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The John Harvard Library

The John Harvard Library, founded in 1959, publishes essential American writings, including novels, poetry, memoirs, criticism, and works of social and political history, representing all periods, from the beginning of settlement in America to the twenty-first century. The purpose of the John Harvard Library is to make these works available to scholars and general readers in affordable, authoritative editions. The new paperback editions in the John Harvard Library feature cover illustrations by award-winning portraitist and illustrator Robert Carter.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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Cover: Puritans among the Indians: Accounts of Captivity and Redemption, 1676–1724

Puritans among the Indians: Accounts of Captivity and Redemption, 1676–1724

Vaughan, Alden T.
Clark, Edward W.

These eight reports by white settlers held captive by Indians gripped the imagination not only of early settlers but also of American writers through our history. Puritans among the Indians presents, in modern spelling, the best of the New England narratives. These both delineate the social and ideological struggle between the captors and the settlers, and constitute a dramatic rendition of the Puritans’ spiritual struggle for redemption.

Cover: The Key of Liberty: The Life and Democratic Writings of William Manning

The Key of Liberty: The Life and Democratic Writings of William Manning

Merrill, Michael
Wilentz, Sean

The Key of Liberty offers, better than any book yet published, a grassroots view of the rise of democratic opposition in the new nation. It sheds considerable light on the popular culture—literary, religious, and profane—of the epoch.

Cover: The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649

The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649

Winthrop, John
Savage, James
Dunn, Richard S.
Yaendle, Laetitia

For 350 years Governor John Winthrop’s journal has been recognized as the central source for the history of Massachusetts in the 1630s and 1640s. This full-scale, unabridged edition uses the manuscript volumes of the first and third notebooks, and James Savage’s transcription of the middle notebook (accidentally destroyed in 1825).

Cover: The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649: Abridged Edition

The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649: Abridged Edition

Winthrop, John
Savage, James
Dunn, Richard S.
Yaendle, Laetitia

The abridged edition of John Winthrop’s journal, which incorporates about 40 percent of the governor’s text, includes a lively introduction and complete annotation.

Cover: The Damnation of Theron Ware

The Damnation of Theron Ware

Frederic, Harold
Carter, Everett

This Faustian tale of the spiritual disintegration of a young minister, written in the 1890s, deals subtly and powerfully with the impact of science on innocence and the collective despair that marked the transition into the modern age.

Cover: The Memoir of James Jackson, The Attentive and Obedient Scholar, Who Died in Boston, October 31, 1833, Aged Six Years and Eleven Months

The Memoir of James Jackson, The Attentive and Obedient Scholar, Who Died in Boston, October 31, 1833, Aged Six Years and Eleven Months

Paul, Susan
Brown, Lois

This remarkable document—the first African American biography and a work that predates Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by almost thirty years—is a lost treasure from the annals of African American history. Susan Paul’s portrayal of James Jackson’s Christian sensibility, his idealism, and his racial awareness emphasizes his humanity and exemplary American character over his racial identity, even as it embeds him in his African American community.

Cover: Fanny Kemble's Journals: Edited and with an Introduction by Catherine Clinton

Fanny Kemble's Journals: Edited and with an Introduction by Catherine Clinton

Kemble, Fanny
Clinton, Catherine

Henry James called Fanny Kemble’s autobiography “one of the most animated autobiographies in the language.” Born into the first family of the British stage, Fanny Kemble was one of the most famous woman writers of the English-speaking world, a best-selling author on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to her essays, poetry, plays, and a novel, Kemble published six works of memoir, eleven volumes in all, covering her life, which began in the first decade of the nineteenth century and ended in the last. Her autobiographical writings are compelling evidence of Kemble’s wit and talent, and they also offer a dazzling overview of her transatlantic world.

Cover: Cannibals All! Or, Slaves without Masters

Cannibals All! Or, Slaves without Masters

Fitzhugh, George
Woodward, C. Vann

Fitzhugh was provocative because of his stinging attack on free society, laissez-faire economy, and wage slavery, along with their philosophical underpinnings. He used socialist doctrine to defend slavery and drew upon the same evidence Marx used in his indictment of capitalism. Socialism, he held, was only “the new fashionable name for slavery,” though slavery was far more humane and responsible, “the best and most common form of socialism.”

