Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for History
A riveting, original book about the creation of modern American thought.
The Metaphysical Club was an informal group that met in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1872, to talk about ideas. Its members included Oliver Well Holmes, Jr., future associate justice of the United States Supreme Court; William James, the father of modern American psychology; and Charles Sanders Peirce, logician, scientist, and the founder of semiotics. The Club was probably in existence for about nine months. No records were kept. The one thing we know that came out of it was an idea -- an idea about ideas. This book is the story of that idea. Holmes, James, and Peirce all believed that ideas are not things "out there" waiting to be discovered but are tools people invent -- like knives and forks and microchips -- to make their way in the world. They thought that ideas are produced not by individuals, but by groups of individuals -- that ideas are social. They do not develop according to some inner logic of their own but are entirely depent -- like germs -- on their human carriers and environment. And they thought that the survival of any idea deps not on its immutability but on its adaptability. "The Metaphysical Club" is written in the spirit of this idea about ideas. It is not a history of philosophy but an absorbing narrative about personalities and social history, a story about America. It begins with the Civil War and s in 1919 with Justice Holmes's dissenting opinion in the case of U.S. v. Abrams-the basis for the constitutional law of free speech. The first four sections of the book focus on Holmes, James, Peirce, and their intellectual heir, John Dewey.The last section discusses some of the fundamental twentieth-century ideas they are associated with. This is a book about a way of thinking that changed American life.
The Good Old Days--were they really good? On the surface they appear to be so--especially the period to which this term is most often applied, the years from the end of the Civil War to the early 1900's. This period of history has receded into a benevolent haze, leaving us with the image of an ebullient, carefree America, the fun and charm of the Gilded Age, the Gay Nineties.But this gaiety was only a brittle veneer that covered widespread turmoil and suffering. The good old days were good for but the privileged few. For the farmer, the laborer, the average breadwinner, life was an unremitting hardship. This segment of the populace was exploited or lived in the shadow of total neglect. And youth had no voice. These are the people, the mass of Americans, whose adversities this book attempts to chronicle.
The question at the heart of The Cousins' Wars is this: How did Anglo-America evolve over a mere three hundred years from a small Tudor kingdom into a global community with such a hegemonic grip on the world today, while no other European power - Spain, France, Germany, or Russia - did? The answer to this, according to Phillips, lies in a close examination of three internecine English-speaking civil wars -- the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War. These wars between cousins functioned as crucial anvils on which various religious, ethnic, and political alliances were hammered out between the English-speaking cousin-nations, setting them on a unique two-track path toward world leadership - one aristocratic and aloof to dominate the imperial nineteenth century and the other more egalitarian and democratic to take over in the twentieth century. They also functioned as unfortunate and deadly cultural crucibles for African Americans, Native Americans, and the Irish. Phillips's analysis shows exactly how these conflicts are inextricably linked and how they seeded each other. He offers often surprising interpretations that cut across the political spectrum - for instance, that the Constitution of the United States, while brilliant in many respects, was also a fatally flawed political compromise that contributed mightily in setting the stage for the final - and the bloodiest - cousins' war: the American Civil War. With the new millennium upon us and triggering widespread assessment of our nation's place in world history, The Cousins' Wars provides just the kind of magisterial sweep and revisionist spark to ignite widespread interest and debate. This grand religious, military, and political epic is the multi-dimensional story of the triumph of Anglo-America.
The New York Times bestselling chronicle of the Civil War's final days that will forever change the way we see the war's end and the nation's new beginning.
It was a month that could have unravelled the American nation. Instead, it saved it. In April 1865, Jay Winik masterfully breathes new life into the end of a war and the events we only thought we knew. This gripping, panoramic narrative takes readers on a breathless ride through these tumultuous thirty days, showing that the nation's future rested on a few crucial decisions and twists of fate. Here is Richmond's dramatic fall, Lee's harrowing retreat, and the intense debate in Confederate circles over unleashing guerrilla warfare. Here, too, is the rebel surrender at Appomattox, Lincoln's assassination five days later, and the ensuing fears of chaos and a coup, the shaky transfer of presidential power, and finally the start of national reconciliation. Outsized characters stalk through sweeping events in Winik's brilliant narrative, transforming a seeming epilogue to a great war into a central栮d saving欯ment in American history, firmly placing April 1865 in the same pantheon as 1492 and 1776.
This Library of America volume, along with its companion, presents, for the first time in compact form, all seven titles of Francis Parkman's monumental account of France and England's imperial struggle for dominance on the North American continent. Deservedly compared as a literary achievement to Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Parkman's accomplishment is hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes.Pioneers of France in the New World (1865) begins with the early and tragic settlement of the French Huguenots in Florida, then shifts to the northern reaches of the continent and follows the expeditions of Samuel de Champlain up the St. Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes as he mapped the wilderness, organized the fur trade, promoted Christianity among the natives, and waged a savage forest campaign against the Iroquois. The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867) traces the zealous efforts of the Jesuits and other Roman Catholic orders to convert the Native American tribes of North America. La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869) records that explorer's voyages on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and his treks, often alone, across the vast western prairies and through the labyrinthine swamps of Louisiana. The Old R gime in Canada (1874) recounts the political struggles among the religious sects, colonial officials, feudal chiefs, royal ministers, and military commanders of Canada. Their bitter fights over the monopoly of the fur trade, the sale of brandy to the natives, the importation of wives from the orphanages and poorhouses of France, and the bizarre fanaticism of religious extremists and their "incessant supernaturalism" animate this pioneering social history of early Canada.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Celebrate 75 years of history and innovation with United Airlines' anniversary coffee-table book. United's rich history, from early airmail carrier to global airline, is presented in stirring words and archival pictures, featuring 256 pages and 286 color and black-and-white photos and illustrations.
Today, there are more than twenty complete zodiacs in Washington, D.C., each one pointing to an extraordinary mystery. David Ovason, who has studied these astrological devices for ten years, now reveals why they have been placed in such abundance in the center of our nation's capital and explains their interconnections. His richly illustrated text tells the story of how Washington, from its foundation in 1791, was linked with the zodiac, with the meaning of certain stars, and with a hidden cosmological symbolism that he uncovers here for the first time.
Fascinating and thoroughly researched, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation 's Capital is an engrossing book that raises provocative questions and otters complex insights into the meanings behind the mysterious symbols in Washington.