Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 – March 27, 1918) was an American historian and a member of the Adams political family, descended from two U.S. Presidents.
As a young Harvard graduate, he served as secretary to his father, Charles Francis Adams, Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. The posting influenced the younger man through the experience of wartime diplomacy, and absorption in English culture, especially the works of John Stuart Mill. After the American Civil War, he became a political journalist who entertained America’s foremost intellectuals at his homes in Washington and Boston.
During his lifetime, he was best known for The History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, a nine-volume work, praised for its literary style, command of the documentary evidence, and deep (family) knowledge of the period and its major figures.
His posthumously published memoir, The Education of Henry Adams, won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to be named by the Modern Library as the best English-language nonfiction book of the 20th century.
Books in order of publication:
Essays in Anglo-Saxon Law – 1876
Life of Albert Gallatin – 1879
The Writings of Albert Gallatin – 1879
Democracy: An American Novel – 1880
John Randolph – 1882
Esther – 1884
History of the United States During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (9 volumes) – 1889-91
Historical Essays – 1891
Tahiti: Memoirs of Arii Taimai e Marama of Eimee … Last Queen of Tahiti – 1893
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres – 1904
The Life of George Cabot Lodge – 1911
The Education of Henry Adams – 1918
The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma – 1919
Letters – 2 volumes 1930-1938
The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes 1–3: 1858–1892 – 1982
The Letters of Henry Adams, Volumes 4–6: 1892–1918 – 1988