Democracy - An American Novel (Paperback)

Author: Adams, Henry

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Product Overview

Democracy: An American Novel was written by Henry Adams and published anonymously in 1880. Only after the writer''s death in 1918 did his publisher reveal Adams''s authorship although, upon publication, the novel had immediately become popular. Democracy is a novel about political power, its acquisition, use and abuse. It is set at the beginning of a new administration, with the election campaign just over and the new President of the United States just having been elected.


Publisher Nuvision Publications
Mfg Part# 9781595477668
SKU 207497511
Format Paperback
ISBN10 1595477667
Release Date 2/25/2008
Author Info
Henry Adams
Henry Adams was the grandson of President John Quincy Adams. He graduated from Harvard University, and at the age of 20 decided to be a writer. He served as the secretary of his father, Charles Francis Adams, accompanying him on a diplomatic term in England during the Civil War. At that time, Adams began publishing scholarly articles. Upon his return to the United States, he published general articles on the Reconstruction government, which showed some of the vitriol which would mark his later work. A medieval historian, Adams returned to Harvard to teach, and edited "The North American Review". Because of his schooling at Harvard and the rarefied political atmosphere in which he grew up, Adams maintained friendships with the likes of Henry James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Henry Hobson Richardson, Henry Cabot Lodge, and John Hay. When Adams was 48, his wife Marian (also his closest friend and confidante) committed suicide. Profoundly depressed and shocked, Adams began to travel and pursue knowledge in a purer, less rigid manner than he had as a historian. A year after his death in 1918, "The Education of Henry Adams" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
"The too-easy irony of the situation makes one hesitate to use Henry Adams against himself--to instance the enduring quality of his own work in contradiction of his belief that American society was deteriorating to the point where he could no longer speak to it. Only the urbanity of 'Democracy', the constant play of wit around its serious theme, possibly suggests, by its contrast to the deadly earnestness of the present-day political novel, that we may indeed have traveled a certain distance down the road from grace, as Adams defined grace. For the rest, almost seventy-five years after it was first published, Adams' novel is as relevant to our time as the current Presidential campaigns."
From the Publisher
Annotation Originally published anonymously, "Democracy" is essentially an issue-driven novel. Mrs. Madeleine Lightfoot Lee, a bright and wealthy woman, arrives in Washington D.C. looking for a husband in the form of a great statesman. Her cousin, a Confederate veteran named John Carrington, falls in love with her, but she wants nothing to do with him. Having accepted the defeat of the South, he works as a lawyer in what he considers the enemy's land, but it seems he is not glamorous enough for Madeleine Lee.
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