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Henry Brooke Adams
1838 - 1913

Historian and author. Adams was an intellectual born into the fourth generation of a family of distinguished politicians, diplomats and statesmen that included two presidents of the United States.

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Education of Henry Adams, The (1906)
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Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central powerhouses. The conflict is no longer between the men, but between the motors that drive the men, and the men tend to succumb to their own motive forces.

Chaos was the law of nature; order was the dream of man.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Chaos often breeds life when order breeds habit.

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
... the active-minded young man should ask of his teacher only mastery of his tools. The young man himself, the subject of education, is a certain form of energy; the object to be gained is economy of his force; the training is partly the clearing away of obstacles, partly the direct application of effort. Once acquired, the tools and models may be thrown away.

Feb. 16, 1907 - from the preface to The Education of Henry Adams
All State education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for State purposes.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
They know enough who know how to learn.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Power is poison. Its effect on presidents has always been tragic.

Politics... [have] always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams