Born: 16 February 1838
Died: 27 March 1918
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Best known as: The author of The Education of Henry Adams
Henry Brooks Adams was a brainy political journalist, academic and gadabout during the second half of the 19th century. He is best remembered for his great personal summing-up, The Education of Henry Adams
(1906). Adams was the great-grandson of President John Adams
, the grandson of President John Quincy Adams
and the son of Charles Francis Adams, the American minister to England during the Civil War. Young Adams traveled widely in Europe and worked as a personal secretary to his father in London. In 1868 he returned to the United States, where he wrote about politics for magazines like The Nation
, edited the North American Review
, and became a professor of history at Harvard. In 1877 he moved to Washington, D.C., where his home became a center for intellectual discussions and sparkling parties. His nine-volume History of the United States
(published 1889-91) focused on the administrations of Thomas Jefferson
and James Madison
. He also wrote Democracy
, a novel of political intrigue which he published anonymously in 1880. His autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams
, was first published privately in 1906 and then released publicly in 1918, the year of his death. It won a Pulitzer
Prize for biography in 1919 and was later named by The Modern Library as the best non-fiction book of the 20th century.
Adams graduated from Harvard in 1858. He also studied law at the University of Berlin, but did not receive a degree there… He married the former Marian “Clover” Hooper in 1872, and they were married until her suicide in 1885.
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