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July 16, 1904

An Autobiography.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(3):215-216. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500030055025

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It takes two bulky volumes to contain Herbert Spencer's story of his own life. While it is full of philosophy, as is everything that Spencer wrote, one's interest is so sustained that one regrets when the end is reached. Here is a portrait of himself drawn by a most remarkable man, and it seems to be real and true to life. Spencer evidently wrote the truth regardless of consequences, either as it might influence his own reputation or the feelings of others. Those who expect to find in this autobiography a detailed account of Spencer's life will be disappointed. Except that which refers to his boyhood days, there is very little about purely personal matters, about the little things that go to make up the sum total of life. The little there is of this character is taken from his own letters, written to a few—and a very few—personal friends.

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