William James Remembered
University of Nebraska Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 275 pages
William James was one of the most remarkable intellectuals of his day-a vastly influential philosopher and psychologist who was also a charismatic teacher, groundbreaking scholar, and widely admired public figure. Now when interest in James is surging in the United States and abroad, William James Remembered brings together reminiscences of James by family members, friends, and prominent intellectuals. The result is a many-sided portrait of a man who, besides playing a crucial role in American life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, remains an animating spirit in our own time. The contributors include some of the people who knew James best. His brother, the novelist Henry James, opens the volume with a recollection of William at age seventeen, during one of their trips to Europe. Josiah Royce, George Santayana, and Ralph Barton Perry are among the faculty members of turn-of-the-century Harvard University who offer vivid portraits of their colleague. Memoirs by James's students reveal his pronounced unconventionality and his inspiring presence. Personal friends such as social reformer Josephine Goldmark and physician James Jackson Putnam provide insights into James's private life. Contributions by twenty-five people in all create a complex portrait of James as a brother, father, philosopher, psychologist, teacher, and friend. As editor Linda Simon suggests, these diverse essays vividly evoke "the vitality of James's personality, the freshness and excitement of his ideas, and the buoyancy of his spirit." Linda Simon is the director of the Writing Center at Harvard University. She is the author of The Biography of Alice B. Toklas (Nebraska 1991) and the editor ofGertrude Stein Remembered (Nebraska 1994).
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