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From the Publisher“The most important work done in prose.”
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|I||Uses of great men||3|
|II||Plato; or, the philosopher||23|
|Plato : new readings||46|
|III||Swedenborg; or, the mystic||53|
|IV||Montaigne; or, the sceptic||85|
|V||Shakespeare; or, the poet||107|
|VI||Napoleon; or, the man of the world||126|
|VII||Goethe; or, the writer||147|
"Emerson is a writer who grows restless if he stays too long with any proposition. And so, as one of his most intelligent modern readers, Judith Shklar, has pointed out, he built Representative Men around the principle of 'rotation,' which had become a political axiom in Jacksonian America—the idea that no man, no matter how imposing, should be accorded permanent authority. Representative Men honors the language of democracy in its very title, and it employs political metaphors throughout. 'We are multiplied,' the opening chapter declares, 'by our proxies.' "
—From the Introduction by Andrew Delbanco
Andrew Delbanco is Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. Among his many publications are The Puritan Ordeal and The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope (both from Harvard).