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Spanning a variety of disciplines, from religion, philosophy, and political thought, to cultural criticism, social theory, and the arts, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen shows how ideas have been major forces in American history, driving movements such as transcendentalism, Social Darwinism, conservatism, and postmodernism. In engaging and accessible prose, this introduction to American thought considers how notions about freedom and belonging, the market and morality -- and even truth -- have commanded generations of Americans and been the cause of fierce debate.
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is Merle Curti Associate Professor of History and Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches U.S. intellectual and cultural history. She is the author of the prize-wining American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas (2012). Her co-edited volumes include Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Cultures of Dissent (2015) with James Danky and the late James Baughman, and The Worlds of American Intellectual History (2016) with Joel Isaac, James Kloppenberg, and the late Michael O'Brien. Her next book project is a history of wisdom in 20th-century American thought and culture.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: World of Empires (Precontact-1740)
Chapter 2: America and the Transatlantic Enlightenment (1740-1800)
Chapter 3: From Republican to Romantic (1800-1850)
Chapter 4: Contests of Intellectual Authority (1850-1890)
Chapter 5: Fin-de-siècle Revolts against Absolutes (1890-1920)
Chapter 6: Roots and Rootlessness from the First World War
to the Second (1920-45)
Chapter 7: The Opening of the American Mind (1945-1970)
Chapter 8: The End of Universalism (1962-1990s)
Epilogue: Rethinking Cosmopolitanism in an Age of Globalization
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