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American Transcendentalism: A History

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by Philip F. Gura
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American Transcendentalism: A History by Philip F. Gura

The First Comprehensive History of Transcendentalism

American Transcendentalism is a comprehensive narrative history of America's first group of public intellectuals, the men and women who defined American literature and indelibly marked American reform in the decades before and following the America Civil War. Philip F. Gura masterfully traces their intellectual genealogy to transatlantic religious and philosophical ideas, illustrating how these informed the fierce local theological debates that, so often first in Massachusetts and eventually throughout America, gave rise to practical, personal, and quixotic attempts to improve, even perfect the world. The transcendentalists would painfully bifurcate over what could be attained and how, one half epitomized by Ralph Waldo Emerson and stressing self-reliant individualism, the other by Orestes Brownson, George Ripley, and Theodore Parker, emphasizing commitment to the larger social good.

By the 1850s, the uniquely American problem of slavery dissolved differences as transcendentalists turned ever more exclusively to abolition. Along with their early inheritance from European Romanticism, America's transcendentalists abandoned their interest in general humanitarian reform. By war's end, transcendentalism had become identified exclusively with Emersonian self-reliance, congruent with the national ethos of political liberalism and market capitalism.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 384
Size: 391 KB
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Date published:   2008
ISBN: 9781429922883 (DRM-EPUB)

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This product is listed in the following category:

Nonfiction > History > United States > State & Local > New England

This author has products in the following categories:

Nonfiction > History > United States > State & Local > New England
Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Religious
Nonfiction > Literary Criticism > American
Nonfiction > History > Native American
Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Native Americans

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