SELECTED LETTERS OF HENRY ADAMS by Newton Arvin
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SELECTED LETTERS OF HENRY ADAMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A selection of over a hundred letters written by the distinguished author and commentator, whose Mont Saint Michel and famous autobiography struck one of the first notes in the American literary concern with the discordant elements in the modern multiverse. Although other collections of Adams letters have been published, this selection, edited and with an introduction by Mr. Arvin, whose Herman Melville won the 1951 National Book Award for non-fiction, reveals a high quality of discrimination and appreciation of Adam's unique contributions to American commentary. Covering a span from 1858 to 1918 when Adams was eighty years old, the letters contain Adam's impressions and reflections from the American scene in Washington to Europe, Japan, the South Seas, and Ceylon. Warm, facile, vigorous in style; penetrating, keen, and often brilliant in observation, these letters offer a remarkable world view for our own time. Alternating with passages of grey cynicism and youthful optimism, however, are some incisive, often wry observations about places and people from a cathedral to a South Sea volcano; from Robert Louis Stevenson to President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he describes as ""a bore as big as a buffalo."" Third in the with a fine introduction by the author, this should receive some critical attention.

ISBN: 1406769207
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young