William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism : a Biography

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 622 pages
22 Reviews
Biographer Richardson has written a moving portrait of James--pivotal member of the Metaphysical Club and author of The Varieties of Religious Experience. The biography, ten years in the making, draws on unpublished letters, journals, and family records. Richardson paints extraordinary scenes from what James himself called the "buzzing blooming confusion" of his life, beginning with childhood, as he struggled to achieve amid the domestic chaos and intellectual brilliance of Father, brother Henry, and sister Alice. James was a beloved teacher who taught courage and risk-taking, and served as mentor to W.E.B. Du Bois, Gertrude Stein, and many other Harvard outsiders. Richardson also illuminates James's hugely influential works. One of the great figures in mysticism here brought richly to life, James is a man "whose leading ideas are still so fresh and challenging that they are not yet fully assimilated by the modern world they helped to bring about."--From publisher description.
  

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Review: William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

User Review  - Catherine Macdonald - Goodreads

This is one of the best biographies I have read in recent years. Places William James in the context of his very gifted family, and of his rock-ribbed New England forebears. But also charts the course of his adventurous and inquiring intellect. Read full review

Review: William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

It may go without saying, but readers will need some interest in the subject to read this 580-page, heavily indexed, 2006 biography of William James. And since I am not a scholar, I simply ignored the ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

ROBERT D. RICHARDSON is the author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind and Emerson: The Mind on Fire. He is the recipient of the Francis Parkman Prize, the Melcher Book Award, and the Bancroft Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, among many other honors.

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