Books: Yankee Gothic

CLOVER by Otto Friedrich Simon & Schuster; 381 pages; $12.95

One of the more opulent souvenirs of the Bicentennial was educational television's $6.7 million, 13-part series, The Adams Chronicles, a generational saga of early America's most distinguished family. From the patriarchal John and the vigorous John Quincy, viewers could follow the thinning of bloodlines and the refining of sensibilities. In Part 12, young Henry Adams (1838-1918) meets his future wife Clover Hooper at the Harvard Library. "Plato! In the original!" exclaims Henry as he glimpses the spine of Clover's book. "Well," she replies, "I don't...

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