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Extended Audio Sample The Education of Henry Adams, by Henry Adams Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,171 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Adams Narrator: Wolfram Kandinsk Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Few works have so firmly established their position in American literature as The Education of Henry Adams. As a man of extraordinary gifts and learning and a member of one of the greatest American families, Henry Adams wrote an insightful exploration of himself and the tumultuous age in which he lived. In the words of Van Wyck Brooks, he “revealed a phase of American history with unparalleled boldness and truth.”

In spite of his illustrious background and Harvard schooling, Henry 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 the new technology. His intention was to write a kind of handbook to prepare “young men, in universities and elsewhere, to be men of the world, equipped for any emergency.” The result is what many consider to be one of the finest autobiographies ever written.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There are sentences, paragraphs, whole pages that the reviewer is deeply tempted to quote. Suffice it again to recommend the public to read the book as a whole.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Among the oddest and most enlightening books in American literature…Contains thousands of memorable one-liners about politics, morality, culture, and transatlantic relations…Most of all, Adams’ book is a brilliant account of how his own sensibility came to be.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “At the time, memoirs were generally written by great men, to recount their great, public lives. But The Education of Henry Adams is the story of Henry Adams’ growing sense of his own personality, his own individual ideas about America and about history. It was one of the first times in American literature that an American had written such a subjective book about his own experiences and his own ideas. Memoirists have been following in its path ever since.”


  • Winner of the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Steve | 2/19/2014

    " I'd never read this before. It's a classic for good reason--funny at times (in a deadpan way) and insightful. He gives intense character sketches of numerous political figures, including several I'd never heard of. But his few pages on President Grant are quite wonderful--probably everything I'll ever know about Grant I learned from Henry Adams. His best and best-known chapter contrasts the virgin and the dynamo as inspirations and as symbols of power. Now I want to read his earlier long essay on Mont-St.-Michele and Chartres. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alfred | 2/18/2014

    " Adams' hilariously baroque ironies don't assuage the suspicion that he holds a grudge against the third-rate non-entities elected president for never asking him to serve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 2/17/2014

    " The memoir of a man and a family, Henry Adams was the son of a diplomat/ politician, grandson of a president and the great-grandson of another. The Adams family had produced leaders for the country since its founding and Henry Adams was heir to that leadership. In his Education he produced one of the best autobiographies ever written, chronicling the rapid change of the last half of the nineteenth century while sharing personal experiences with his father, at Harvard, Washington and elsewhere. I highly recommend this narrative for all readers interested in good writing and the history of the United States. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Alyssa | 2/15/2014

    " Told from a point of view that makes the reader seem very distant from the life of Henry Adams- as if everything is looked at and analyzed in each particular so the story takes FOREVER to be told-and it is told without any real vigor or character to it. I was pretty bored by the second chapter, and scanned further but found the rest to be prettymuch the same. There were some interesting comments, but not much to hold my attention and interest in the life or education of Henry Adams. "

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