Cover: Emerson, from Harvard University PressCover: Emerson in PAPERBACK


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Product Details


$31.00 • £24.95 • €28.00

ISBN 9780674016279

Publication Date: 09/30/2004


416 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

5 halftones

Belknap Press


I learned from and greatly enjoyed reading Lawrence Buell’s Emerson.—Susan Sontag, The Times Literary Supplement

Lawrence Buell has written a comprehensive, penetrating and timely study, the distillation of a lifetime’s scholarship, of this great thinker and writer, ‘the poet of ordinary days,’ as his disciple, John Dewey, beautifully called him.—John Banville, The Irish Times

In this book Buell distills a lifetime of study and teaching on Emerson. Its tone is easy and confident, friendly and inviting, and Buell’s aim is to share his admiration for America’s first public intellectual with a new generation of readers.—P.J. Ferlazzo, Choice

In this book Lawrence Buell shows us why Emerson remains worth reading in our own time… What Buell has to say here about Emerson is not only persuasive but also consistently interesting, surprisingly original…and, best of all, written in straightforward, lucid language… Buell’s discussion of the relationship between Emerson and his prize pupil, Henry David Thoreau, is brilliant.—Daniel W. Howe, Common-Place

This book is a literary-cultural event: the harvest of the past half-century of Emersonian revaluations and the harbinger, guide, and provocation for the next generations of Emerson scholars and critics. One cannot call a work on Emerson definite, even provisionally, but I cannot imagine that any Americanist—or, for that matter, anyone interested in America, specialist or nonspecialist—will be able to do without this book in the foreseeable future.—Sacvan Bercovitch, author of The American Jeremaid and The Puritan Origins of the American Self

Lawrence Buell has made it his business to set forth exciting new lines of inquiry. He has done so once again: bringing Emerson up to date, moving him away from a nation-based paradigm, and firing him up as an entry point to a global, cross-lingual circuit.—Wai Chee Dimock, author of Empire for Liberty

This a splendid book, an important one, and one that will have wide appeal. This will be an indispensable book on Emerson, putting the keys to that complex man and his work into the reader’s hand. If you want to know why we are still reading and talking about Emerson, start here.—Robert Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire and Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind

Awards & Accolades

  • 2003 Warren-Brooks Award, Advisory Group to the Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies, Western Kentucky University
  • Honorable Mention, 2003 Association of American Publishers PSP Award, Biography & Autobiography Category
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