The French Education of Henry Adams

The French Education of Henry Adams

The French Education of Henry Adams

The French Education of Henry Adams

Excerpt

In these days when there is so much talk of intercultural relations, one need hardly justify a study of the impact of French thought on Henry Adams, especially when his mind, by long family tradition, had been naturally predisposed to the culture of France.

As a denizen in the world of ideas, Henry Adams was cognizant of the best that was said and thought for over half a century--roughly, from his student days at Harvard to the time when he was stricken with paralysis. All those who have read his History, who have studied the Education, who have reveled in his Letters, who have been perplexed by his theory of history, and who have been fascinated by his Mont- Saint-Michel and Chartres, know what he contributed to that world. In this contribution he is indebted to the literature, philosophy, and science which developed in France.

The extent of Adams's indebtedness to French thought can only be known and measured by one who has lived for many years among the books he had read and in which he had underscored passages and frequently had made marginal notes. These books are now found, for the most part, at the . . .

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