Emerson

Emerson

Emerson

Emerson

Excerpt

This book is about the life, career, thought, and writing of the first public intellectual in the history of the United States. It is written both for scholars and for nonspecialist readers seeking a first book about Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882). The research is as up-to-date and the language as direct as I can make it.

From other books on Emerson published in recent times, this one differs most visibly in two main ways.

First, instead of concentrating on a single narrative or topical strand, it provides concise intensive examinations of key moments of Emerson's career and major facets of his thought. Emerson is typically studied in schools and colleges as a literary figure who advocated a doctrine of individualism. This image is not wrong, but it understates the depth of his thinking and the scope of his achievement. In fact Emerson was remarkable for having influenced thinking in a wide range of areas, not just one . . .

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