A Letter to American Teachers of History. Henry Adams.
A Letter to American Teachers of History

A Letter to American Teachers of History.

Washington: [Privately printed at the Press of J. H. Furst Co., Baltimore.], 1910.

First edition. vi, 214 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Original olive cloth gilt; some wear, spine lettering dull. BAL 34; Who’s Who in Economics, pp. 222-3. Item #300973

Signed by Adams at the end of the introductory letter, as it seems that most copies were.
Adams, historian and a direct descendant of John Quincy Adams, published and disseminated widely this present work. It is described as having a style that was “designedly colloquial and its tone provocative. Assuming the validity of the second law of thermodynamics, that there is a universal tendency to the dissipation of mechanical energy, he pointed out the dilemma of teachers of history if they postulated a progressive evolution in human history toward some state of perfection, or tried to exempt mind from the operation of this law. What did they propose to do about it? Human thought should be considered as a substance passing from one phase to another, through a series of critical points which are determined by attraction, acceleration, and volume—the equivalents of pressure, temperature, and volume in mechanical physics. In short, the future historian who would interpret the movement called history would have to seek his education in the world of mathematical physics” (DAB, p.67).

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