The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton Paperback – November 7, 2002
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James Turner offers us a superbly crafted and absorbing biography of a seminal figure in nineteenth-century American culture. In this impressive book, Turner dusts off what might seem a stuffy subject to reveal a cultural adventure.(Anne C. Rose Journal of American History)
His book is a distinguished monument to its hero, and this monument may be more of a masterpiece than the original.(Frederic Cople Jaher American Historical Review)
James Turner has provided, in The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, not only an excellent biography, but one of the best studies of the American mind in the nineteenth century.(Michael O'Brien Times Literary Supplement)
James Turner's superb biography recovers the ubiquitous, orchestrating presence of Norton that irked William James and re-establishes the magnitude of his achievement. Turner's work deserves a wide readership.(Thomas J. Brown New England Quarterly)
James Turner presents a comprehensive, authoritative account of a nearly forgotten figure who almost single-handedly invented Western Civilization as an organizing principle for liberal arts education in the United States. Turner's study raises broader intellectual questions that fall beyond the proper score of a biographical study. Turner tells Norton's stories very much like the man himself would have.(Christopher Shannon Weekly Standard)
By far the fullest account of Norton's life that we are likely to get for a long time to come. It is remarkable that Norton is so little known today, given such eminence. We can be all the more grateful, then, for James Turner's conscientious biography, which reminds us of Norton's many accomplishments and of the varied kind of life one person could lead during the 19th century.(Rochelle Gurstein Wall Street Journal)
An elegantly written, highly detailed biography of the life, times, and scholarly contributions of Charles Eliot Norton.(Edward E. Gordon History of Education Quarterly)
This important work offers the prospect of restoring Norton to his rightful position in American intellectual history.(Choice)
About the Author
James Turner is the Cavanaugh Professor of Humanities at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the Erasmus Institute. His books include Without God, Without Creed and Reckoning with the Beast also available from Johns Hopkins.
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