The Education of Henry Adams is Henry Adams' autobiography, originally published in 1918 upon his death (though Adams wrote the book earlier). It details not only Adams' life, but the history that unfolded around him, including the presidencies of John Quincy Adams and General Ulysses Grant, as well as Charles Sumner and Secretary of State William Seward. Adams also critiques some of the practices of the 19th century and comes to terms with the dawning of the 20th century. One of the most famous quotes of the novel reflects the changing of centuries: "Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
Users on Amazon thought positively of the book, giving it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Users on Goodreads were less kind, giving the book a rating of 3.49 out of 5 stars. The book is widely known as a very difficult book to read (some say they had to "slog" through it). The book also won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize and is widely regarded as a very good book despite its difficulty. The New York Book Review called the novel and Adams' writing "remarkable" and said that "The Education of Henry Adams has long been for me one of the great chronicles of society in our literature." Adams' autobiography has not been adapted into film, television, play, or radio.