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As a journalist, historian, and novelist born into a family that included two past Presidents, Henry Adams was forever focused on the experiences and expectations unique to America. A prompt bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winner, The Education of Henry Adams (1918) recounts his own and his country's development from 1838--the year Adams was born--up to 1905, thus incorporating the Civil War, unprecedented capitalist expansion, and the growth of the United States as a world power. Adams considered the nation both a success and a failure, and this paradox was the very impetus that compelled him to set down his Education--in the pages of which he also voiced a deep skepticism about mankind's ability to control the direction of history. Written with immense wit and irony, reassembling the past while glimpsing at the future, this book wholly expresses what Henry James declared the "complex fate" of being an American. Adams's thoroughly documented vision remains one of the most absorbing American autobiographies ever written.