles Francis Adams, Senior and Junior, just to name a few. Each volume contains fascinating photographs and other illustrations.For example, Vol. II contains a nice selection of Clover Adams photographs; Vol. III presents some Adams watercolors (reproduced in beautiful color) done under the tutelage of John La Farge while the two toured Polynesia during 1890-91. A comprehensive introductory essay in Vol. I serves as an invaluable preface to these three volumes, as well as the later three volumes which cover the period from 1893-1918. A helpful "Editorial Note" discusses how the material was assembled and organized.A comprehensive index is contained at the end of Volume III.These are truly exceptional works of editorial scholarship, well worthy of Adams and those who seek to understand him.
... Read more

  1-20 of 51 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats