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The Evolutionists


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Along the Way to Darwin Chapter 2: Darwin's Dangerous Idea Chapter 3: The Scientific Reception: Louis Agassiz and Asa Gray Chapter 4: Protestant Orthodoxy: Charles Hodge and James McCosh Chapter 5: Protestant Liberalism: Henry Ward Beecher and John Bascom Chapter 6: Sociology: William Graham Summer and Lester Frank Ward Chapter 7: Feminism: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Eliza Burt Gamble Chapter 8: Methodologies: Thorstein Veblen and Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. Chapter 9: Philosophy: William James and John Dewey

About the Author

J. David Hoeveler is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has written several books in American intellectual history, most recently Creating the American Mind: Intellect and Politics in the Colonial Colleges.


American intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries used evolutionary ideas and metaphors, mentioning Darwin as hero or villain and struggling to make sense of old issues in light of new concepts. They argued with him and modified his central positions right from the start. Intellectual historians have followed suit, tracing the influence of Darwin and evolutionary ideas on a wide array of disciplines. J. David Hoeveler brings them all together for the first time in this elegant study of Anglo-American ideas. The treatment is cool, even-handed, impartial, and radiantly intelligent, and ends with a shrewd and sensible meditation on the continuing Darwinian controversies of our own times. -- Patrick Allitt, Emory University A thoughtful, judicious book... Highly Recommended. CHOICE By concisely telling the story of how prominent figures grappled with the paradigm shift, Hoeveler's book provides a handy guide for tracing the intellectual transformation brought on by Charles Darwin's revolutionary thesis in a manner well suited for those unacquainted with its considerable impact. These fascinating chapters on how the faithful reconciled their traditions with Darwin's theory should fill in many gaps left by survey texts. Hoeveler has succeeded in producing a highly readable and well-researched work on a topic that continues to unsettle us. -- Michael LeFlem H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online The Evolutionists should prove a valuable book for both students and teachers of American intellectual history. Gifted with an enviable talent for clear synthesis and explication, J. David Hoeveler conveys the full range of the Darwinian impact on American thought, from science to theology to social science to philosophy. And by skillfully implanting his story within the biographies of key figures from Darwin to Dewey, he serves his readers well by literally enlivening the tale. -- Robert Westbrook, professor of history, University of Rochester; author of John Dewey and American Democracy

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