Synopses & Reviews
Hardly a club in the conventional sense, the organization referred to in the title of this superb literary hybrid--part history, part biography, part philosophy-- consisted of four members and probably existed for less than nine months. Yet its impact upon American intellectual life remains incalculable. Louis Menand masterfully weaves pivotal late 19th-and early 20th-century events, colorful biographical anecdotes, and abstract ideas into a narrative whole that both enthralls and enlightens.
The Metaphysical Club is a compellingly vital account of how the cluster of ideas that came to be called pragmatism was forged from the searing experiences of its progenitors' lives. Here are Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, all of them giants of American thought made colloquially accessible both as human beings and as intellects.
In an absorbing narrative about personalities and social history, Menand discusses the Metaphysical Club, an informal group that met in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1872, to talk about ideas, and whose members included William James and Oliver Wendell Holmes, among others. 6 CDs
About the Author
LOUIS MENAND is a professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and also has taught at Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Virginia School of Law. A staff writer at The New Yorker
, he has been a contributing editor of The New York Review of Books
since 1994. He lives in New York City.
HENRY LEYVA’s regional theatre credits include A Streetcar Named Desire at Hartford Stage, The Miser at Arena Stage, Taming of the Shrew at the Denver Center, and Once in Arden at South Coast Rep. New York stage credits include Love Suicide at LaMaMa, Modern Ladies at EST, and Death and the Maiden at PRTT. Film credits include Turn the River, Charlie Keats, and The Interrogation. Henry has narrated many outstanding audio books and has voiced hundreds of TV and radio commercials. He received an MFA in Drama at the University of California, Irvine.