Details

ISBN-10: 1982128232
ISBN-13: 9781982128234
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publish Date: 11/24/2020
Dimensions: 9.10" L, 6.10" W, 1.50" H

The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams

Hardcover

Price: $30.00

Overview

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

A revelatory biography of literary icon Henry Adams–one of America’s most prominent writers and intellectuals of his era, who witnessed and contributed to the United States’ dramatic transition from a colonial society to a modern nation.

Henry Adams is perhaps the most eclectic, accomplished, and important American writer of his time. His autobiography and modern classic The Education of Henry Adams was widely considered one of the best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century. The last member of his distinguished family–after great-grandfather John Adams, and grandfather John Quincy Adams–to gain national attention, he is remembered today as an historian, a political commentator, and a memoirist.

Now, historian David Brown sheds light on the brilliant yet under-celebrated life of this major American intellectual. Adams not only lived through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution but he met Abraham Lincoln, bowed before Queen Victoria, and counted powerful figures, including Secretary of State John Hay, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and President Theodore Roosevelt as friends and neighbors. His observations of these men and their policies in his private letters provide a penetrating assessment of Gilded Age America on the cusp of the modern era.

The Last American Aristocrat details Adams’s relationships with his wife (Marian “Clover” Hooper) and, following her suicide, Elizabeth Cameron, the young wife of a senator and part of the famous Sherman clan from Ohio. Henry Adams’s letters–thousands of them–demonstrate his struggles with depression, familial expectations, and reconciling with his unwanted widower’s existence.

Presenting intimate and insightful details of a fascinating and unusual American life and a new window on nineteenth century US history, The Last American Aristocrat shows us a more “modern” and “human” Henry Adams than ever before.

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Reviews
"One of the most important critics of industrial capitalism and American modernity gets his due (warts and all) from a superbly talented historian. David Brown has written a terrific book about the fascinating character of Henry Adams. He not only gets at the heart of Adams's rich ideas but also the context in which they emerged, making the book a great work of American history and a great biography too. Just as important, The Last American Aristocrat is beautifully written and a fun read." –Kevin Mattson, author of We're Not Here to Entertain and Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University

"As a historian, David Brown not only gives us a meticulously researched and accessible account of Henry Adams's long and remarkable life and career, he also skillfully provides a detailed and illuminating picture of the social, political, and cultural context of Adams's times. Brown is clear-eyed and thought-provoking in depicting Adams as uneasily and often precariously poised between the colonial past of his illustrious forebears and the industrialized and modernist present through which he lived." –Jackson R. Bryer, professor emeritus of English, University of Maryland, and president, F. Scott Fitzgerald Society

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Details

ISBN-10: 1982128232
ISBN-13: 9781982128234
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publish Date: 11/24/2020
Dimensions: 9.10" L, 6.10" W, 1.50" H
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