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Preview — The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
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The Education of Henry Adams
Once more! this is a story of education, not of adventure! It is meant to help young men—or such as have intelligence enough to seek help—but it is not meant to amuse them.
Everyone agrees that this book is difficult and odd. An autobiography of an American man of letters, the son of a diplomat, grandson of a president, historian, journalist, secretary, all told in the third person, written for his private circle of friends. At once claiming to be the story of one man’s life, a critique of the ...more
This book is a guided tour of 19th-Century America, told with surprising wit and self-awareness-- his description of Harvard as (and I'm paraphrasing, but only slightly) a place where rich children went to drink beer and call themselve ...more
Henry Adams was the grandson and great grandson of Presidents. Although a Bostonian, he inherited an eccentric outsider-dom from his famous forebears, and remained to the end of his life apart from the business community of that city. Adams has the disconcerting habit of speaking of himself in the third person like Jimmy from Seinfeld. "Henry Adams doesn't like this steak! Henry Adam ...more
As the book begins, he vividly and concretely describes his youth, and throughout his middle-aged years also, his ponderings are grounded in specific descriptions and prompts for reflection. Since he has two Presidential ancestors and is part of the Bostonian elite, his access to the most prominent figures of histo ...more
It was a fluff course that I took to fill in my social science requirements. But the books we were assigned are all worthwhile and I would lo ...more
So I've done it. I liked it. I got educated. I got bored. I got reinterested. I was impressed with his high level of governmental influence and the candor of which he spoke about himself. That wo ...more
This book isn't for everyone. I'd give it 100 pages, if it doesn't interest you by then, put it down and walk away. I can te ...more
I love the way he worked in the idea of evolution into his narrative. As a history person, the details that would have put others to sleep were fascinating. I have been meaning to learn more about John Hay and I accidentally got it!
All in all, I liked it a lot, but I can't actually imagine meeting many other people who would. It's not anything I would recommend to a friend ...more
It says much of Adams that his autobiography is the counterpoint to his volume on architecture as the evocation of the spirit of its age, Mont St Michel and Chartres.
My personal reaction to the book was deepened, because of its gr ...more
Secretly built around death. There is a 20 year leap forward in the middle of The Education. The death of his sister concludes the first half before the jump. The death of his close friend Sec. of State Hays ends the work. The 20 year void, he fails to tell the reader, covers his marriage to Clover Hooper and her suicide in 1885. At one point, he relates visiting a monument he had erected for her, devotes a full page of description to the monument, and never once mentions the identity of the ind...more
Born in 1838 into one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Boston, a family which had produced two American presidents, Henry Adams had the opportunity to pursue a wide-ranging variety of intellectual interests during the course of his life. Functioning both in ...more