Apostles of Sartre: Existentialism in America, 1945-1963

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9780810112902: Apostles of Sartre: Existentialism in America, 1945-1963

A jargon-free examination of a significant chapter in the history of ideas. The book should be of interest to both the Sartre specialist and the general reader.

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Review:

Ann Fulton examines the American response to Jean-Paul Sartre's writings and philosophy in this engaging historical survey. In the years immediately following World War II, as Sartre first became known to American philosophers and the public at large, he was treated somewhat dismissively, in part because of the trendy reception he was acquiring from the popular press (and the equally trendy backlash against his ideas). But as more and more of his work was translated into English, thereby making it easier to teach courses on his work, Sartre's positions became more acceptable to American academic philosophers, who began to explore connections between existentialism and pragmatism. Fulton's account shows how Sartreanism, with its emphasis on individual responsibility, choice, and freedom "helped reinvigorate" American philosophy "by infusing it with a line of inquiry that led back to questions of immediate human importance." Apostles of Sartre is written in a clear and concise style that will make it equally useful to academics and laymen.

About the Author:

Fulton teaches history and women's studies at Portland State University in Oregon.

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