Forgotten Prophet: The Life of Randolph Bourne

Overview

Rarely has an individual's life been so inseparable from his writing as was Randolph Bourne's. His work reveals not only his political viewpoints but also his humanistic personality and the tumultuous era during which he lived. Forgotten Prophet carefully examines the intellect and personality of the "born essayist" who saw clearly both his century's potential for harmony and the danger that it faced from the lingering tides of nineteenth-century European nationalism.

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Baton Rouge 1984 the life of Randolph Bourne. X, 275p., frontis portrait, cloth boards gilt in dust jacket. Slight signs of age and handling, edges show a faint haze of foxing, ... free of ownership or other marks, a very good copy. Read more Show Less

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1984 Very Good CLAYTON, BRUCE. Forgotten Prophet: The Life of Randolph Bourne. Louisiana State University Press, (1984). 275 pp., xlib copy w/ usual markings, no d.j.

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Baton Rouge 1984 Hardcover First edition Near Fine in Very Good+ jacket First edition, 1984, hardcover with blue cloth boards in dust jacket, octavo, 274pp., frontispiece, ... otherwise not illustrated. Book near fine with handsome boards and tight binding, text clean bright and unmarked with foxing to top edge of text block. DJ VG+ with mild toning to spine, rubbing. Read more Show Less

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Baton Rouge 1984 Hardcover First edition Near Fine in Very Good+ jacket First edition, 1984, hardcover with blue cloth boards in dust jacket, octavo, 274pp., frontispiece, ... otherwise not illustrated. Book near fine with handsome boards and tight binding, text clean bright and unmarked with foxing to top edge of text block. DJ VG+ with mild toning to spine, rubbing. Read more Show Less

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Baton Rouge, LA 1984 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing 0807111694. Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. Small closed tear to top front.; Signed & Inscribed by Author; 8vo ... 8"-9" tall; Signed by Author. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Rarely has an individual's life been so inseparable from his writing as was Randolph Bourne's. His work reveals not only his political viewpoints but also his humanistic personality and the tumultuous era during which he lived. Forgotten Prophet carefully examines the intellect and personality of the "born essayist" who saw clearly both his century's potential for harmony and the danger that it faced from the lingering tides of nineteenth-century European nationalism.

Disfigured and hunchbacked, Bourne reacted to his disability not with bitterness or self-pity, but rather with an exuberant love for beauty and a compassion for humanity that created in him a longing for a truly cosmopolitan society—a "trans-national America" that would draw its strength from ethnic diversity and political pluralism. Nearly alone among American intellectuals, Bourne actively denounced involvement in World War I. He foresaw that, beyond the horrible cost in young lives, the war would bring in its wake the spiritual impoverishment of the nation and the disillusionment of its youth; it would strangle reform and social tolerance, exacerbate racism and nativism, and plant the seeds for further international instability. Although derided and largely ignored at the time they were written, Bourne's fearful predictions would all too quickly be confirmed in the dissolute frenzy of the jazz age, the turmoil of the 1930s, and the social chaos that brought about the rise of fascism in Europe and, soon, an even more destructive war.

Bourne did not live to witness this terrifying unfolding of events. His career as a social critic was brief but prolific. When he died in 1918 at the age of thirty-two, a victim of the flu epidemic, he had completed three books and more than a hundred essays. His first book, Youth and Life, is considered by some to be the original manifesto of the counterculture. From his earliest years as a writer, Bourne was identified as a voice for youth, idealism, and progress in human relations. Forgotten Prophet characterizes Bourne not just as a foreseer of this century's bloodshed but, equally important, as an apostle of hope—a champion of what was best, most truthful in the arts, in politics, and in the conduct of our daily lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An uncommonly illuminating biography . . . critical, penetrating, balanced."—Choice

"A first-rate work . . . brilliantly suggestive both on Bourne and on the perplexities and contradictions of modernity."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"A serious work of scholarship, superbly executed. . . . Clayton's highly readable yet sensitively and complexly argued work definitively establishes Bourne's place in the still unfolding history of American radicalism."
American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807111697
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1984
  • Pages: 275

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