The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography

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Houghton Mifflin, 1918 - Historians - 519 pages
Henry Adams (great-grandson of John Adams and grandson of John Quincy Adams) asserts that his conventional education was defective because it did not prepare him to live in a world transformed by the new science and technology. This autobiography provides an insightful exploration of the tumultuous age in which he lived.
 

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Page 33 - Were half the power that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals or forts: The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!
Page 148 - It appears difficult to make out a stronger case of infringement of the foreign enlistment act, which, if not enforced on this occasion, is little better than a dead letter.
Page 382 - Paris, putting on the work his usual interminable last touches, and listening to the usual contradictory suggestions of brother sculptors. Of all the American artists who gave to American art whatever life it breathed in the seventies, St. Gaudens was perhaps the most sympathetic, but certainly the most inarticulate. General Grant or Don Cameron had scarcely less instinct of rhetoric than he. All the others — the Hunts, Richardson, John La Farge, Stanford White — were exuberant; only St. Gaudens...
Page 423 - I should (said he) Bestow this jewel also on my creature, He would adore my gifts instead of me, And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature : So both should losers be. Yet let him keep the rest, But keep them with repining restlessness : Let him be rich and weary, that at least, If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to my breast.
Page 417 - Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but • of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central power-houses.
Page 151 - I agree with you that the time is come for offering mediation to the United States government with a view to the recognition of the independence of the Confederates. I agree further, that, in case of failure, we ought ourselves to recognize the Southern states as an independent state.
Page 381 - Branly coherer. On one side, at the Louvre and at Chartres, as he knew by the record of work actually done and still before his eyes, was the highest energy ever known to man, the creator of four-fifths of his noblest art, exercising vastly more attraction over the human mind than all the steam-engines and dynamos ever dreamed of; and yet this energy was unknown to the American mind. An American Virgin would never dare command; an American Venus would never dare exist.
Page 12 - From cradle to grave this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through multiplicity, has always been, and must always be, the task of education, as it is the moral of religion, philosophy, science, art, politics, and economy...
Page 175 - The Solicitor General has been consulted and concurs in the measure as one of policy though not of strict law. We shall thus test the law, and, if we have to pay damages, we have satisfied the opinion which prevails here as well as in America that that kind of neutral hostility should not be allowed to go on without some attempt to stop it.
Page 154 - We know quite well that the people of the Northern States have not yet drunk of the cup — they are still trying to hold it far from their lips — which all the rest of the world see they nevertheless must drink of. We may have our own opinions about slavery; we may be for or against the South; but there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made, what is more than either, they have made a nation.

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