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Democracy, Esther, Mont Saint Michel and Chartres, The Education of Henry Adams Hardcover – November 15, 1983
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[O]ne sees the full range of Henry Adams ... The apparatus prepared by Ernest and Jayne Samuels is illuminating. -- Language and Literature
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
"Democracy" is one of the best political novels of all time and speaking as a denizen of the nation's capital, very little has changed. Esther is attempt deal with the "woman question." Clearly the inspiration of both books is Mrs. Henry Adams. Known as "Voltaire in petticoats" (Henry James), she later tragically took her own life following a period of depression. The death of his wife led to Henry Adams' retirement from public life. This subject is covered in Ernest Samuels' wonderful biography (which I also recommend).
I suggest a look at his biography since the subject of Marion Clover Adams is avoided entirely in "The Education of Henry Adams." Henry Adams may not discuss his wife, but he does touch on nearly everything else of importance in his autobiography. "Growing up Adams," life in Europe with Garibaldi's forces, life at the British legation in London during the Civil War are all addressed. The best and probably the most key chapter in the book is the one entitled "The Virgin and Dynamo." Adams uses the 1876 cenntenial fair as a departure to meditate of the impact of the industrial revolution. Adams believed with the growth of technology that man would somehow outgrow the simple humanity of the Middle Ages (it would have been interesting if Adams had lived long enough to meet someone like Carl Jung to see what he would have to say on this subject!). One of the foremost historians (the Library of America has also issued the history of Jefferson and Madison's Administrations, which is a classic), Adams became interested in the Middle Ages and his survey of the two great cathedrals of France Chartes and Mont St. Michel is the final book in the volume. I cannot recommend this book too highly, it is a must for all fans of Henry Adams and those who would like to experience him for the first time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most readers approach the works of Henry Adams(a 19th Century mind for all time)by sampling first his "Autobiography" which stands above most from that century. Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by Gene Cisco
Mont St. Michel is in Normandy [you remember the Normans, they're the ones who invaded England in 1066 and put William the Duke on the British throne, changing our Germanic... Read morePublished on September 25, 2011 by maryfloyd