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From the Publisher"[A] truly magisterial and encyclopedic study."
"Provides the most ambitious, sophisticated, and detailed intellectual history of the Old South yet written. Its scale and scope are astonishing, its analysis illuminating, and its prose graceful."
— Journal of the Early Republic
"A deeply impressive effort. It will stand as one of the most important books in antebellum Southern intellectual life for a long time."
— Civil War History
O'Brien writes with assurance, subtlety, and imagination about the intellectual life of the Old South, showing that it was more vibrant, diverse, and modern than we have ever realized. His work is a triumph of humane letters.(Daniel Walker Howe, Oxford University)
In this magisterial history of intellectual life, Michael O'Brien analyzes the lives and works of antebellum Southern thinkers and reintegrates the South into the larger tradition of American and European intellectual history.