The Education of Henry Adams (Illustrated)by Henry Adams
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“A boy who began his education in these surroundings, with physical strength inferior to that of his brothers, and with a certain delicacy of mind and bone, ought rightly to have felt at home in the eighteenth century and should, in proper self-respect, have rebelled against the standards of the nineteenth. The atmosphere of his first ten years must have been very like that of his grandfather at the same age, from 1767 till 1776, barring the battle of Bunker Hill, and even as late as 1846, the battle of Bunker Hill remained actual. The tone of Boston society was colonial. The true Bostonian always knelt in self-abasement before the majesty of English standards; far from concealing it as a weakness, he was proud of it as his strength. The eighteenth century ruled society long after 1850. Perhaps the boy began to shake it off rather earlier than most of his mates.”
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This is categorically the most important work of American history I have ever read. Adams captures the defining political, philosophical and spiritual movements of his time, all in a style that is at once shrewdley analytical and deeply personal. 'The Education' should be read by anyone who claimes to know something about the world (college graduates in particular).
The Education is a very good book. It is sometimes boring, but is one of those books that you can skip around in and still learn a little bit about life (although I don't recommend doing this because the point of the novel is to show the part education played in Adams's life from beginning to end). It has a lot a philosophy in it, and makes you think about your own education, if your education is pertinent to today, what you want to achieve with your education, etc. Overall, very good, but before reading this autobiography, understand that Henry Adams wrote it in the 3rd person - I was completely confused for the first 50 pages or so.
This the most pretentious novel/historical non-fiction I have ever read. He has no direct connection to any historical event, but knows someone who does have the connection.