BEYOND CONCORD: Selected Writings of David Atwood Wasson by Charles H.- Ed. Foster

BEYOND CONCORD: Selected Writings of David Atwood Wasson

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The trouble with you, Wasson, is that you are thinking about fifty years ahead of your time,"" William James purportedly wrote the all-but forgotten 19th century American thinker whose obscurity is belatedly attacked through these thirteen selections from his prose works. But for the modern reader, he is just as far behind the present time in some ways, farther behind in others. Combining a basically transcendentalist frame of mind with a steadily hardening aversion to the democratic process, he stood in a strategically excellent moral and philosophical position to criticize the motives of the New England intellectual movement that formed him and bore him along with it, through abolition and the Civil War and beyond. The material is carefully chosen and quite lively despite the frequent intrusion of dilemmas long since resolved. The lengthy introduction is not so fortunate: it investigates Wasson's intellectual development while almost completely neglecting the biographical detail necessary to sympathy with and understanding of the man.

Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press