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The Education of Henry Adams

Cover of The Education of Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams

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As a journalist, historian and novelist born into a family that included two past presidents of the United States, Henry Adams was constantly focused on the American experiment. An immediate bestseller awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1919, The Education of Henry Adams recounts his own and the country's education from 1838, the year of his birth, to 1905, incorporating the Civil War, capitalist expansion and the growth of the United States as a world power. Exploring America as both a success and a failure, contradiction was the very impetus that compelled Adams to write Education, in which he was also able to voice his deep skepticism about mankind's power to control the direction of history. Written with immense wit and irony, reassembling the past while glimpsing the future, Adams' vision expresses what Henry James declared the "complex fate" to be an American, and remains one of the most compelling works of American autobiography today.

As a journalist, historian and novelist born into a family that included two past presidents of the United States, Henry Adams was constantly focused on the American experiment. An immediate bestseller awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1919, The Education of Henry Adams recounts his own and the country's education from 1838, the year of his birth, to 1905, incorporating the Civil War, capitalist expansion and the growth of the United States as a world power. Exploring America as both a success and a failure, contradiction was the very impetus that compelled Adams to write Education, in which he was also able to voice his deep skepticism about mankind's power to control the direction of history. Written with immense wit and irony, reassembling the past while glimpsing the future, Adams' vision expresses what Henry James declared the "complex fate" to be an American, and remains one of the most compelling works of American autobiography today.

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  • Henry Adams (1838-1918) was the great-grandson of President John Adams and the grandson of President John Quincy Adams. He is most widely known for his nine-volume history of the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, and for his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams. The latter was named by The Modern Library as the best nonfiction book of the 20th century.

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  • AudioFile Magazine David Colacci gracefully takes listeners through the education--from cradle to grave--of the grandson of President John Quincy Adams and great-grandson of President John Adams. The interrogative premise of the work is posed early: "What might become of such a child of the seventeenth and eighteenth century if he should wake up to find himself required to navigate the twentieth century?" The question is answered at length with occasional pomposity, an over-the-top writing style, and thought-provoking tours through history--all well narrated. The third-person account allows for straightforward storytelling--with no characterizations required for Adams and the historic figures who abound in these pages--from London powerbrokers to twentieth-century scientists. D.P.D. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Modern Library The best nonfiction book of the 20th century!
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    Transfer to Apple® device: 
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    Peer-to-peer usage: 
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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