"[Democratic Humanism and American Literature] stands in a class by itself. . . . [It] achieves originality through sheer brilliance and subtlety."
—Modern Fiction Studies, Volume 18, Number 4, Winter
"You read with enormous sympathies and write with grace. . . . [Your] perceptions have a way of stimulating dozens of new links and shewings in my own mind as I read you. This is a splendid book for which I am grateful to you—it asserts possibilities and justifies the profession."
—William H. Shurr, letter to Kaplan
"Rich in its particular analyses, Democratic Humanism and American Literature is a persuasive, acutely intelligent criticism which assembles the classic documents of nineteenth-century American literature in a new, instructive context."
—James W. Tuttleton, The Journal of American History
"Kaplan's book gives every evidence of scholarly greatness. . . . A deft analysis . . . admirably serves to illuminate the classic literary texts. . . . Highly recommended."
—John R. Willingham, Library Journal
"A particularly insightful and rewarding study of an important facet of the American imagination. . . . [This] work must be considered a crucial document for all inquiries into American literary thought."
"Kaplan has given us further reason for cherishing our literary heritage."
—Granville Hicks, The New Leader
"Kaplan's interest in the creative aspects of literature . . . . lifts the book well above the level of the popular survey."
—The English Association, Volume 53