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“… The Real War Will Never Get in the Books”Selections from Writers During the Civil War$
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Louis P. Masur

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098372.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

(p.121) Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
“… The Real War Will Never Get in the Books”
Louis P. Masur
Oxford University Press

The most famous intellectual in America at the time of the Civil War, Ralph Waldo Emerson had started out confused and rebellious. Like his father he became a minister, but he resigned his pulpit in 1832 feeling that Unitarianism did not respond to the stirrings of the heart. In the next decade, he developed his ideas on the place of the individual in society. In Nature, he encouraged readers to break free from the stranglehold of the past, from empirical science, and from artificial social arrangements, all of which had combined to fracture and blind mankind. He called for intuition and spontaneity. By the time he was done, he had followers. Some were also young New England men and women who gathered together, became known as Transcendentalists, and published a paper called The Dial.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, Unitarianism, Nature, Transcendentalists, The Dial, America, Civil War

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