This conference examining the intellectual work of Henry Adams (1838-1918) will take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215. Crucial to Adams's work is his belief in the importance of asking probing questions. As an individual, he asked questions about himself, and as an American he recognized the nation's need to perpetually re-define itself. His History of the United States of America: During the Administration of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison ended with a series of questions that the developing nation needed to answer. His controversial novel Democracy offered one rather disturbing answer. In the Education, Adams imaginatively employed the story of his own life to help Americans at the dawn of the 20th century grapple with profound social and intellectual changes wrought by science and technology. His much loved book Mont Saint Michel and Chartres expressed his personal inquiry into whether the spirit of the Middle Ages could have any connection with modernity. The purpose of this conference is to gain fresh insights into the legacy of Henry Adams and his need to know.
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