History of the United States of America during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson

by Henry Adams

Other authorsEarl N. Harbert
Hardcover, 1986




New York, N.Y. : Literary Classics of the United States : Distributed by Viking Press, c1986.


Henry Adams (1838-1918), journalist, novelist, and historian, was the great-grandson of John Adams and grandson of John Quincy Adams, both presidents of the United States. A professor of medieval history at Harvard whose areas of research were wide-ranging, he was deeply interested in the evolution of democracy in the United States. While Adams is best remembered for his autobiography The Education of Henry Adams (1907), for which he was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer prize, his nine-volume history of the United States during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison (1801-17), which was published 1889-91, has been hailed as one of the greatest historical works in English. Adams was an advocate of scientific history, and this monumental work adheres to its principles, considering social trends and circumstances rather than focusing on particular events. Volume 1 describes the first administration of Thomas Jefferson (1801-5).… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member wildbill
When I first subscribed to Library of America this is one of the first books that I read. Adams book is an excellent narrative and analysis of Jefferson's administrations. He provides many illuminating quotations from letters and conversations of all of the important persons of the time. For
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example the details of Napoleon's conversations greatly added to my understanding of him. He also tells in detail some of the most important incidents that occurred. I found particularly interesting his narrative of the impeachment trial of Salmon Chase and the treason trial of Aaron Burr.
If the book is lengthy it is only because of Adams thorough treatment of his subject. I find it interesting that Garry Wills found Adams volume and the one on Madison's administrations significant enough to warrant his recent book about them. One of the lasting images I have from the book is Thomas Jefferson riding alone back to Monticello after his retirement. Just prior to his retirement he had been unable to get the Senate to approve his nominee for the ambassador to Russia.
I highly recommend this volume and can assure you that it worth the time it takes to read. Adams is not only telling the story of Jefferson he is telling the story of the growth of America and its growth as a republic.
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LibraryThing member Bpolybius
"A history yet to be replaced." C. Vann Woodward
LibraryThing member enoerew
Henry Adams is one of the most eloquent and insightful historians I have ever read, and reading the additional volume covering the administrations of Madison is essential.
LibraryThing member ritaer
Although parts are rather tedious reading it was very interesting to learn that the New England states were ready to leave the union over the trade embargo ordered to attempt to damage France and England for seizing US ships. An earlier possible split was planned by Aaron Burr, who wanted the
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western states to form a separate nation.
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