HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DURING THE FIRST ADMINISTRATION OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. [with:] ...DURING THE SECOND ADMINISTRATION OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. [with:] ...DURING THE FIRST ADMINISTRATION OF JAMES MADISON. [with:] ...DURING THE SECOND ADMINISTRATION OF JAMES MADISON. [with:] HISTORICAL ESSAYS
by Adams, Henry
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891. Ten volumes. Half title in each volume. Original green publisher's cloth, spines gilt. Cloth slightly shelfworn and lightly rubbed. Later ownership inscription on front endpaper of each volume. Some light toning, else quite clean internally. Very good. The first edition of a true masterpiece of American historical writing, a work that gave form and shape to an era and whose themes influence the way we understand the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to this day. Adams' overarching theme is the unification - through policy, economy, and war - of a country that in 1800 was disunited. He melds a scientific approach to history involving copious and thorough documentation with a graceful and compelling literary style. Garry Wills, who has devoted a recent book to an examination of Adams' HISTORY..., calls it "the non-fiction prose masterpiece of the nineteenth century in America." Adams worked for ten years on the research and writing of his HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.... He wrote that with it he hoped "to exhaust all that I have to say in this world...to compress this into three volumes [the original planned length of the work] and to expunge every unnecessary syllable, will be my great labor for several years. To make it readable is the great hope of my life" (quoted in the Library of America edition of the administration of Jefferson, p.1300). Adams worked with Scribner's in all aspects of the book's production and design, including the binding, thickness of paper, page design, typography, reproduction of maps and plans, indexing, chapter titles, and running headlines. The complete set of nine volumes was published in an edition of 1500 copies in 1889 to 1891. A volume of HISTORICAL ESSAYS was also published by Scribner's in 1891, bound uniformly with the HISTORY... and sometimes found with it; it is included here. Significantly, Adams continued to make revisions to his text, which were incorporated into later editions. "The most skillfully organized and most brilliantly presented interpretation of any period of our history yet attempted" - Howes. "The most valuable history of this important period, remarkable alike for its research, its penetrating analysis of character and political tendencies, and for the flood of light it throws upon every phase of the foreign relations of the country" - Larned. "A work that pioneers the new history coming into existence at the time. It offers archival research on an unprecedented scale in America, and combines it with social and intellectual history, diplomatic and military and economic history. This wealth of material is deployed with wit and a sense of adventure" - Wills. "In the best pages of the HISTORY... there is an almost mathematical sense of precision; an almost mechanistic sense of cause and effect and resultant motion; above all, an evolutionistic sense, not so much of progress (although this element is present) as of progression....No American historian, and few, if any European, has surpassed Adams' portrayal of the labyrinthian unfolding of human thought and the subtle interaction of one mind upon another" - Jordy. "The knowledge and ideas, the skill and imagination which made the historian an artist can best be seen in [this] masterwork" - Levenson. This set includes a copy of Adams' HISTORICAL ESSAYS, which was published in 1891 and intended to be a matching tenth volume to the set. A monumentally important work of American history. HOWES A53, "aa." BAL 19, 20, 21, 22. LARNED 1580. Garry Wills, HENRY ADAMS AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA (Boston & New York, 2005). William Jordy, HENRY ADAMS: SCIENTIFIC HISTORIAN (New Haven, 1952), pp.56, 63-64. J.C. Levenson, THE MIND AND ART OF HENRY ADAMS (Stanford, 1957), p.116.
(Inventory #: WRCAM51763)
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.