A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson
What were Emerson's politics? A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson authoritatively answers this question with seminal essays by some of the most prominent thinkers ever to write about Emerson—Stanley Cavell, George Kateb, Judith N. Shklar, and Wilson Carey McWilliams—as well as many of today's leading Emerson scholars. With an introduction that effectively destroys the "pernicious myth about Emerson's apolitical individualism" by editors Alan M. Levine and Daniel S. Malachuk, this volume reassesses Emerson's famous theory of self-reliance in light of his antislavery politics, demonstrates the importance of transcendentalism to his politics, and explores the enduring significance of his thought for liberal democracy.
Including a substantial bibliography of work on Emerson's politics over the last century, A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson is an indispensable resource for students of Emerson, American literature, and American political thought, as well as for those who wrestle with the fundamental challenges of democracy and liberalism.
About the Authors
Daniel S. Malachuk, associate professor of English at Western Illinois University, is the author of Perfection, the State, and Victorian Liberalism. He lives in Bettendorf,
"An important and timely corrective to the political inheritance of Emerson's thinking—especially to the long-standing 'pernicious myth' of Emerson's apolitical individualism. This collection demonstrates how Emerson is, and always has been, essential to our understanding and theorizing of American politics."—David LaRocca, author of On Emerson and editor of Emerson's Transcendental Etudes
"A pathbreaking set of essays on the politics of Emerson. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice
"Makes a compelling case for reassessing Emerson's political thought."—Colloquy
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