Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists

Second Edition

Edited by George Hochfield

View Inside Price: $45.00


August 11, 2004
434 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300102819
Paper

Transcendentalism was the name given to the New England movement of the 1830s and 1840s that brought together Romanticism in literature and social reform in politics. Its partisans argued for the rights of women, the abolition of slavery, and, in some cases, the socialization of labor and equal distribution of profits. They were America’s first avant-garde.
This volume presents substantial selections from the writings of key American Transcendentalists, such as George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Orestes Brownson, Theodore Parker, and Bronson Alcott. Included are sermons and diary entries, essays on labor, religion, education, and literature, on German metaphysics and Coleridge’s philosophy of mind. Many are expressive of the movement’s over-arching project: to define the innermost meanings of democracy—the nature of man, his place in the world, and his relation to the divine. First published in 1966, the book has been updated and expanded for this edition.

George Hochfield is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

"Hochfield’s anthology selects fine and representative specimens not only from the front rank of the transcendentalist movement but also from its inspirational teachers and scholarly day-laborers. It is an enjoyable book to read around in, and instructive in ways that grow on acquaintance."—David Bromwich, Yale University

"George Hochfield’s anthology Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists has long been standard. Now, in its updated version, it is more useful than ever—a must read on the subject."—Joel Porte, author of Consciousness and Culture: Emerson and Thoreau Reviewed

“A valuable gathering of classic statements and out-of-the-way pieces. Lively and informative.”—Michael T. Gilmore, Brandeis University

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