Cover: The New Basis of Civilization

The New Basis of Civilization

Patten, Simon N.
Fox, Daniel M.

In The New Basis of Civilization, originally published in 1907, Simon Patten tried to modify traditional assumptions about the permanence of poverty, the effects of a more equitable distribution of wealth, and the possibility of substantial improvements in the standard of living.

Cover: An Essay on Calcareous Manures

An Essay on Calcareous Manures

Ruffin, Edmund
Sitterson, J. Carlyle

This book’s publication in 1832 initiated an era of agricultural reform in the ante-bellum South. By 1850 Edmund Ruffin had effected a transformation of the economy of the upper South from poverty to agricultural prosperity. This small book, with its uncompromisingly descriptive title, is a landmark in the history of soil chemistry in the United States.

Cover: A Fool's Errand

A Fool's Errand

Tourgée, Albion W.
Franklin, John Hope

Though the discussion of sectional and racial problems is an important element in the book, A Fool’s Errand has merit as a dramatic narrative—with its love affair, and its moments of pathos, suffering, and tragedy. This combination of tract and melodrama made it a bestseller in its day. Total sales have been estimated as 200,000, a remarkable record in the l880’s for a book of this kind.

Cover: The Life of Washington

The Life of Washington

Weems, Mason L.
Cunliffe, Marcus

The effect of this “single, immortal, and dubious anecdote,” and others like it, has made this book one of the most influential in the history of American folklore. The first republication of the book since 1927, it is unique in its detailed commentary on Weems and other biographers of Washington.

Cover: American Protest Literature

American Protest Literature

Trodd, Zoe

“I like a little rebellion now and then,” wrote Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, enlisting in a tradition that throughout American history has led writers to rage and reason, prophesy and provoke. American Protest Literature presents sources from eleven protest movements—political, social, and cultural—from the Revolution to abolition to gay rights to antiwar protest. In this impressive work, Zoe Trodd provides an enlightening and inspiring survey of this most American form of literature.

Cover: On Religious Liberty: Selections from the Works of Roger Williams

On Religious Liberty: Selections from the Works of Roger Williams

Williams, Roger
Davis, James Calvin

Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his refusal to conform to Puritan religious and social standards, Roger Williams established a haven in Rhode Island for those persecuted in the name of the religious establishment. Davis gathers together important selections from Williams’s public and private writings on religious liberty, illustrating how this renegade Puritan radically reinterpreted Christian moral theology and the events of his day in a powerful argument for freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state.

Cover: Jim Crow, American: Selected Songs and Plays

Jim Crow, American: Selected Songs and Plays

Rice, T. D.
Lhamon, W. T.

Jim Crow is the figure that has long represented America’s imperfect union. This compact edition of the earliest Jim Crow plays and songs presents essential performances that assembled backtalk, banter, masquerade, and dance into the diagnostic American style. They celebrate an irresistibly attractive blackness in a young Republic that had failed to come together until Americans agreed to disagree over Jim Crow’s meaning.

Cover: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself

Douglass, Frederick

No book more vividly explains the horror of American slavery and the emotional impetus behind the antislavery movement than Frederick Douglass’s Narrative. In an introductory essay, Robert B. Stepto reexamines the extraordinary life and achievement of a man who escaped from slavery to become a leading abolitionist and one of America’s most important writers. This text reproduces the first edition, published in Boston in 1845.

Cover: Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly

Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly

Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Easily the most controversial antislavery novel written in antebellum America, and one of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is often credited with intensifying the sectional conflict that led to the Civil War. In his introduction, David Bromwich places Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel in its Victorian contexts and reminds us why it is an enduring work of literary and moral imagination.

Cover: The Federalist

The Federalist

Hamilton, Alexander
Madison, James
Jay, John

Published serially in several New York papers between October 1787 and August 1788, the eighty-five Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym “Publius” advocated ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution. The John Harvard Library text reproduces that of the first book edition (1788), modernizing spelling and capitalization.

Cover: How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York

How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York

Riis, Jacob A.
Warner, Sam Bass

Jacob Riis’s pioneering work of photojournalism takes its title from Rabelais’s Pantagruel: “One half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth; considering that no one has yet written of that Country.” An anatomy of New York City’s slums in the 1880s, it vividly brought home to its first readers through the powerful combination of text and images the squalid living conditions of “the other half,” who might well have inhabited another country.

