Brooks Adams

Brooks Adams bigraphy, stories - American political writer

Brooks Adams : biography

June 24, 1848 – February 13, 1927

Peter Chardon Brooks Adams (June 24, 1848, Quincy, Massachusetts – February 13, 1927, Boston), was an American historian and a critic of capitalism. He graduated from Harvard University in 1870 and studied at Harvard Law School in 1870 and 1871.

He believed that commercial civilizations rise and fall in predictable cycles. First, masses of people draw together in large population centers and engage in commercial activities. As their desire for wealth grows, they discard spiritual and creative values. Their greed leads to distrust and dishonesty, and eventually the society crumbles. In The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895),Ludovici, Anthony. The New English Weekly 25, 1944. Adams noted that as new population centers emerged in the west, centers of world trade shifted from Constantinople to Venice to Amsterdam to London. He predicted in America’s Economic Supremacy (1900) that New York would become the center of world trade.

Adams was a great-grandson of John Adams, a grandson of John Quincy Adams, the youngest son of U.S. diplomat Charles Francis Adams, and brother to Henry Brooks Adams, philosopher, historian, and novelist, whose theories of history were influenced by his work. His maternal grandfather was Peter Chardon Brooks, the wealthiest man in Boston at the time of his death. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1918.

The 1900 US Census shows Brooks Adams as living in Quincy, Mass. The Census report also shows he married Evelyn Davis around 1890. The census does not show the couple having any 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.


File:Brooks Adams with horse and dog, photograph by Marian Hooper Adams, ca. 1883.jpg|Brooks Adams with horse and dog, photograph by Marian Hooper Adams, ca. 1883.

File:Brooks Adams.jpg|Picture of Brooks Adams, n.d.


  • Houghton Mifflin Company, 1919 [1st Pub. 1887].
  • Alfred Mudge & Son, 1894.
  • The Macmillan Company, 1895.
  • The Macmillan Co., 1900.
  • The Macmillan Company, 1902.
  • Boston, 1910.
  • The Macmillan Company, 1913.


  • The Forum, August 1898.
  • McClure’s Magazine, April 1899.
  • The Forum, June 1899.
  • Scribners, March 1902.
  • McClure’s Magazine, June 1902.
  • The North American Review, September 1904.
  • In Centralization and the Law: Scientific Legal Education, 1906.
  • In Centralization and the Law: Scientific Legal Education, 1906.


  • Henry Adams, with an introduction by Brooks Adams, 1919.