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Henry Adams and the making of America von…
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Henry Adams and the making of America (Original 2005; 2005. Auflage)

von Garry Wills

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321464,150 (3.85)5
In this new view of the greatest historian of the nineteenth century, historian Wills showcases Henry Adams's little-known but seminal study of the early United States and elicits from it fresh insights on the paradoxes that roil America to this day. Adams drew on his own southern fixation, extensive foreign travel, political service in Lincoln's White House, and much more to invent the study of history as we know it. His chronicle established new standards for employing archival sources, firsthand reportage, eyewitness accounts, and other techniques that have become the essence of modern history. Adams's innovations went beyond the technical; he posited an ironic view of the legacy of Jefferson and Madison: they strove to shield the young country from "foreign entanglements," a standing army, a central bank, and a federal bureaucracy, among other hallmarks of "big government"--yet by the end of their tenures they had permanently entrenched all of these things in American society. This is the "American paradox" that defines us today.--From publisher description.… (mehr)
Mitglied:Berkeley_Library
Titel:Henry Adams and the making of America
Autoren:Garry Wills
Info:Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
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Henry Adams and the Making of America von Garry Wills (2005)

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Phenomenal book! Garry Wills is the best. My previous understanding of Henry Adams was based entirely on his "Education of Henry Adams." As I read that book it occurred to me that his dyspeptic tone could have resulted from his sitting out the Civil War far from the battlefield and then having to tolerate war stories from his peers for the rest of his life. (Robert Lincoln seems to have led a similarly etiolated existence.) Wills mentions too that Adams preferred the camaraderie of Southern culture to the alienating frigidity of his native Puritan and Brahmin milieu. If this aspect of the book - the author rather than his work - interests you, it may be worth reading David McCullough's book on Adams' great grandfather before reading this one. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
Wills decries our ignorance of Henry Adams great history of the early nineteenth century. (I fear I belong to the vast number of ignoramuses with regard to this work.) Wills sets out to rectify that nescience. Apparently, Adams even had a very different slant on the Jeffersonians, arguing that their four terms at the beginning of the 19th century provided for the development of a national unity that they seemingly eschewed publicly, ostensibly supporting a decentralized and weak government. In reality, Wills says Adams perspicaciously, says they began the development of American identity and empire. Of course, it's been my observation, especially given our most recent 8 years, that ideology always succumbs to a desire to consolidate power. I'm guessing that even Ron Paul would have pulled the reins a little tighter despite his rhetoric. Wills writes well and with erudition. Fascinating so far. Updates to follow.
1 abstimmen ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
A good adjunct to increasing my understanding of Henry Adams. It is well researched. This would be an excellent adjunct when reading Henry Adams Histories, which I hope to do one day. ( )
  brewbooks | Mar 13, 2010 |
Wills has written extensively about American history, generally using a focus on documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist papers, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address) to illuminate major figures, events and the cultural forces that shaped them. This book is ostensibly about Henry Adams' major work on the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison (available in the two volume Library of America edition), but it is actually a retelling of that period (1801-1817). Wills quotes from Adams, summarizes his narrative, explains his perspectives and something of Adams' methods, but adds much additional information and his own interpretation of Jefferson and Madison—as well as of John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams, James Monroe, and others. This is not a substitute for reading Adams (yes, I know—at 2,700 pages most people would be glad of a substitute) but a companion volume, sort of a commentary and appreciation. If all you have read of Henry Adams is his often gloomy Education, you may be surprised at Adams' narrative skills. Wills deserves our appreciation for his attempt to resurrect a neglected masterpiece of historical writing, and a neglected period of our history. ( )
3 abstimmen sweetFrank | Apr 9, 2008 |
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In this new view of the greatest historian of the nineteenth century, historian Wills showcases Henry Adams's little-known but seminal study of the early United States and elicits from it fresh insights on the paradoxes that roil America to this day. Adams drew on his own southern fixation, extensive foreign travel, political service in Lincoln's White House, and much more to invent the study of history as we know it. His chronicle established new standards for employing archival sources, firsthand reportage, eyewitness accounts, and other techniques that have become the essence of modern history. Adams's innovations went beyond the technical; he posited an ironic view of the legacy of Jefferson and Madison: they strove to shield the young country from "foreign entanglements," a standing army, a central bank, and a federal bureaucracy, among other hallmarks of "big government"--yet by the end of their tenures they had permanently entrenched all of these things in American society. This is the "American paradox" that defines us today.--From publisher description.

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