Cover: The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

Crane, Stephen
Sorrentino, Paul

The John Harvard Library presents the first American edition of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, one of the first non-romantic novels of the Civil War—and the first account to gain wide popularity. Paul Sorrentino introduces Red Badge to a new generation of readers for a fuller appreciation of the novel and its effects.

Cover: The Common Law

The Common Law

Holmes, Oliver Wendell

Much more than an historical examination of liability, criminal law, torts, bail, possession and ownership, and contracts, The Common Law articulates the ideas and judicial theory of one of the greatest justices of the Supreme Court. The John Harvard Library presents a text that is, with occasional corrections of typographical errors, identical to that found in the first and all subsequent printings by Little, Brown.

Cover: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Hawthorne’s greatest romance, The Scarlet Letter, is often simplistically seen as a timeless tale of desire, sin, and redemption. In his introduction, Michael J. Colacurcio argues that The Scarlet Letter is also a serious historical novel. The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of The Scarlet Letter in the Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Cover: The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Following on the heels of The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables was intended to be a far sunnier book than its predecessor and one that would illustrate “the folly” of tumbling down on posterity “an avalanche of ill-gotten gold, or real estate.” Many critics have faulted the novel for its explaining away of hereditary guilt or its contradictory denial of it. Denis Donoghue instructs the reader in a fresh appreciation of the novel.

Cover: The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

One of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great romances, The Blithedale Romance draws upon the author’s experiences at Brook Farm, the short-lived utopian community where Hawthorne spent much of 1841. Blithedale (“Happy Valley”), another would-be modern Arcadia, is the stage for Hawthorne’s grimly comic tragedy. In his introduction, Robert S. Levine considers biographical and historical contexts and offers a fresh appreciation of the novel’s ironic first-person narrator.

Cover: The Works of Anne Bradstreet

The Works of Anne Bradstreet

Bradstreet, Anne
Hensley, Jeannine

Anne Bradstreet was one of our earliest feminists and the first true poet in the American colonies. This collection of her extant poetry and prose, scrupulously edited by Jeannine Hensley, has long been the standard edition of Bradstreet’s work. Hensley’s introduction sketches the poet’s life, and Adrienne Rich’s foreword offers a sensitive critique of Bradstreet as a person and as a writer. The John Harvard Library edition includes a chronology of Bradstreet’s life and an updated bibliography.

Cover: Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

Tuckerman, Frederick Goddard
Mazer, Ben

Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (1821–1873) never wanted to start a revolution in poetry, yet he remains one of America’s most passionate, moving, and technically accomplished poets of the nineteenth century: a New Englander, a poet of the outdoors, wandering fields and wooded hillsides by himself, driven to poetry and the solitude of nature by the loss of his beloved wife. Correcting numerous errors in previous editions, this is the first reliable reading edition of Tuckerman’s sonnets and stanzaic lyric poetry. Ben Mazer has painstakingly re-edited the poems in this selection from manuscripts at the Houghton Library. Included in this generous selection are several important poems omitted in The Complete Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman.

Cover: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself, with

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself, with "A True Tale of Slavery" by John S. Jacobs

Jacobs, Harriet A.
Yellin, Jean Fagan

This enlarged edition of the most significant and celebrated slave narrative completes the Jacobs family saga, surely one of the most memorable in all of American history. John S. Jacobs’s short slave narrative, A True Tale of Slavery, published in London in 1861, adds a brother’s perspective to Harriet A. Jacobs’s autobiography. It is an exciting addition to this now classic work. Jean Fagan Yellin, who discovered this long-lost document, supplies annotation and authentication.

Cover: The American Party Battle: Election Campaign Pamphlets, 1828-1876, Volume 1: 1828-1854

The American Party Battle: Election Campaign Pamphlets, 1828-1876, Volume 1: 1828-1854

Silbey, Joel H.

The nineteenth century was the heyday of furious contention between American political parties, and Joel Silbey has recaptured the drama and substance of those battles in a representative sampling of party pamphlets. The nature of political controversy, as well as the substance of politics, is embedded in these party documents which both united and divided Americans. Unlike today’s party platforms, these pamphlets explicated real issues and gave insight into the society at large.

