How the Family of Henry James Helps Us Understand The Times We Now Live In: A Series of Posts on Business, Religion and The American Fear of Leisure

Post 1: Henry James (1843-1916) is a challenging fiction writer. His sentences are long and his vision complex. But taken together the James family–his highly successful grandfather (William James of Albany), his father (Henry James, Sr.), and his brother (the philosopher William James)–have profoundly impacted American life.

Henry James the Novelist
The novelist’s grandfather, William James of Albany
Young Henry the novelist with his father, Henry James, Sr.
The novelist’s brother, the philosopher William James

Note: Post 2 will focus on William James of Albany, an impoverished Irish immigrant, a staunch Calvinist, and a businessman who rose in American society to make a fortune nearly equal to that of John Jacob Astor. A man at once generous and cruel, he lived out the American Dream, exemplifying the rags to riches story so popular in our mythology.