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Emerson: The Mind on Fire (Centennial Books) Paperback – November 6, 1996
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Richardson not only studied Emerson to write this book, he studied the books that Emerson studied, thereby showing Emerson's method, intellectual origins, and native genius that courageously broke with contemporary traditions to create a cohesive world-view so inspirational to many.
Emerson, more than any other author I have read, believed in the grandeur of the soul--not just his own--but in each of us. He wrote in his journal, "When I look at the rainbow I find myself the center of its arch. But so are you; and so is the man who sees it a mile from both of us. So also the globe is round, and every man therefore stands on the top.Read more ›
The great merit of this biography is that at the end of it, you feel that you have gained considerable insight both into Emerson and New England intellectual life in the 19th century. I was especially intrigued with Richardson detailing of Emerson's reading. Emerson was, without any question, a great reader. Great readers rarely read books from cover to cover. Samuel Johnson, who was himself one of the most accomplished readers in the history of civilization, once said that we have more of a need to reread than to read. But he also once quipped, "What, you read books all the way to the end?" Emerson did not read books all the way to the end. But like Johnson and other great readers, he had a genius for picking out the most important points. What Boswell wrote of Johnson is true also of Emerson: "He had a peculiar facility in seizing at once what was valuable in any book, without submitting to the labour of perusing it from beginning to end."
One comes away from the book also enormously impressed with Emerson's character.Read more ›
Personally, I would have liked to have seen a few more photos of his second wife and his children. I would have also liked to have learned how his wife managed after Emerson died and perhaps some information regarding his descendants. However, these are my own personal preferences and are in no way meant to diminish the excellence of this book.
The material is well structured into about 100 brief chapters which I thought made the reading easy. I never felt bogged down due to the length of the book. This is not a short book.
I really came away from the book with a sense of the man and an appreciation of the events and societal pressures of his time. After reading this book I think anyone familiar with Emerson's writings would feel like sitting down with the man to have a discussion to clear up a point or two.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is simple an amazing biography. It of course gives the details of Emerson's life, but it also help get into the mind of Emerson. I respected him before, but now, even more so. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jim Richmond
Never has a book made me so eager to meet one of my idols on a more intimate level.Published 8 months ago by awp
I love this product because it is loaded with the kind of thinking I want to incorporate into my own personal moral compass model. Read morePublished on July 28, 2014 by Ben J Korgen
Dr. Richardson has produced the most thorough work on the life of the great man once affectionately known as "The Boston Brahman". Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by john choquette