Books: Great Failure

LETTERS OF HENRY ADAMS 1892-1918— Edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford— Hought on Mifflin ($4.50).

When Henry Adams was 20 years old, he had his future career nicely calculated.

Two .years in Europe, he thought, would be enough, and then, after studying law in Boston, he would move to St. Louis.

"If I know myself," he wrote exuberantly to his older brother, "I can't fail." Meanwhile he thought he and his brother ought to be more respectful to their mother, should quit snubbing their kid brother Brooks ("we ought to try our hardest to tolerate...

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