Cover: The American Party Battle: Election Campaign Pamphlets, 1828-1876, Volume 2: 1854-1876

The American Party Battle: Election Campaign Pamphlets, 1828-1876, Volume 2: 1854-1876

Silbey, Joel H.

The nineteenth century was the heyday of furious contention between American political parties, and Joel Silbey has recaptured the drama and substance of those battles in a representative sampling of party pamphlets. The pamphlets demonstrate how, for this fifty-year period, political parties were surrogates for American demands and values.

Cover: Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750-1776, Volume I: 1750–1765

Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750-1776, Volume I: 1750–1765

Bailyn, Bernard
Garrett, Jane N.

This is the first volume of a four-volume set that will reprint in their entirety the texts of 72 pamphlets relating to the Anglo-American controversy that were published in America in the years 1750–1776. They have been selected from the corpus of the pamphlet literature on the basis of their importance in the growth of American political and social ideas, their role in the debate with England over constitutional rights, and their literary merit.

Cover: The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson

The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson

Jefferson, Joseph
Downer, Alan S.

Cover: Common Sense

Common Sense

Paine, Thomas

When Thomas Paine’s attack on the British mixed constitution of kings, lords, and commons was published in January 1776, fighting had already erupted between British troops and American Patriots, but many Patriots still balked at seeking independence. “By discrediting the sovereign king,” Alan Taylor argues in his introduction, “Paine made independence thinkable—as he relocated sovereignty from a royal family to the collective people of a republic.” Paine’s American readers could conclude that they stood at “the center of a new and coming world of utopian potential.”

Cover: The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

Cooper, James Fenimore

Set in 1757 during the French and Indian War, as Britain and France fought for control of North America, The Last of the Mohicans is a historical novel and a rousing adventure story. It is also, Wayne Franklin argues in his introduction, a probing examination of the political and cultural contest taking shape more than half a century later in the author’s own day as European settlement continued to relentlessly push Native Americans westward.

Cover: The Nature and Tendency of Free Institutions

The Nature and Tendency of Free Institutions

Grimke, Frederick
Ward, John William

First published in 1848, Frederick Grimke’s book, in the words of the editor, “deserves comparison with Tocqueville’s justly famous work, Democracy in America, and is in certain ways superior. It is the single best book written by an American in the nineteenth century on the meaning of our political way of life.”

Cover: The Independent Reflector: Or, Weekly Essays on Sundry Important Subjects, More Particularly Adapted to the Province of New-York

The Independent Reflector: Or, Weekly Essays on Sundry Important Subjects, More Particularly Adapted to the Province of New-York

Livingston, William
Klein, Milton M.

The Independent Reflector, a polemical essay-journal, here republished for the first time since its appearance in 1752–53, is a pungently written commentary on the culture of pre-Revolutionary America. Seeking to awaken New Yorkers to contemporary social problems, William Livingston urged reforms of all kinds and took advanced positions on key issues religious freedom, freedom of the press, public education.

Cover: The Spirit of American Government

The Spirit of American Government

Smith, J. Allen
Strout, Cushing

The first major American critique of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, this book, originally published in 1907, became a powerful tract on behalf of the reform movement of the Progressives. Its vision of American history as a polar conflict between liberalism and conservatism flourished in American scholarship through much of the twentieth century. The editor’s introduction and notes puts Smith’s thesis into its historical context and evaluate the merits of his case in the light of modern scholarship and politics.

Cover: The Elements of Moral Science

The Elements of Moral Science

Wayland, Francis

Francis Wayland’s The Elements of Moral Science, first published in 1835, was one of the most widely used and influential American textbooks of the nineteenth century. Direct and simple in its presentation, the book was more a didactic manual than a philosophic discussion of ethical problems. This text reproduces the 1837 revision of The Elements of Moral Science.

Cover: Selected Stories

Selected Stories

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Dark, weird, psychologically complex, Hawthorne’s short fiction continues to fascinate readers. Brenda Wineapple has made a generous selection of Hawthorne’s stories, including some of his best-known tales as well as other, less-often anthologized gems.

