Emerson’s Liberalism (Studies in American Thought and Culture)

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9780299228040: Emerson’s Liberalism (Studies in American Thought and Culture)

Emerson’s Liberalism explains why Ralph Waldo Emerson has been and remains the central literary voice of American culture: he gave ever-fresh and lasting expression to its most fundamental and widely shared liberal values. Liberalism, after all, is more than a political philosophy: it is a form of civilization, a set of values, a culture, a way of representing and living in the world. This book makes explicit what has long been implicit in America’s embrace of Emerson.
    Neal Dolan offers the first comprehensive and historically informed exposition of all of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings as a contribution to the theory and practice of liberal culture. Rather than projecting twentieth-century viewpoints onto the past, he restores Emerson’s great body of work to the classical liberal contexts that most decisively shaped its general political-cultural outlook—the libertarian-liberalism of John Locke, the Scottish Enlightenment, the American founders, and the American Whigs.
    In addition to in-depth consideration of Emerson’s journals and lectures, Dolan provides original commentary on many of Emerson’s most celebrated published works, including Nature, the “Divinity School Address,” “History,” “Compensation,” “Experience,” the political addresses of the early 1840s, “An Address . . . on . . . The Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies,” Representative Men, English Traits, and The Conduct of Life. He considers Emerson’s distinctive elaborations of foundational liberal values—progress, reason, work, property, limited government, rights, civil society, liberty, commerce, and empiricism. And he argues that Emerson’s ideas are a morally bracing and spiritually inspiring resource for the ongoing sustenance of American culture and civilization, reminding us of the depth, breadth, and strength of our common liberal inheritance.

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About the Author:

Neal Dolan is associate professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Review:

“Ralph Waldo Emerson was the leading American public intellectual of the nineteenth century. Dolan offers a brilliant and deeply researched revisionist interpretation of his political thought.”—Paul S. Boyer, series editor

“An intellectual tour-de-force. The writing is lucid and the arguments detailed, precise, and well-supported by a wide range of secondary studies in political philosophy and a close and productive reading of Emerson’s early journals and lectures.”—Len Gougeon, author of Emerson and Eros: The Making of a Cultural Hero

“A reconstruction of Emerson’s emergence from the Enlightenment tradition is long overdue. Dolan certainly shows that he knows this tradition inside-out, and he makes a cogent case for its shaping impact on Emerson.”—David M. Robinson, author of Emerson and the Conduct of Life

“In this addition to the groundbreaking ‘Studies in American Thought and Culture’ series, Dolan offers the first comprehensive analysis of Emerson’s effect on American liberalism. He discusses Emerson’s liberal values not only as political in nature”—the principal contemporary way of thinking about liberalism—but also as a comprehensive view of all things that determines the nature of how one lives in the world. . . .Summing Up: Highly recommended.”—Choice

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Emerson s Liberalism explains why Ralph Waldo Emerson has been and remains the central literary voice of American culture: he gave ever-fresh and lasting expression to its most fundamental and widely shared liberal values. Liberalism, after all, is more than a political philosophy: it is a form of civilization, a set of values, a culture, a way of representing and living in the world. This book makes explicit what has long been implicit in America s embrace of Emerson. Neal Dolan offers the first comprehensive and historically informed exposition of all of Ralph Waldo Emerson s writings as a contribution to the theory and practice of liberal culture. Rather than projecting twentieth-century viewpoints onto the past, he restores Emerson s great body of work to the classical liberal contexts that most decisively shaped its general political-cultural outlook - the libertarian-liberalism of John Locke, the Scottish Enlightenment, the American founders, and the American Whigs. In addition to in-depth consideration of Emerson s journals and lectures, Dolan provides original commentary on many of Emerson s most celebrated published works, including Nature , the Divinity School Address , History , Compensation , Experience , the political addresses of the early 1840s, An Address.on.The Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies , Representative Men , English Traits , and The Conduct of Life . He considers Emerson s distinctive elaborations of foundational liberal values - progress, reason, work, property, limited government, rights, civil society, liberty, commerce, and empiricism. And he argues that Emerson s ideas are a morally bracing and spiritually inspiring resource for the ongoing sustenance of American culture and civilization, reminding us of the depth, breadth, and strength of our common liberal inheritance. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299228040

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Emerson s Liberalism explains why Ralph Waldo Emerson has been and remains the central literary voice of American culture: he gave ever-fresh and lasting expression to its most fundamental and widely shared liberal values. Liberalism, after all, is more than a political philosophy: it is a form of civilization, a set of values, a culture, a way of representing and living in the world. This book makes explicit what has long been implicit in America s embrace of Emerson. Neal Dolan offers the first comprehensive and historically informed exposition of all of Ralph Waldo Emerson s writings as a contribution to the theory and practice of liberal culture. Rather than projecting twentieth-century viewpoints onto the past, he restores Emerson s great body of work to the classical liberal contexts that most decisively shaped its general political-cultural outlook - the libertarian-liberalism of John Locke, the Scottish Enlightenment, the American founders, and the American Whigs. In addition to in-depth consideration of Emerson s journals and lectures, Dolan provides original commentary on many of Emerson s most celebrated published works, including Nature , the Divinity School Address , History , Compensation , Experience , the political addresses of the early 1840s, An Address.on.The Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies , Representative Men , English Traits , and The Conduct of Life . He considers Emerson s distinctive elaborations of foundational liberal values - progress, reason, work, property, limited government, rights, civil society, liberty, commerce, and empiricism. And he argues that Emerson s ideas are a morally bracing and spiritually inspiring resource for the ongoing sustenance of American culture and civilization, reminding us of the depth, breadth, and strength of our common liberal inheritance. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299228040

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