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The Literary Vocation of Henry Adams
Author: William Merrill Decker

ISBN: 9780807865293
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 16 June 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 14.9 x 1.9
In the mid-1880s, Henry Adams committed himself to a posture that has since been associated with his name: neglected patrician, doomsayer, literary man whose bereavement at his wife's suicide confirmed his abandonment of an active public life. Adams (1838-1918) defined himself as other than contemporary Americans. Yet he also cast himself as the Republic's last true patriot, and beneath his reticence lay the firm belief that he was the one man who could save America -- if only his voice were heard. This insightful book focuses on the relationship between Adams and his audience, emphasizing Adams's rhetorical strategies in his effort to shape a dialogue with his readers. Throughout his literary career, Adams struggled to redefine America's role as a nation of millennial promise. All the while, he was faced with mounting evidence that his country was rapidly squandering its opportunity to act as a redemptive force. William Decker explores Adams's ambition to impress this view of the Republic on the national mind and his persistent desire to create a text that would direct, both by its rational persuasiveness and by its symbological appeal, the course o...

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