Synopses & Reviews
Key writings by one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century that speaks to our own turbulent times
Calling on his background as a minister, Ralph Waldo Emerson always brought morality into his political arguments. On issues ranging from womens rights to slavery to Native American land rights, Emerson felt that each individual should look within himself and make political decisions based on his own conscience. Instead of blindly following the government or societys beliefs, Emerson often argued for and practiced dissent, a stance maligned by politicians who were trying to take power from the people.
In The Political Emerson, David M. Robinson has brought together the best of Emersons essays on politics and social reform. Robinsons introduction explains the reason for this unique collection by laying out the political impact that Emersons writings had during his own time and beyond.
In this major election year, Emersons political thought is more valuable than ever. And, as Robinson makes clear in this unique anthology, Emersons writings can continue to speak to all of us who hope for a more ethical politics.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) never considered himself a political thinker. And yet he rose to prominence during one of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. As a result, political questions grew in importance for him, becoming by the 1860s one of his chief concerns as a public intellectual. In The Political Emerson, David M. Robinson has brought together for the first time the best of Emerson's numerous writings on politics and social reform.
About the Author
David M. Robinson is a leading authority on Emerson and the New England Transcendentalist movement. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Spiritual Emerson and Emerson and the Conduct of Life. He is Oregon Professor of English and head of the American Studies program at Oregon State University in Corvallis.