The American Adam: Innocence, Tragedy and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

The American Adam: Innocence, Tragedy and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

by R. W. B. Lewis, Richard W. Lewis
     
 


Intellectual history is viewed in this book as a series of "great conversations"—dramatic dialogues in which a culture's spokesmen wrestle with the leading questions of their times. In nineteenth-century America the great argument centered about De Crèvecoeur's "new man," the American, an innocent Adam in a bright new world dissociating himself from the… See more details below

Overview


Intellectual history is viewed in this book as a series of "great conversations"—dramatic dialogues in which a culture's spokesmen wrestle with the leading questions of their times. In nineteenth-century America the great argument centered about De Crèvecoeur's "new man," the American, an innocent Adam in a bright new world dissociating himself from the historic past. Mr. Lewis reveals this vital preoccupation as a pervasive, transforming ingredient of the American mind, illuminating history and theology as well as art, shaping the consciousness of lesser thinkers as fully as it shaped the giants of the age. He traces the Adamic theme in the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Henry James, and others, and in an Epilogue he exposes their continuing spirit in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, J. D. Salinger, and Saul Bellow.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226476810
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
01/28/1955
Series:
Phoenix Bks.
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents


Prologue: The Myth and the Dialogue
I. The Danger of Innocence
1. The Case against the Past
2. The New Adam: Holmes and Whitman
3. The Fortunate Fall: The Elder James and Horace Bushnell
II. The Narrative Image
4. The Fable of the Critics
5. The Hero in Space: Brown, Cooper, Bird
6. The Return into Time: Hawthorne
7. Melville: The Apotheosis of Adam
III. The Past and the Perfect
8. The Function of History: Bancroft and Parkman
9. The Real Presence: Parker and Brownson
Epilogue: The Contemporary Situation
Adam as Hero in the Age of Containment
Index

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