HENRY ADAMS by Elizabeth Stevenson


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Except to amplify a few points of fact, to deliberate about the man in his social and historical perspective, and to make some pungent analysis of his works, no one could reasonably hope to write about Henry Adams more capably, more instructively than he did himself. Within her necessary limits, Elizabeth Stevenson adds her mite. The biography draws upon the best sources; it is energetic, sober, sympathetic, pleasantly intelligent. However the style is spare to the point of exaggeration, and not enough attention is given to the personalities who shaped Adams' life. One feels that his family heritage, crushing in its nobility and achievements, is kept too separate from his emotional and intellectual growth. One also misses a forward projection: the delayed effect of Henry Adams upon American thought, and the degree in which he embodied the final perfection of the national character... Of genuine academic interest, especially teachers, students, and enthusiasts of the the intellectual traditions associated with Harvard and Boston.

Publisher: Macmillan