Democracy - An American Novel (Paperback)
|Author: Henry Adams|
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|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.|
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.