THE GREAT AND RAPIDLY GROWING literature dealing with ideas and their history in America cannot be described or even listed in a bibliography of appropriate length for the present volume. The following bibliography is intended for readers who may wish to push further in certain areas or subjects or who desire to explore points of view that differ from those expressed in the present work.
The pioneer study is V. L. Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought, 3 vols. ( N.Y., 1927). Brilliant and provocative, American history interpreted with a Jeffersonian bias. The third volume (dealing with the post-Civil War period) is a collection of chapters and fragments left when Parrington died. Oscar Cargill, Intellectual America ( N.Y., 1941), emphasizes literature and the migrations of ideas from Europe. Alfred Kazin, On Native Grounds ( N.Y., 1942), contains a critical account of the American literature in the 20th century. Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, The American Spirit ( N.Y., 1942), traces American intellectual history by means of single theme, the idea of civilization, and expresses a challenging humanistic "world view." Merle Curti, The Growth of American Thought ( N.Y., 1943), covers the entire chronological story and relates ideas to the social matrix in which they function--an indispensible work. Van Wyck Brooks, Makers and Finders: a History of the Writers in America, 1800-1915 ( N.Y., 1936-1952). A major work in many volumes that deals with greater and lesser writers and with the intellectual climates of which they were a part. H. S. Commager, The American Mind ( New Haven, 1950), opens with an interpretive chapter on the final decades of the nineteenth century and deals with all important aspects of thought in the twentieth. R. C. Spiller and others, Literary History of the United States, 3 vols. ( N.Y., 1948). A cooperative history with chapters on individual writers and particular periods. Volume III contains complete bibliographies of writers. M. G. White, Social Thought in America