Warren Perry's Reviews > The Education of Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
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M_50x66
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Jan 08, 09

Read in February, 2008

This book is the composite American diplomatic history of the Civil War plus the political history of America before the Civil War plus the political, academic, and social history of America for Adams' lifetime, plus forty years before, minus twenty years during his marriage and the recovery after his dear wife's suicide, and minus the American experience of the Civil War. A professor at Georgetown told me, "We have probably gotten all we can get out of Henry Adams," and there are moments where I agree completely. Still, what is missing in this book are the most important things: 1. How did he come to grips with manhood when all the men he knew were fighting in the American Civil War while he was serving as his father's ambassadorial secretary in England, and 2. What the hell happened to Clover and the Five of Hearts?

Again, what he misses is significant. I understand now that Americans do not approach a study in medieval history and/or art without going through Adams works.

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