An American Novel
Democracy: An American Novel (1880) is a novel by Henry Adams. Published anonymously, Democracy: An American Novel draws on Adams’ experience as a political journalist in Washington, DC who worked to expose corruption in American government. Although fictional, the novel is viewed as a commentary on the presidential administrations of the 1870s and political atmospheres surrounding each. “For reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington. She was in excellent health, but she said that the climate would do her good. In New York she had troops of friends, but she suddenly became eager to see again the very small number of those who lived on the Potomac. It was only to her closest intimates that she honestly acknowledged herself to be tortured by ennui.” Madeleine Lee, a young widow from a prominent clerical family, moves from New York to Washington, DC in search of a better life. There, she hosts a popular salon and draws the attention of several suitors. While John Carrington, an honest man from a working-class background, shows true romantic feelings, Silas P. Ratcliffe, an aspiring politician, proves dangerously attractive. As their competition grows heated, Madeleine begins losing interest in the life of fame and fortune she has pursued for herself. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Henry Adams’ Democracy: An American Novel is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers.