Ralph Waldo Emerson is the central figure in American political thought. Until recently, his vast influence was most often measured by its impact on literature, philosophy and aesthetics. In particular, Emerson is largely responsible for introducing idealism into America in the form of living one’s life self-reliantly. But in the past few decades, critics have increasingly come to realize that Emerson played a key role in abolitionism and other social movements around the time of the American Civil War. This selection for Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought highlights not only Emerson’s practical political involvement, but also examines the philosophical basis of his political writings. All of the usual series features are included, with a concise introduction, notes for further reading, chronology and apparatus designed to assist undergraduate and graduate readers studying this greatest of American thinkers for the first time.
• Accessible selection of political writings of the greatest and most influential American thinker of the nineteenth century • The editor Kenneth Sacks is a senior Emerson scholar • Complements other successful Cambridge Texts of American thinkers including Thoreau and Jefferson
Acknowledgements; Biography; Background to texts; Introduction to texts; Texts - Nature: Introduction and ‘Language’: 1. Journal entries; 2. American Scholar; 3. The Divinity School Address; 4. ‘Uriel’; 5. “Concord Hymn”; 6. Letter to Martin van Buren; 7. ‘Self-Reliance’; 8. ‘Compensation’; 9. Concerning Brook Farm; 10. ‘Man the Reformer’; 11. ’Politics’; 12. Journal entries; 13. ‘Ode Inscribed to W. H. Channing’; 14. ‘Citizens of Concord’; 15. ‘Webster’ ‘1854’; 16. Journal entries; 17. ‘Women’; 18. ‘Napoleon’; 19. ‘Speech at the meeting to aid John Brown’; 20. ‘John Brown’; 21. ‘Fate’; 22. ‘Power’; 23. Journal entries; Chronology; Bibliography.