Summer 1947 • Vol. IX No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1947 |

The Brilliant and Furtive Adams

Henry Adams And His Friends: A Collection of His Unpublished Letters compiled, with a biographical introduction, by Harold Dean Cater. Houghton Mifflin. $7.50. This new collection of Adams letters tells us nothing about his character and opinions that we did not know before. Mr. Cater maintains in his 107-page introduction that a new Adams is revealed, a warmer and friendlier Adams, but if these new letters help to confirm Spring-Rice's remark that Adams was "faithful to his friends and passionately fond of his mother and of all little children; even puppies," they bear out even more strongly his friend's observation that Adams was queer, cynical, and vindictive. Mr. Cater is most anxious to humanize his subject, and although we can only be grateful to him for his careful editing and his almost excessive reverence in presenting this rich and abundant correspondence, he might just as well have given up the job of trying to smooth over Adams' asperities. Adams must be accepted as

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