Cover: The Pioneers

The Pioneers

Cooper, James Fenimore

With The Pioneers (1823), James Fenimore Cooper initiated his series of elegiac romances of frontier life and introduced the world to Natty Bumppo (or “Leatherstocking”). Set in 1793 in New York State, the novel depicts an aging Leather-stocking negotiating his way in a restlessly expanding society.

Cover: Prison Blossoms: Anarchist Voices from the American Past

Prison Blossoms: Anarchist Voices from the American Past

Berkman, Alexander
Bauer, Henry
Nold, Carl
Brody, Miriam
Buettner, Bonnie

Published here for the first time is a crucial document in the history of American radicalism—the “Prison Blossoms,” a series of essays, narratives, poems, and fables composed by three activist anarchists imprisoned for the 1892 assault on anti-union steel tycoon Henry Clay Frick.

Cover: The Spirit of the Ghetto

The Spirit of the Ghetto

Hapgood, Hutchins
Rischin, Moses

First published in 1902, and illustrated by Jacob Epstein, Hutchins Hapgood’s evocation of the spiritual and cultural life of Yiddish New York remains fresh and relevant, and an invaluable commentary on one aspect of the formation of modern America. Moses Rischin’s discerning and affectionate introduction places Hapgood’s neglected classic squarely in the mainstream of American cultural development.

Cover: Man and Nature: Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action

Man and Nature: Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action

Marsh, George
Lowenthal, David

George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature was the first book to attack the American myth of the superabundance and the inexhaustibility of the earth. It was, as Lewis Mumford said, “the fountainhead of the conservation movement,” and few books since have had such an influence on the way men view and use land.

Cover: The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid

The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid

Stauffer, John
Trodd, Zoe

This landmark anthology collects speeches, letters, newspapers, journals, poems, and songs to demonstrate that John Brown’s actions at Harpers Ferry altered the course of history. Without Brown, the Civil War probably might have been delayed by four years and emancipation movements in Brazil, Cuba, even Russia might have been disrupted.

Cover: Letters from an American Farmer and Other Essays

Letters from an American Farmer and Other Essays

Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St. John de
Moore, Dennis D.

Published in London just as the idea of an “American” was becoming a reality, Letters introduced Europeans to America’s landscape, customs, and then-new people. Moore’s reader’s edition situates these twelve letters, which shift from hope to disillusion, in the context of thirteen other essays representative of Crèvecoeur’s writings in English.

Cover: The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

The Marble Faun mingles fable with fact in a mysterious tale of American artists liberated from New England mores in Rome. Hawthorne’s novel is ultimately less about freedom than its costs. The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of The Marble Faun in The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Cover: The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer

Cooper, James Fenimore

Set in the 1740s, when Natty Bumppo is in his twenties, James Fenimore Cooper’s last leather-stocking tale shows us how “Deerslayer” becomes “Hawkeye.” For modern readers, it remains the best entry point into the series. Ezra Tawil’s introduction examines the static nature of Natty, Cooper’s motivations in writing the novel, and his vexed racial politics.

Cover: The Prairie

The Prairie

Cooper, James Fenimore

In The Prairie (1827), James Fenimore Cooper’s most celebrated literary work, Natty Bumppo, now aged, is reduced to making a living by trapping. As his journey from Atlantic to Pacific nears its end in a vast uninhabited grassland that Cooper consistently imagines as an ocean of the interior, nothing less than the future identity of America is at stake.

Cover: The Pathfinder

The Pathfinder

Cooper, James Fenimore

Wayne Franklin’s introduction to The Pathfinder describes the personal and financial circumstances that led James Fenimore Cooper to the resurrection of his most popular character, underscoring the author’s aim to offer Natty Bumppo as a “Pathfinder” for a nation he feared had lost its moral bearings.

Cover: Pudd’nhead Wilson

Pudd’nhead Wilson

Twain, Mark

The unsolved riddle at the heart of Pudd’nhead Wilson is less the identity of the murderer than the question of whether nature or nurture makes the man. In his introduction, Werner Sollors illuminates the complex web of uncertainty that is the switched-and-doubled-identity world of Mark Twain’s novel.

Cover: Views and Reviews in American Literature, History, and Fiction: First Series

Views and Reviews in American Literature, History, and Fiction: First Series

Simms, William Gilmore
Holman, C. Hugh

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