The Education of Henry Adams

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What to expect

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.

Critics Review

  • “There are sentences, paragraphs, whole pages that the reviewer is deeply tempted to quote. Suffice it again to recommend the public to read the book as a whole.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • “David Colacci gracefully takes listeners through the education… an over-the-top writing style, and thought-provoking tours through history—all well narrated.”

    AudioFile
  • “Among the oddest and most enlightening books in American literature…Contains thousands of memorable one-liners about politics, morality, culture, and transatlantic relations…Most of all, Adams’ book is a brilliant account of how his own sensibility came to be.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

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