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United States: Essays 1952-1992 Chapter Summary & Analysis - "The Four Generations of the Adams Family" (1976) Summary

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"The Four Generations of the Adams Family" (1976) Summary and Analysis

John Adams was born in 1735 in Massachusetts, the founder of a family line that remained at the center of national and world political affairs for almost two centuries. Four generations of this brilliant but self-effacing family ended, Vidal says, with Henry Adams who is recalled by a conversation Vidal had as a young person with Eleanor Roosevelt. The first lady scolded Adams gently for his cynicism about history when her husband was just starting his political career.

"Young man," Adams told president-to-be Roosevelt, "it doesn't make the slightest difference who lives in that [White House], history goes on with or without the president." As an amateur historian, Henry Adams spent his last days trying to understand the forces that shape history—and finally abandoned...

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This section contains 559 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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United States: Essays 1952-1992 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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