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Henry Adams has been a neglected figure in recent years. The Education of Henry Adams is widely accepted as a classic of American letters, but his other work is little read except by specialists. His brilliant journalism is out of print, while Mont Saint Michel and Chartres and the novels Democracy and Esther receive little attention. Even the monumental History of the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, considered by some to be the greatest history written by any American, seems noticed only by scholars of that period.

James P. Young, author of the highly regarded Reconsidering American Liberalism, seeks to revive interest in the thought of Adams by extracting core ideas from his writings concerning both American political development and the course of world history and then showing their relevance to the contemporary longing for a democratic revival.

In this revisionist study, Young denies that Adams was a reactionary critic of democracy and instead contends that he was an idealistic, though often disappointed, advocate of representative government. Young focuses on Adams's belief that capitalist industrial development during the Gilded Age had debased American ideals and then turns to a careful study of Adams's famous contrast of the unity of medieval society with the fragmentation of modern technological society.

Though fully aware of Adams's concerns about technology, Young rejects the idea that Adams was bitterly opposed to twentieth century developments in that field. He shows that though a liberal democrat with inclinations toward reform, Adams is much too sophisticated to be captured by any simple label.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-title, Series Page, Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Part I. Theory of American History
  1. 1. Foundations of the Early Republic
  2. pp. 13-30
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  1. 2. The Jeffersonian Foundation
  2. pp. 31-55
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  1. 3. The Madisonian Continuation
  2. pp. 56-77
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  1. 4. Secession, Capitalism, and Corruption
  2. pp. 78-106
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  1. 5. Democracy and Empire
  2. pp. 107-124
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  1. Part II. The Philosophy of History
  1. 6. Religion, History, and Politics
  2. pp. 127-160
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  1. 7. History, Science, and Politics
  2. pp. 161-203
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  1. 8. The End of Education
  2. pp. 204-248
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 249-302
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 303-314
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  1. Back Cover
  2. p. 315
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780700631353
Related ISBN(s)
9780700610877
MARC Record
OCLC
1256250509
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2021-06-14
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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