Education of Henry Adams

ISBN-10: 1604596341
ISBN-13: 9781604596342
Edition: N/A
Authors: Henry Adams
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Description: The Education of Henry Adams is the Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of Henry Adams. The Education is much more a record of Adams's introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and  More...

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Book details

Publisher: Wilder Publications, Incorporated
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 324
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.73" tall
Weight: 1.056
Language: English

The Education of Henry Adams is the Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of Henry Adams. The Education is much more a record of Adams's introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and intellectual changes that occurred over Adams's lifetime. Adams concluded that his traditional education at Harvard failed to help him come to terms with the rapid changes he saw in his lifetime; hence his need for self-education. Adams repeatedly laments that his formal education, grounded in the classics, history, and literature, as was then the fashion, did not give him the scientific and mathematical knowledge needed to grasp the scientific breakthroughs of the 1890s and 1900s. The organizing thread of the book is how the "proper" schooling and other aspects of his youth, was time wasted; thus his search for self-education through experiences, friendships, and reading. Many consider this the best autobiography ever written.

Adams was born in Boston, in 1838, the son of American diplomat Charles Francis Adams and grandson of President John Quincy Adams. Educated at Harvard, Adams worked in Washington, D.C., as his father's secretary before embarking on a career in journalism and later in teaching. A prominent American historian, he wrote several important historical works. Adams's autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1907), might be called the story of an education and the recovery from it, although the writer felt that he never in fact recovered. His earlier work, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (privately printed 1904, published 1913), a study of thirteenth-century unity, can readily be compared with the Education, a study of twentieth-century multiplicity that Adams believed makes education so destructive. Henry Adams wrote two novels, Esther (1884) and the earlier cutting satire on the U.S. government, Democracy: An American Novel (1880). In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt described Democracy as a novel that created a great furor among the educated incompetents and the pessimists generally and condemned it for what he considered "its superficial and rotten cleverness." Adams died in 1918.

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