It is good to take note of the sage he became in his late, great books: Mont-St. Michel and Chartres and The Education of Henry Adams. This biography explains how Henry Adams became the man both admired and feared in his later years. He was first a bright, unformed young man who was a diplomatic assistant to his father; then an ambitious journalist, a writer of several "sensational" newspaper and magazine articles. Next he became a provocative and innovative teacher, and a historian unequalled in his presentation of the Jeffersonian period. Until his wife's tragic death, he was a willing actor on the social scene of his beloved Washington, D.C. Throughout, he remained a friend and instigator of the careers of friends in artistic and scientific fields. His writings speak to us still and seem contemporary in their tone as well as their view of cycles of culture and their warnings of decline and achievement.