Letters of Henry Adams 1892-1918 Henry Adams

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Published: 1938

Hardcover


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Letters of Henry Adams 1892-1918  by  Henry Adams

Letters of Henry Adams 1892-1918 by Henry Adams
1938 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | | ISBN: | 7.21 Mb

THIS second volume of the Letters of Henry Adams completes the story of his life as told by himself. There are gaps in the record, partial and complete, but the main lines of his interests are described so fully as to leave little to be desired, andMoreTHIS second volume of the Letters of Henry Adams completes the story of his life as told by himself. There are gaps in the record, partial and complete, but the main lines of his interests are described so fully as to leave little to be desired, and in such expression as to stamp them with qualities well-nigh unique.In a day when letter writing was practised as an art with a possible glance at posterity and publication these letters would be notable.

In a day when writing of letters has almost ceased, they take a position second to none. The wealth of mention and keenness of observation rest upon a foundation of inheritance and history not to be found elsewhere.Beginning life as a student of medieval history he ended it on a medieval note, and he never lost touch with that epoch and its historical and cultural relations. Circumstances made him an observer rather than an actor in his time, and his very faults gave power and zest to his judgments of men and things. A career colored by tragedy and a habit of self-introspection, united to a tendency to keep apart from the increasing rush and pressure of modern life, only quickened his sense of speculating on the course of events, the parties and men claiming to direct it, the final issue and its effect on society.His early recognition of the world trend toward socialism and trades-union domination is only one and a striking instance of his foresight.

From the opening of the Civil War in America quite to the end of the World War he was a close and rarely informed student and interpreter of men and theirgovernments. He is frank in expressing his opinions. If that be a fault and any excuse needed, inheritance could be pleaded. History would greatly suffer if frankness were suppressed. Mr. Adams was a reformer in politics and government that is, he desired clean politics, honesty in administration and statesmanship. Like his immediate ancestors he was not a party man like them he had a code of principle and morals which forbade him to yield blindly to any party and fore warned him when a party was losing its highest standards.

So he held aloof from partisan conflict and weighed the assumed leaders by standards he had set for himself.His estimates are expressed in unmistakable language and, severe as they may seem, it is only right to let him speak for himself, without attempting to modify or suppress what he has written. A public man is a proper object of criticism for his public conduct and friendship gives no shelter from blame for public misconduct.

To see a party devoted to spoils and a government honeycombed by inefficiency and corruption aroused the anger of Mr. Adams. The descent from statesmanship to partisan politics and the use of position and influence against the public and in support of private interests, called out his sharp condemnation of those responsible. It would be impertinent to try to explain or apologize for what seems an antagonism between public conduct and private friendship.There is no malice in what he says and, as far as it can be tested, history has already justified his opinions.

He had more than a century of political experience to draw upon and he watched from a position of vantage the crooked course of national politics. In that light hisjudgments could have been even more severe. There remains the pleasure of acknowledging the many and generous aids given by others towards this volume.

First in order and impor tance comes Mrs. Don Cameron, whose contribution must remain the most notable for its fullness, freedom and regularity. The families of Charles Milnes Gaskell and Sir Robert Cunliffe gave what they possessed, and to these English series Mr. Stephen Gwynn added letters to Spring Rice and Mr. Shane Leslie those to Moreton Frewen...



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