The American Adam
Intellectual history is viewed in this book as a series of "great conversations"—dramatic dialogues in which a culture's spokesmen wrestle with the leading questions of their times. In nineteenth-century America the great argument centered about De Crèvecoeur's "new man," the American, an innocent Adam in a bright new world dissociating himself from the historic past. Mr. Lewis reveals this vital preoccupation as a pervasive, transforming ingredient of the American mind, illuminating history and theology as well as art, shaping the consciousness of lesser thinkers as fully as it shaped the giants of the age. He traces the Adamic theme in the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Henry James, and others, and in an Epilogue he exposes their continuing spirit in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, J. D. Salinger, and Saul Bellow.
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THE CASE AGAINST THE PAST
THE NEW ADAM HOLMES AND WHITMAN
THE FORTUNATE FALL THE ELDER JAMES AND HORACE BUSHNELL
THE FABLE OF THE CRITICS
THE HERO IN SPACE BROWN COOPER BIRD
THE RETURN INTO TIME HAWTHORNE
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achievement action Adam adventure American fiction Arthur Mervyn artistic attitude Bancroft Billy Budd Brownson called century Channing character Christian communion contemporary Cooper creative critic culture dead Deerslayer dialogue divine doctrine Donatello dramatic Edwards elder James Emerson evil experience fable fact fall forest fortunate fall George Bancroft Hawthorne Hawthorne's Henry James hero Holmes Holmes's Horace Bushnell human ideas imagination individual inherited innocence intellectual James's kind language Leaves of Grass less literary literature living look Lowell Marble Faun Melville Melville's ment metaphor Miriam Moby-Dick moral myth narrative Natty Bumppo nature novel novelists Orestes Brownson Parker Parkman party of Hope past perhaps personality phrase poem poet poetry present principles Redburn relation religious remarked scene seemed sense society soul spirit story suggest symbolic tension theme Theodore Parker theology things Thoreau thought tion tradition tragedy tragic Unitarian vision Walden Walt Whitman Welbeck whole writer wrote
Page 5 - On the contrary, our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity.