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Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 - March 27, 1918) was an American historian and member of the Adams political family, being descended from two U.S. Presidents.As a young Harvard graduate, he was secretary to his father, Charles Francis Adams, Abraham Lincoln's ambassador in London. The posting had much influence on the younger man, both through experience of wartime diplomacy and absorption in English culture, especially the works of John Stuart Mill. After the American Civil War, he became a noted political journalist who entertained America's foremost intellectuals at his homes in Washington and Boston.In his lifetime, he was best known for his History of the United States During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, a 9-volume work, praised for its literary style.His posthumously published memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to be named by the Modern Library as the best English-language nonfiction book of the 20th centuryHe was born in Boston, the son of Charles Francis Adams, Sr. (1807-1886) and Abigail Brooks (1808-1889) into one of the country's most prominent families.Both his paternal grandfather, John Quincy Adams, and great-grandfather, John Adams, one of the most prominent among the Founding Fathers, had been U.S. Presidents; his maternal grandfather, Peter Chardon Brooks, was a millionaire; and another great-grandfather, Nathaniel Gorham, signed the Constitution.
Having been born into the family of two American presidents, Henry Adams (1838-1918) held great privilege. He had a close relationship with his grandfather, and former United States president, John Quincy Adams. Adams worked as a private secretary for his father for many years, accompanying him on his travels. Outside of his work with his family, Adams was a well-known political journalist. His autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, was claimed to be one of the best works of nonfiction written in the 20th century.