Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Making of a Democratic Intellectual
In this original and highly readable book, Peter S. Field explains how Ralph Waldo Emerson became the first democratic intellectual in American history. By focusing on his public career, Field contends that Emerson was a democrat in two senses: he single-handedly sought to create a vocation equal to his conviction that America represented the democratic promise of the western world; and as importantly, he acted the part of the democrat by attempting to bring culture to all Americans. Utterly disaffected with the self-satisfied Boston Brahmin establishment into which he had been born, he set forth through the nation in order to assume the role of conscience, critic, and gentle exhorter to the people. More poet than philosopher, Emerson demands to be understood as a public intellectual. Peter Field deftly portrays Emerson as he attempted to create himself--as a unique, irenic prophet to the American people.
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abolitionism abolitionists American audience Aunt Mary Boston Brahmin brothers Cabot called Cambridge career Carlyle Charles Chauncy Christianity colleagues Collected Congregational Church conviction critical decades delivered democracy democratic Divinity School Address Edward elite eloquence emancipation Emer Emerson believed Emerson found Emerson recorded Emerson remained Emerson to Mary Emerson to William Emerson wrote Emerson's Antislavery Writings England essay Everett faith father genius Harvard Divinity School Henry Thoreau Henry Ware high culture human institution intellectual Jedidiah Morse John journal entry Letters Lord's Supper lyceum Margaret Fuller Mary Moody Emerson Massachusetts minister ministry Monthly Anthology moral Murat nation nature never noted orthodox parishioners pastor philosophy political preacher preaching proved public lectures pulpit Quakers race Ralph Waldo Emerson religion religious Ruth scholars Second Church seemed self-reliant individual sermon slavery slaves social society Socrates thinking Thoreau thought tion traditional Transcendentalist Unitarian vocation William Emerson York Young Emerson Speaks