Emerson's Antislavery Writings

Ralph Waldo Emerson; Edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson

View Inside Price: $26.00


February 8, 2002
288 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300094022
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

This book presents the first comprehensive and authoritative collection of Emerson’s writings against slavery and the subjugation of American Indians—writings that reveal Emerson’s deep commitment to social reform. Included are speeches and lectures that have never before been published or collected in any other edition of Emerson’s writings.

"Taken together, this group of writings constitutes a critical mass of evidence that demonstrates Emerson’s continuous involvement in protest against slavery and other forms of social oppression much more dramatically than has been done before." —Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

"This valuable collection contains eighteen works by Emerson on the subject of slavery written between 1838 and 1863. . . . The texts are well annotated, and a historical introduction rightly demonstrates Emerson’s important participation in the abolition movement." —Nineteenth-Century Literature

"This new volume . . . seeks to put Emerson’s views on abolitionism in a clearer light while fitting the writings into the larger frame of his philosophy of social reform. . . . A skillfully edited volume . . . [that adds] to a deeper understanding of Emerson’s thought." —Charles Sermon, State

Len Gougeon is professor of American literature at the University of Scranton. Joel Myerson is Carolina Research Professor of American Literature at the University of South Carolina.

"Emerson's Antislavery Writings offers for the first time a comprehensive collection of Emerson's work; it contains four letters and fourteen speeches. Notably, the text includes a useful overview of the era during which Emerson wrote. This allows newcomers to Emerson to contextualize easily his abolitionism historically. The import of his lectures are more lucid in light, of the events that inspired them."—Mark Heineke, American Studies International
 

 
 

"Taken together, this group of writings constitutes a critical mass of evidence that demonstrates Emerson's continuous involvement in protest against slavery and other forms of social oppression much more dramatically than has been done before."—Lawrence Buell

"This new volume . . . seeks to put Emerson's views on abolitionism in a clearer light while fitting the writings into the larger frame of his philosophy of social reform.  The 18 documents that comprise the study . . . successfully chart Emerson's growth as a fervent supporter of the movement to abolish slavery.  Gougeon and Myerson's skillfully edited volume contains plenty of scholarly apparatus (textual commentary, notes, etc.), all of which add to a deeper understanding of Emerson's thought."—Charles Sermon, The State
 

"The importance of this book is that it allows the reader to see the collection of these texts as a cohesive unit."—Michael Strysick, South Atlantic Review
 

"This valuable collection contains eighteen works by Emerson on the subject of slavery written between 1838 and 1863. . . . The texts are well annotated, and a historical introduction rightly demonstrates Emerson's important participation in the abolition movement."—Nineteenth-Century Literature
 

"This collection of Emerson's essays on race and reform represents a welcome addition to his canonical writings of the 1840s."—Martin Halliwell, American Studies
 

"The items collected are often difficult to come by, and they deserve considerable attention; their significance extends beyond the merely scholarly. This attractive volume helps tell how American thought extricated itself morally from the brutality, degradation, and dishonor of slavery."—H. G. Callaway, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy