Henry Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 16, 1838, the son of American diplomat Charles Francis Adams and grandson of President John Quincy Adams. Educated at Harvard University, he 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. His works include The Education of Henry Adams, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, Esther: A Novel, and Democracy: An American Novel. He died on March 27, 1918 at the age of 80.
Ernest Samuels is Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English, Emeritus, Northwestern University and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Biography.